Top Tips for Going Back to School in 2014

Starting a new school year can be a little stressful, particularly for children entering their GCSE or A-Level years. Results become important, university applications are a primary concern, and the pressure of performing can be too much for many. You’re probably feeling a mix of emotions from the excitement and nervousness of starting a new academic year to the sadness that your summer holiday is coming to an end. Luckily these worries won’t last forever as you’ll soon find yourself back into the swing of things come September 2014.

Let’s find out a little more about going back to school in 2014. The following top tips will help any student, from those just starting secondary school to those entering that crucial final year before University.

Get Into a Routine

The summer holidays have a tendency of throwing our sleeping patterns completely out of sync. You start going to bed later and later and it can almost be considered a miracle if you slump out of bed anytime before midday. Unlike previous first days at school, you will be expected to hit the ground running on your first weeks back at secondary school.

Before your first day back, you need to snap out of this routine. Having terrible sleeping patterns will have a huge effect on your ability to concentrate and absorb knowledge during classes. You’ll feel lethargic and out of sorts, not to mention the lack of energy for homework after school.

Try and change your schedule a week before classes are due to start. Slowly start going to bed earlier so you can ease yourself back into waking up early enough to be on time for school.

Buy What You Need

Whether it’s a calendar, a brand new set of pens of every imaginable colour, or just a collection of notebooks, make sure you are kitted out with everything you need well before the beginning of term.

You want to avoid the scenario where you arrive completely unprepared, not able to take notes effectively and simply doing everything in a single notebook or worse, random sheets of paper. Here’s a quick list of what we think you’ll need for going back to school:

1. At least 2 good quality Ballpoint pens – An absolute necessity for all students starting secondary school.

2. A selection of Highlighters – great for note-making and highlighting key points on worksheets or exam papers.

3. Paper notebooks – at least 1 notebook per subject.

4. Three-ring binder folders with dividers – these are essential for keeping worksheets, notes and print-outs for all subjects. Some schools and colleges provide these for you, but you can never be too organised!

5. Good quality pencils with a rubber – you’re never too old to revert back to lead. Pencils are great for note-making and provide a reliable back-up just incase you run out of pens.

6. A ruler with English and metric measurements.

7. A scientific calculator – because you never know when you’ll need one.

8. A pencil case to keep it all together in one place.

Stay Organised

Lack of organisation is one of the major disadvantages you can give yourself. Stay organised and you stand every chance of achieving the high grades you desire, and deserve. Summer is a good time to begin drilling habits into your daily routine. You’ll like have limited responsibilities during the summer, so make the most of your spare time and start getting into the habit of being organised.

At the end of each school day, consolidate the notes you have taken and organise them accordingly. Make it very easy to recall what you’ve covered on a given day and make sure you can understand your notes, even if you look at them months later.

When you’re given worksheets or print-offs during the school year, make a real effort to put them away logically and in order. Don’t just stuff them into your notebook, never to be seen again. Take similar steps of organisation from top to bottom and you’ll find you won’t need to waste time organising your folders when it comes to revising for the exams.

Talk to a Private Tutor, and Get Some Impartial Advice

When you arrive at that first lesson, you want to be able to latch onto what you covered last year and make the connection to the new material right from the start. Being lost and befuddled due to a summer away from the books could have you playing catch-up for the rest of the first term. Let’s face it, playing catch up isn’t going to do your marks any favours.

So if you’re feeling rusty before you’re about to go back, we recommend getting some one-on-one tuition in the weeks leading up to your return to school. Ideally, you don’t want to miss a beat at all – think about hiring a private tutor for a few hours before you finish the summer holidays if possible. Quality one-on-one tuition will help you consolidate the knowledge gained in the previous academic year, identify weaknesses in specific subject areas and start building a perfect bridge for the next academic year.

Success at school and college is just as much about effort as it is about investing in the right systems, attitude, staying focused and organised. It’s imperative to get yourself the materials you need, consult a tutor when necessary, organise yourself properly and take care of your body. That alone will have the potential to drive your marks up a notch or two for the coming academic year.