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Oakgrove Integrated Primary & Nursery School, Limavady
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Top Tips for Starting Secondary School

“Top Tips” for starting secondary school

What is new about secondary school...?

  • You may have a longer journey to school.
  • You have a uniform which you must wear each day.
  • You also have a PE kit to wear for games.
  • The school campus is much bigger and there will be more people around.
  • You will have different teachers and classrooms for different subjects.
  • You will follow a timetable of lessons each day of the week.
  • Some subjects will be new to you.
  • You will have more books, equipment and materials to look after.
  • You will need to use a homework diary.
  • Break and lunch arrangements will be different.
  • There will be new rules and routines to learn.
  • New teams and activities will be available to join.
  • You will be expected to be more independent, organised and responsible for yourself.
  • You will have new challenges and new opportunities.

Are you worried about...?

  • Not making friends.
  • Getting lost.
  • Travelling to and from school.
  • Older pupils annoying you.
  • Having new teachers.
  • Following a timetable each day.
  • Not being able to do the work.
  • Not having the right books and equipment.
  • Finding help if there’s a problem.
  • Getting into trouble.

 You can help yourself (and others)

  • Leave home on time each morning to arrive in school on time.
  • Check each morning, or even the night before, that you have everything you need for the day at school (eg books, equipment, materials, homework, notes, money).
  • Read your timetable and homework diary to help you know what you need and what you will be learning each day.
  • Take care of your bag and other belongings in school throughout each day (use cloakrooms and lockers properly).
  • Make sure uniform is complete and neat (and bring PE kit on the days it is needed).
  • Speak with your Year Head at the start of each day if you need help or have any concerns.
  • Move quickly and orderly between lessons :arrive on time and enter the room ready to settle and learn.
  • Ask your subject teachers to explain any parts of the lessons you do not understand :listen and participate well in all your classes.
  • Write homeworks carefully in your homework diary and check the diary each night to make sure you have work completed and brought back to school at the right time.
  • Always follow instructions and rules which are necessary for good order and safety in a large school :good behaviour is essential.
  • Get involved in teams and clubs to help you enjoy all that school offers and make more new friends.
  • Treat all others as you would wish to be treated…with respect.

Parents can help too… 

  • Speak regularly with your child about school life and work.
  • Assure them that they are not alone in feeling anxious and that problems can be overcome when we all work together.
  • Encourage your child to become more responsible and independent in being prepared for all school lessons and activities :this includes being organised at home as well as in school :support is important. but self-management skills need to be encouraged
  • Support your child in a number of simple but important practical ways eg.
    • Getting up and ready for school each morning.
    • Encouraging good time keeping and regular attendance.
    • Keeping school informed about genuine reasons for absence.
    • Checking uniform and PE kit are neat and tidy each day.
    • Naming all items of clothing and other equipment.
    • Establishing and keeping routines at home which help prepare for each day in school (eg homework times, checking timetables, packing bags, keeping books and materials organised).
    • Having “space” at home for school materials and study.
    • Making sure books, materials and equipment are well looked after.
    • Taking an interest in learning by talking about lessons or viewing books.
    • Keeping school informed issues which affect your child, as well as co-operating with school.
    • Praising achievement and encouraging/expecting high, but realistic standards (not accepting careless or lazy approaches or excuses) .