The beginning of secondary school is a critical time for students. It evokes a variety of emotions, behaviours and concerns for both young adolescents and their parents or other caregivers. For many it is considered a major stepping stone on the way to becoming an adult. It can also provide students with an opportunity for a fresh start as they are introduced to the culture and expectations of their new school. Transition to secondary school is marked by several changes in educational expectations and practices. In most primary schools, students are taught mainly in single classrooms, with a familiar set of classmates, by one to three teachers. However, once students reach secondary school, they interact with many more students, in different classrooms, with more teachers, and often with different expectations for both performance and responsibility.
Tutoring: If learning difficulties have been identified, additional tutoring in that subject may be beneficial for students. Studies show that academic results improve.
Sleep: Sleep is vital. In fact, children between the ages of 5 and 12 years need between 10 and 11 eleven hours of sleep a night.
Healthy Diet: Research shows that a healthy breakfast of protein and carbohydrates increases concentration skills and problem solving capacity, as well as improves grades. A balanced breakfast boosts performance for the whole day, and also leads to overall improved performance in the long –term.
Creating a workspace and avoiding distractions
By comparison with secondary school students, students in primary school generally have far less homework. They may have overnight tasks or a weekly homework contract system, but they should be spending an average at the beginning 2 – 3 hours completing homework tasks, assessments and revising over set work from class in preparation for half-yearly and yearly exams as memory retention is critical during this 24-hour period
Here are some tips students can use to create a positive workspace and environment:
Avoid using the bed as a desk: Despite the fact the bedroom may be quietest room in the house, attempting to do homework while lying or slouching on the bed is a bad idea. The brain associates the bed with rest – instead, use an upright chair and a flat surface.
Filing and storage systems: A good strategy is having a filing system at home to keep everything organized. A simple method of colour-coding folders according to subject or topic can kick-start a system of organization. When storing information on thumb-drives or laptops, it’s a good idea to set up a system of folders and sub-folders.
Planners and Diaries: As an effective tool for reminding students about upcoming due dates, diaries work well; however students often don’t see the date until they turn the page to the week the assignments is due. As an alternative tool, open faced planners such as a weekly or monthly planner. Consider using phone apps. If the student establishes some form of planning system during the early stages of secondary school, they are more likely to feel they are control and coping with the workload.
Distractions: The student needs to manage and control these typical distractions to avoid procrastination these include Social media networking; Facebook, Instagram, Twitter; mobile phones – calls or texts and TV.
Research suggests that people who have plans, goals or targets and who work steadily towards achieving them, are more likely to be successful in reaching their potential academically, and tend to be more positive about life in general. This can be achieved through:
- Setting goals and planning steps to achieve them gives purpose, direction and keeps motivation levels up. Set S.M.A.R.T learning goals.
- It is highly important for each student to develop an individualized study timetable that prioritizes your study for each night.
Secondary School should be about working smart, not harder. The transition from primary to secondary school is a huge leap. The success the student will achieve in secondary school is very personal. It can, and should, be an adventure that is shared by both parents and their sons and daughters.