The Education Blog
Insight 15th August, 2017
Going back to school: the dos and don’ts
A few tips for starting the new school year with confidence
by Sophie Stead
As soon as the summer holidays begin it can somehow feel as if you are already planning the process of going back to school in September: buying school uniforms, planning packed lunches and promising yourself that you won’t ever be late again for the school run. However, the summer holidays give you and your family a great opportunity to relax, recoup and the perfect opportunity to plan ahead and consolidate learning before hitting the ground running for the start of a new term.
Do keep things ticking over during the summer: Read, read, and read some more.
Whether you are planning a stay-cation or jetting off around the world, encouraging your children to take their favourite books with them will ensure that their vocabulary and mental agility continues to develop. The summer offers an excellent opportunity for consolidation and ensures students start the new term feeling confident.
Many schools and companies like Enjoy Education will offer summer holiday reading lists for every year group. School librarians are a great source of advice, too.
We regularly support families whose children struggle or don’t enjoy reading. There are some great apps out there to help with this process and the Enjoy team can recommend the best ways to encourage your children to engage with literature! Don’t forget you can also try audio books on those long car journeys.
Do plan term-time clubs and after-school activities
Most schools will offer a range of activities and after-school clubs to support your children and give them a chance to try fun extra-curricular activities. Talk to your children about the clubs they’d like to do ahead of term so that you can manage your diary and sign up as soon as the new term starts. Planning ahead can help your children feel excited about the start of the new school year.
Do plan ahead
If your child is facing exams in the new school year then thinking about resources and further support in advance will help to reduce any stress ahead of the exams. Drip-feeding knowledge and exam techniques helps to embed deeper learning and increase confidence, essential before any exam. Your child’s school and companies such as Enjoy Education will be able to recommend resources, courses and learning support.
Do speak to the headteacher and class teachers at the start of term
If you are worried about your child’s progress, then do book in a meeting with your Head or your child’s class teacher for the start of term to discuss how they can further support your child and review their current learning strategy to ensure your child is able to progress with confidence.
Do keep to a routine
The back to school routine can be demanding on both parents and children and it’s tempting to let it slide entirely during the long holidays. However, keeping a clear bedtime and mealtime routine especially towards the summer holidays will ensure that the transition back to school is (a little) easier for you as well as them!
Do use your holiday surrounding for creative learning:
If you are heading to the beach, a park or local museum, then use the opportunity to encourage your children to be curious about their surroundings. You could ask them to pick out trees, explain what they can see, or to write about their experience that day. Fantastic for improving vocabulary and encouraging a discursive approach to learning.
For those of you who are sending children off to school for the first time, the Autumn term can be daunting. Letting your child try on their uniform and doing a couple of dummy runs can help to reduce anxiety on both sides. The start of term can seem frantic and full of stress for everyone involved but planning ahead helps to ease in and remember, half term is never too far around the corner!
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