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How to get the best start to the School year 

Haileybury’s teachers share their tips and tricks on how to enjoy a smooth start to the new school year

NEWS 1 Feb 2022

The beginning of a new school year brings a mixture of excitement, nerves and a return to routine. The long summer holidays become a distant memory as students and families re-acquaint themselves with the classroom, extra-curricular activities and homework.

So how can you make the transition back to school as seamless as possible? We asked some of Haileybury’s teachers to share their tips and tricks on how students and parents of all year levels can enjoy a smooth start to the new school year…

Junior School:

Tips from Luci Hill, Haileybury Junior School Teacher

  • Encourage students to practice getting dressed in their school uniform. For the first few days, help them get started and let them complete the rest until they can do it by themselves.
  • Set up good bedtime routines as early as possible, even in the weeks before school starts. Children need sleep for their brains to be ready to learn.
  • Try not to overload your child with lots of after school activities at the start of the year. It’s important to let them settle into the year without filling the after-school calendar too soon!
  • Initially, students may be very tired after school so limit homework to 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Have a practice picnic so your child knows how to open their lunch containers and manage their food. Involve children in choosing and packing their lunch and include vegetables, fresh fruit, cheese, yoghurt, lean meat, wholemeal bread and water.
  • Talk positively about going to school, making new friends and trying new things.
  • Practice playing games where people raise their hand to say something and wait for their turn to talk and help children understand that not everyone gets a chance to talk, even though they put up their hand.

Middle School:

Tips from Brianna Witte, Haileybury Head of Thrive (Middle School)

  • Set up a study space at home in a brightly lit area.
  • Help students choose an organisational system to manage their time, like the Haileybury diary or Outlook calendar function.
  • A regular schedule is important to keep up with homework and encourage children to note down homework in one place.
  • Support your child with time management by helping them set designated times to work on different subjects, to play sport and to relax.
  • Ask children about their day and encourage them to ask teachers if they have questions.
  • Students may need laptops for homework but apart from this, limiting screen time is important so children have time to be active.

Senior School:

Tips from Graham Leys, Haileybury Head of Senior Boys and Helen Wadden, Head of Senior Girls

  • Encourage students to share with you their study and homework timetable and due dates for major assessments so you can support them during those times.
  • Help students get into the habit of being organised from the start of the week by checking their emails the previous day, so they know what’s on and where.
  • Discuss how they can maintain flexibility in their study timetable and add or re-prioritise items.
  • Parents can connect with their child’s Head of House who is the first point of contact for academic or social concerns.
  • Ensure students recognise the importance of attending tutor groups where important information is shared. Encourage them to take part in House activities too, so they can get to know their peers and create memories.