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Preparing for Your First Term

Suggested Ideas to help your child prepare for their first term at secondary school. Listed below are a few suggestions you may find useful from ‘The School Run’:

  • Buy an alarm clock: Gates close at 08:40am, so if you have a long journey you may have an early start.
  • Always eat some breakfast, even if you feel nervous. It’s a long time until lunch.
  • Put in plenty of practice at tying your tie. You’ll need to be able to do it at speed and under pressure (i.e. after PE). Then practice putting it on and taking it off without undoing it to help speed up the process!
  • If you need to use a travel pass, make sure you apply for it in plenty of time – it may take a couple of weeks to come through, so don’t leave it until the end of the holidays.
  • Work out your route to school, whether you are walking or taking public transport. Practice until you are confident and time yourself.
  • Buy a very big, very strong bag. You will have loads to carry. And that’s not counting the days when you’ll have your PE kit.
  • If you can, find a friend to walk with on your first day. Things won’t seem so daunting if you can go with someone.
  • Don’t call it ‘playtime’ – it’s ‘break’ now.
  • Be prepared to just ‘hang out’ at break.
  • Work out how you’ll be paying for your lunch – at Beacon Hill we use the fingerprint system, make sure you’re topped up if you don’t receive free school meals.
  • Find out where the toilets are.
  • When it’s PE, time is always precious, so for boys, go for adjustable waist trousers – there’s no time to be fiddling with a belt. If PE is the first period, you may be able to wear your shorts under your trousers for a quick change.
  • When you are given your timetable, make at least three copies: one for your bag, one for your pocket and a spare for home.
  • Get your new friends’ contact details – you may need to give them a call if you have a last-minute homework panic.
  • Be organised. You will be given a student planner, use it to write down your homework – when there is so much going on, it’s easy to forget.
  • Go through your timetable and pack your bag the night before – there’s never time in the morning to find your maths book.
  • Never be afraid to ask for help if you’re not sure where to go.
  • At lesson changeover, stick with someone who knows where they’re going. And don’t try to go against the flow of traffic, you’ll only get lost!
  • Relax and try to enjoy it – in no time at all, it’ll seem like you’ve always been there, and this time next year, you’ll be showing the new intake around the school.