Helping your child with English - St Patrick's East Gosford

Helping your child with English

You can help your child’s learning every day, by supporting and encouraging them and being excited by their learning. Here are some ideas to keep them developing their english skills at home.

Make reading fun

Reading at home should be fun and easy – something you both look forward to – a time for laughter and talk.

  1. Read to Them – It’s never too early to read aloud to your child. This special time actually promotes healthy brain development and serves to bond parent and child closer together.
  2. Read in Front of Them – If parents “practice what they preach” about the importance of reading, it sends a loud and clear message to their kids that reading is, in fact, valuable.
  3. Make Space for Reading and Writing – One way parents can make english appealing to children is by providing an inviting place to read and write. A desk with pens, pencils, markers and paper nearby will encourage your little one to hone his writing skills. A small bookshelf filled with books, with a comfy beanbag close by, will promote reading.
  4. Take Advantage of Windows of Opportunity – Parents should look for natural opportunities throughout the day to support literacy development. Have your child write the shopping list for you, read the traffic signs as you drive, and name all the things in the kitchen that start with the letter P.
  5. Be Involved with Homework –Be available to help with homework. Children often feel overwhelmed and unsure about their assignments. Your presence can help to alleviate their anxiety as well as remind them that you place a high value on their education.
  6. Visit the Library – Frequent visits to your public library go a long way in nurturing literacy growth in your child. Take advantage of story hours, book borrowing, and other activities offered by your local library branch.
  7. Celebrate Successes – Everyone likes a pat on the back every now and then. Be sure to celebrate when your kiddo spells a hard word correctly, finishes her book, or writes her name for the first time!
  8. Turn off the Technology – Kids often need a little extra encouragement to pick up a book or pencil and paper. Parents can help this process by turning off the technology at certain hours of the day. You may be surprised at what your kid finds to do once technology is off!

Strengthening your child’s writing

  • Read your child’s writing or have him or her read the writing to you and comment on the positive aspects. For example, “I really like the way you’ve described this.”
  • Read and talk about the writing that your child brings home from school.Praise your child for using neat and legible handwriting.
  • To help develop spelling and vocabulary, play word games such as I Spy,Scrabble, Boggle, Scattergories and crosswords.
  • Parents should contact their child’s teacher for support or advice.
  • Try using different spelling strategies, such as sounding out the sounds of the word; breaking a word into parts (syllables) and spell each part; seeing if the word looks right.
  • Have your child label things that he or she designs or makes.
  • Make a photo album or scrapbook with your child and have him or her write captions for the photos and pictures or encourage your child to kee a diary of a special event, e.g. a holiday diary.
  • Make the writing of notes, letters and stories a normal part of family life.

ESL/EALD Learners

At St Patrick’s School we have students from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds who learn English as a second language (ESL) and may need extra support in the classroom.

An ESL teacher provide targeted English language instruction to help these students develop their literacy and English language skills. They also support teachers in developing learning programs and teaching practices suited to ESL students. The teacher also works collaboratively with other teachers to support them in developing learning programs and teaching practices for ESL students.


Every year students from Year 6 have the opportunity to participate in the CCC debating Competition between various catholic schools on the coast.  There are 5 debates in total with a grand final in term 4. Teams are made up of interested students who are prepared to organise and practice during their lunch times. Teams are rotated every term so that the maximum amount of students can participate.