Top tips for getting back into the swing of things.
For many of us, September feels like the natural start of the year as we help our children return to school. However, dusting the cobwebs off after a couple of months of summer holiday is much easier said than done. For many students too, this might be the first time they have returned to school in person since before the pandemic. Here we suggest seven sure-fire ways to best prepare yourself and get organised for the autumn term:
- Look at dates
Aside from the start and end of term dates in the school calendar, take a look ahead to when school plays, sports matches, music concerts and parents’ evenings are due to take place. For older students, the dates they will be handing in coursework or sitting public examinations may also have been released. By marking these in your diary now, not only will this help you forward plan around these key dates, but it also means you can anticipate particularly busy points during the school term when it comes to planning your own social engagements as a family.
- Get reading
Many students will know in advance which set texts they will be covering this academic year or will have received more general reading lists from their school. There is no doubt that children who familiarise themselves with their books in advance of September will benefit from a head start in understanding the plot, key ideas and themes of the text, as well as returning to the discipline of close reading after the holidays. For students who find reading more difficult, it might be worth enjoying prescribed texts as audiobooks first to ease them into the stories or plays more gently.
If you would like suggested reading ideas for individual age groups, please do get in touch on +44 (0) 207 223 2794 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Review last year’s work
The past 18 months of learning have been disruptive for most and undoubtedly online school classrooms have led to slowed learning and gaps in knowledge for students. Identifying areas that need further work so that a pupil can build upon solid foundations is essential if they are to fulfill their academic potential and grow in confidence.
Could your child consolidate any notes from last year’s topics or get ahead with their revision notes for autumn term mocks? Acquainting oneself with study skills and revision techniques well before exams will mean the transition of concepts from short-term to long-term memory is much smoother.
Perhaps you might also want to consider a dedicated tutor to work alongside your child’s studies? Please do contact our tuition team if you would be interested in a bespoke tuition programme in person or online.
- Stationery, school uniform and sports kit
Might your child need a new set of highlighters? Do their trainers fit? Perhaps they have grown four inches during the summer and their school trousers now resemble shorts? By packing any school backpacks, sports bags and trunks in good time, you will be able to tick off all the essential items your child needs and stock up on the back-to-school supplies they are missing in advance of next term. This will make the stress of the first day back that bit less if you are not running around looking for everything at the last minute.
- Tidy desk, tidy mind
The aphorism may appear obvious, but with fewer distractions at their homework station, a student can establish healthy study habits for efficient work outside the classroom. Whether it may be a desk in your bedroom or a corner of the dining room table, make sure to keep your workspace uncluttered and with any materials or stationery closeby arranged tidily to create as calm a study environment as possible.
- Get into a routine
The summer holiday daze may have led to less structured days, later wake up times and later bedtimes for most pupils. However, students would do well to accustom themselves to a routine of school timings before the first day back; it will certainly pay off when the morning alarm goes off at the start of term.
If your child is off to a new school, it may also be an idea to work out and walk with them or take the bus along the new route in advance so that their new daily journey does not feel quite so alien alongside everything else they are nervous about at their next school.
- Recharge, relax and get excited
There are mere days left now before students return to school so do enjoy the final few weeks together with family and friends before the autumn term begins. It is likely that most children have mixed emotions returning to class after such a long break but equally the new year holds many opportunities and the chance to catch up with friends after a lengthy holiday. Enjoy it, it’ll be half term before you know it….
by Ingrid Clover, Bonas MacFarlane HQ