Parent supporting her child

On these pages, there is information about how best to support your children, whether they are new to the school or are progressing through the education system. Some of the important ways you can do this are:

  • speaking in your first language at home
  • getting involved in schools
  • supporting your child with homework.

Parents are a child’s first and most important teacher and this influence continues throughout a child’s learning journey. We know from research that where parents are involved with their child’s learning, there is a positive impact.

Learning at home is very important to the progress and development of all children and schools value the contributions parents make.

How can I help my child if I am not fluent in English?

The quality of talk in the home is one of the key factors in enhancing learning and this can take place in any language. Parents do not have to speak good English to support children. You can help by:

  • showing an interest in your child’s learning
  • building on your child’s natural curiosity and fascinations
  • asking them to tell you about what they have been learning at school
  • praising your child for positive learning attitudes and persistence
  • building your child’s self-esteem and belief that they can achieve
  • encouraging your child to have high aspirations
  • encouraging your child to find out more about a topic by asking relatives, using the library or searching on the internet.


It is very important for children and young people learning English as an additional language to continue to communicate in their first language at home.

Schools in the UK are involve parents in school life and will do their best to share information and include families who speak little English. 

In many schools there is an expectation that parents will share books with children from the very start of school in the reception class.