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28 Sept 2022

What to expect in first year at secondary school

Patrons of Portlaoise's fourth secondary school announced

File photo

The change from national school to secondary can be a big one for some kids. So a few little ideas that may help.
So day 1. You will be nervous everyone is.
It is all new and it looks so much bigger than you are used to. That’s ok everyone else is nervous too. They may not seem like they are but they are.
There are simple things you need to get used to.

1. Timetable. Get used to the structure of the day. What time does class start? What time is little break, what time is lunch at and what time is home time?

2. The subjects change usual after either 40 minutes or 60 minutes. Make sure you check your timetable at night so that you are sure you have what you need for the next day.

3. In the first few days you will get lost. It happens all the time just follow the others in your class or ask a teacher.

4. Try not to forget essentials. Pens, pencils, gear for pe, and whatever you may need for class. Remember the lunch. It is amazing what students forget. For first few weeks good idea to have bag ready night before.

5. Do not be afraid of the teachers and to ask them for help if you are stuck especially if you have forgotten something or are not feeling well.

6. Lockers are something that is new for most. A good lock for them is always a good policy and tape a spare key somewhere in your bag.

7. Make new friends. If you have come from a small school and have only a few that you know that may be in another class talk to the new people around you. It does not take a lot of effort but you are going to have to engage with other. If you know a lot of people already it is easier but try to make a new friend.

8. I always hope that if you see someone else struggling that you might just say hello. It may help them a lot.

9. Get involved. What are you into is it sport, debating, chess? Find out what is in the school and get stuck in.

10. Be in. Try not to miss especially early in the year.

11. Do your homework. Even if you find what you are doing hard try to do your homework. It is vital.

12. If you are getting a hard time do not be afraid to tell your parents and a teacher. Teachers are there to help. Most issues can be resolved quickly but you have to tell someone if you are under pressure.

Try to enjoy yourself. School can be a great place, a place to make loads of new friends and to try something new but you have to make the effort.

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