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some schools have a policy requiring students to use the bathroom between classes or on break time however, if a child has to go, they will be allowed, says Linda O only subject in which the new programme is being introduced to this year first year cohort is English, says Irwin. The controversial school based assessment proposal will not be implemented until the second year of the course.
There are formal parent teacher meetings during the year at which parents can discuss any academic issues with the relevant teacher. If your child has to miss school for some reason, simply phone the school, says Irwin, speak to the secretary and follow up with a note or an entry in the child student journal. If there is an ongoing issue with absenteeism, parents should talk to the year head, class tutor or guidance counsellor.
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Different schools have different policies with regard to homework. There are no hard and fast rules for the amount of time pupils should spend on homework. A broad guideline for first year students would be an hour and a half. Keep an eye on the homework, says Irwin: will know your own child pace. An hour and a half, or slightly more, is probably enough. suggest that the child joins a homework club or supervised study session if this is available at the school, says O also advise parents to read the school homework guidelines and to consult the school if there is a problem. important to help your child settle into a good study routine from the beginning, says Irwin. If your child does their homework at home, he says, make sure they have a set study location and that there is a regular time when homework is done.
A new chapter for first year students
MY first day at secondary school left my stomach in knots. The enormous red brick building in the heart of the city was about five times the size of the small rural primary school I had attended, while its long echoing corridors were crammed with students who all seemed to be about twice the size of me.
No, says O at second level children are allocated lockers, and will only bring home the books they need for their homework. However, it can be a good idea to keep a watchful eye in those first few weeks and help them with the organisation of their books says Irwin because if they organise their textbooks properly they will be better able to cope with a new, more complicated school timetable.
Making the move to secondary school can be a big adjustment. Quinlan gets some advice on how parents can make the transition easier.
in well to his or her new second level school, you can consult the year head or class tutor. If your child is having problems with a specific subject, it can be best to approach the relevant teacher through a note or a phone call, and if required, set up a meeting.
Second level schools also tend to have much larger student populations, with many schools catering for 1,000 students or more so the new environment may seem daunting at first. However, remember, second level schools have tried and tested systems in place to help first year students adjust to their new environment. This includes orientation events, student mentoring and buddy systems, and the assignment of teachers who specifically look out for first year students as they settle in.
The often discomfiting jolt of the first day at second level will be experienced by thousands of children in Ireland as they set off on their first big journey into post primary education. So what do they and you the parent need to know to smooth their path a little?
child will need a place to do his or her homework, and a time and routine are important, he says.
Engage with your child about the study routine, advises Irwin: them what they are doing and how they are getting on, especially in the first few weeks. time to talk to your child about why it important to be open to making new friends, says Irwin. Point out that sports and clubs are an important element in making friends. Emphasise that your child should never make anyone else feel uncomfortable or unwelcome.
In more serious situations, it may be necessary to speak with the school principal.
That up to you, says Linda O PRO for the National Parents Council Post Primary. But be aware, she warns, that in many schools children are not allowed to have their mobile phones turned on in class. a distraction and the school will object to pictures being taken in class or calls or texts coming in. If they are seen using it during school time it may be confiscated. than just dealing with one teacher, your child will be interacting with between eight and 10 teachers for different subject and will often move around the school (for example, to the science lab), and will not always be in a class with the same group of students. That variety suits a lot of children, but others find the organisation involved a Nike Air More Uptempo Qs bit of a challenge. Talk to your child about this new routine, advises Philip Irwin, president of the ASTI.
If, for example, you are concerned that your child may not be settling Nike Uptempo Red And White
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do but none of it bore any relation to life at the little seaside primary school I had left the previous June.
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