School’s Out – But not for Long!
Getting off to a good start is crucial for a successful school year whatever stage you may be at. Use this simple checklist to help you prepare for the start of term.
Equipment – What will I Need?
Schools will often publish supply lists to make sure students have everything they need for lessons. For younger students, this could simply be a pencil case with pencils, rubber, ruler and some coloured pencils. Generally, the school will provide any exercise books or folders.
At secondary school, there may be additional requirements such as a particular type of calculator which may change as you get higher up the school. Look at your timetable or curriculum for any new subjects like Food Technology where additional equipment such as aprons and containers will often be required. A decent, practical bag or back pack will also prove essential.
Uniform or Dress Code – What am I going to Wear?
Every school is different, so it is important that you check with the school for any uniform that is required. It could be that generic school uniform items bought on the High Street in a particular colour are fine. However, some schools have specific uniform available from only certain providers. In this case, if you wish to save money, ask the school if there is a second hand uniform shop where you can buy outgrown second hand items. Also, remember, your local council may provide a clothing grant for those on certain benefits. It costs nothing to inquire.
Don’t forget to look at the PE kit list which may include football boots, shin pads, mouth guards etc. Few things are more embarrassing for kids than discovering they are the only one in their class who doesn’t have a hockey stick or the right pair of shorts.
Even for students starting college where there is no uniform, it is important to check if there is a dress code and whether your wardrobe will work. Many colleges ask students to wear smart clothes and don’t allow jeans. You’ll want to make the right impression on your first day.
Before the Bell Rings – Where do I go?
When starting a new school or college, it is helpful to have made a previous visit so you know where to go on the first day. Many schools have official induction days to acclimatise new students, thereby making the first day of term a less stressful time. If you’re changing schools at an unusual time, ask the school for a visit. They will be happy to show you around and introduce you to a few key staff.
If a visit wasn’t possible, call the school in the last few days of the holidays. Someone there will be able to explain where to go and when.
Study time – Where can I do my Homework and Who can Help?
Study at home is an important part of education – from reading with parents or carers at the beginning of primary school, to working on coursework in preparation for GCSEs, right through to the intense self-study necessary at diploma level. It is useful to plan where and when you can do your homework before you get any.
Make sure there is a quiet space available with as few distractions as possible. It might be that as a family you need to book in time for each child at the kitchen table with someone around to be able to help. Knowing where they can get support from helps students to work independently and persevere for longer. If you’re studying a complex subject at college and have surpassed Mum and Dad, look for websites with homework help pages. And remember, if noise and distraction becomes too much to bear, there’s always the local or university library.
…And Relax – What else can I do to put School out of my Mind?
Relaxing and enjoying yourself are just as important as your school or coursework. By joining a new club or team outside school, you can develop different skills and make friends. Planning in recreation time during the week can make even the most daunting and crucial of academic years seem like less of a challenge.
About The Author:
Amy Harris is a writer for FinancialTraining.co.uk – which helps British and international students find the right financial courses in London and the UK. Amy is an American expat herself, and enjoys helping people with their careers and financial advice.