As we approach the end of the year all students really want to do is have a break! I get it, they are tired and most likely have limped, or are still limping, to the end of the school year. Before they do however it is important students undertake some end of year reflection and planning. A couple of important activities they should undertake are:
- reflecting on the year they have had and their results (when known);
- reviewing and pack up their school books and belongings;
- purchasing books and stationery for the new school year; and
- planning out and starting holiday homework.
All students should take time to undertake self reflection which is an important and necessary part of the learning process. Students need to take the time to reflect on their overall results, exam results and school reports. It can be useful for students to reflect on what they did well, didn’t do well and what changes they could put into practice next year at school. Key questions they might like to ask themselves are:
- what worked;
- what didn’t work; and
- what they could change next time round.
All students should take the time to self reflect, whether they did or didn’t do well. For those who achieved good results they need to know why so they can continue to replicate them going forward. For those that didn’t, to learn from it, work out what they can they do differently next time to avoid the same issues or mistakes going forward.
Reviewing and packing up books and belongings
At this time of year most students can’t wait to get away from their books so having a general clean out shouldn’t be too hard. Students should:
- work out what materials they need to keep – I usually recommended to students that they keep books/notes from the past year as a reference tool if they are continuing with those subjects again the following year. Sometimes students might also like to keep an assignment or assessment they are really proud of or even take a photo of it if they don’t have it saved electronically.
- what they no longer need – most students are very quick to say they don’t need anything which is quite possibly true (other than as noted above). Grab the recycling bin and throw out anything they are unlikely to need.
- work out what stationery can be re used – most schools often suggest purchasing new items every year, however, that is usually unnecessary as many bits and pieces can be reused. Students should work out what is still in good working order and then purchase only those bits and pieces they really need.
- empty and clean out their school bag – as this is likely to get packed away for a long period of time it is important to ensure this is empty and clean. Students want to avoid any nasty surprises being found at the end of summer in their bags (believe me it happens regularly and I found rotten fruit only the other day in a students bag)!
- clear their desk space/s – ensure these too are cleared and clean so they will be ready to use over the summer or for when a student goes back to school. Remove any items that don’t belong there including loose papers, books and other bits and pieces.
It’s a good idea for students to spend a bit of time now going through and organising their school work now rather than putting it off and finding it all still piled up as the summer or holidays are coming to an end!
Purchasing books and stationery for the new year
Most schools issue book and stationery lists before the school year is over and it is suggested that students, or their parents, purchase what is needed as soon as possible. This is particularly important for school novels that many students are asked to read over the school break as well as for senior students to get a head start on the year ahead.
Planning out and starting holiday homework
Many students, particularly senior students (Year 11-12) will usually be assigned holiday homework and they should plan this out rather than leave it all until just before they start back. The ideal is for students to complete some of this work now, have a break over the christmas/new year period and then pick it up again in early/mid January. By doing this, students will avoid the nasty shock of doing very little and then being expected to be on top of their game from Day 1 when school goes back.
It can also be useful for Year 11 and 12 students to check out and read the subject details that they will be studying on their relevant state’s curriculum website.
By planning ahead and completing work, all students can be confident with their start back at school and it is likely to set them up for greater success.
For more information on the work I do to assist students with their organisation, time management and study skills, please get in touch:
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