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How parents can help improve their daughter’s achievement


22 June 2021

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Penrhos College



A recent study published in the international journal, Educational Research Review, examined research on the most effective strategies parents can use to support their child to achieve her personal best – five key tips were highlighted.

It is no surprise to find that having high expectations and communicating these regularly is important for both parents and teachers, in supporting students to achieve their potential. This includes having a positive attitude toward school and appreciating the value of education. Having high expectations of our girls here at Penrhos is something that is engrained in our culture and throughout our community. The ways in which we communicate our expectations, and ensure targets are attainable, are crucial.

We know relationships are important – our girls need someone to believe in them, before they can truly believe in themselves. Regular communication about school to help our girls bridge the gap between good intentions and following through with actions is not without challenges, however, is so valuable when it comes to assisting them to grow in everything they can do, know and understand. With the right support and feedback from teachers and parents, we often see students achieving more than they thought possible.

Carol Dweck, Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, provides some amazing tips using simple language in this 10-minute video. Watch to find out how parents can make a positive difference with some subtle changes in use of language, when encouraging their daughter by promoting a growth mindset to aid achievement.

Fostering good reading habits right from early childhood is perhaps old news when talking about supporting our girls’ academic success. Many parents start reading to their children in early childhood and then the roles reverse so that parents listen to their children reading in the early years. Supporting reading with visits to the library, listening to podcasts and audiobooks, and shared reading experiences can be harder to schedule and maintain in the later years and through adolescence – however, anything parents can do to keep their daughters reading is worth the effort, as vocabulary size and academic success are linked.

The benefits of parental guidance on homework rules to provide a clear balance between homework/study and co-curricular/leisure time to promote balance and wellbeing can make a real difference. Whilst parents might worry that participating in co-curricular activities might detract from their children’s schoolwork, research shows this isn’t the case. Active participation in an activity your daughter is passionate about can improve her brain function, as can staying active generally. It can help develop your daughter’s concentration, organisation, and time management skills. It can also fuel her learning by stimulating creative thought, as she explores new interests and talents. However, there are potentially some surprises when it comes to homework and optimal sleep.

It is interesting to note the above study found that parents physically supervising their child’s homework had little impact. Rather, time spent talking about how to positively find a good balance in life and manage the potential distractions of technology resulted in teenagers eventually making better decisions later in life and was a key to their success. Understanding that being constantly connected reduces concentration, negatively affects memory, increases stress, heightens the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) and can lead to poor sleep.

Obtaining optimal sleep is a key factor for improved learning outcomes, and benefits to health and well-being – this is something parents can positively influence. What we know is many teenagers are not getting the recommended 8-10 hours of sleep a night, and they are therefore missing out on the benefits that optimal sleep brings. Every extra half hour your daughter gets, really does make an incredible difference.

Sometimes teenagers just aren’t the best judges of what is good for them. Setting consistent rules for your daughter and enforcing them is never easy… and yet it can make a real difference. Together, parents and teachers who work in partnership can support each girl’s growth on her journey towards her personal success. If you feel this is an area where you would like to know more, come along to our CONNECT DAY workshop Pressing the Right Buttons to explore how self-awareness and understanding others can help your daughter on the road to success.


Nicole Blyth

Dean of Teaching and Learning