Key stage 2 will naturally build upon the skills and knowledge obtained in key stage 1, providing opportunity for your child to put them into practise in various new situations and to apply them to new problems. Class will encourage plenty of discussion and your child will be expected to articulate and justify answers to peers and adults, demonstrating the thinking behind them. Both table top learning and hands on projects will continue into key stage 2, with the balance shifting in favour of table top tasks as your child progresses through the school years. You may find homework tasks require longer concentration than in key stage 1 and that your child is able to complete them with increasing independence.
As your child begins to explore stronger friendship bonds and establishes one or two ‘best friends’, you will most likely see your child grow more mature and independent rapidly. Friends and after school activities will become priorities in your child’s life and you may notice them become more withdrawn and secretive in their behaviour. Despite their newfound independence, children of this age are mostly affectionate, reliable and trustworthy and develop a moral code and conscience that will drive them to be very concerned with fairness. As the teenage years draw ever closer you may notice a heightened interest in fashion and music, and a concern with being accepted and liked by peers. Be aware that puberty can begin in upper key stage 2 for some girls and be ready to provide support if needed.
Odd behaviour to look out for
Naturally becoming more withdrawn and secretive within this period, it can be difficult to pinpoint when your child is feeling unusually anxious or stressed. Sleep problems, irrational fears and frequent displays of anger could signal that there’s an issue, as well as mood swings or a significant change in mood that lasts more than 24 hours. Bullying can become a serious issue at this age and so be wary of the signs. Suddenly becoming anxious about going to school or a marked change in behaviour such as poor performance at school or loss of interest in activities are key signs to look out for. Children may also be more aware of their academic performance and likely to compare themselves to classmates so make sure you keep their confidence and self-belief high. Don’t forget that moving up to secondary school after year 6 can seem daunting for your 11 year old, especially if they hear scary stories from older siblings or friends. Prepare them for the practical bits such as the new commute and getting the appropriate stationery, provide lots of reassurance about how exciting it will be and remind them that everyone will be nervous on the first day so they won’t be on their own.
Visit our Educational Books page for further support for you and your child during Key Stage 2.