Back to School Tips!

The start of the school year can be daunting for many students, with lazy holiday sleep-in’s making way for timetables and homework. Australian International School (AIS) teacher Michaela Dalgleish shares her expert tips for giving your child the best possible start to the year.

BALANCE & PLANNING
Encourage your child to plan their week early and block out periods of time for study, co-curricular activities and rest. “Establishing good time management skills and study routines is a priority at the beginning of a new academic year and will lay the foundation for a successful twelve months ahead,” says Michaela. “Use a diary and record important events when you learn of them!”

SLEEP IS IMPORTANT
“Primary age students need 10-11 hours (on average) of sleep per night,” says Michaela. “A good sleep schedule, alongside a balanced and nutritious diet increases your child’s ability to perform at their best during school hours.”

SET GOALS
As the summer holidays wind up, start a relaxed conversation with your child about the upcoming year. “Chat about what they’re most looking forward to and what they hope to achieve in the following year,” says Michaela. “Set goals around independence and how they can take responsibility for their own learning – from packing their bag in the mornings to improving maths fluency and recall.”

SAME SAME, BUT DIFFERENT
Being anxious or worried about a new class or year level is very common – check in with your school to see what support they offer. “AIS has a wonderful transition program that allows the students to meet their teacher and new classmates prior to the summer holidays,” says Michaela. “Encourage your child to embrace the ‘differences’ as new and exciting challenges that lay ahead.”

COMMUNICATION
Support your child’s new school year by connecting with their teacher and getting involved in school events. “Communication is the key!” says Michaela. “Don’t forget to ask questions of your child; what can you do that will help them be the best version of themselves, all year round? Children are great at answering this, if you just take time to ask.”

MAKE A BUDDY
Singapore is a very transient place and students experience regular good-byes and new arrivals in the classroom. “Encourage your child to be a risk-taker and confidently approach students in the playground and class, to initiate and nurture new friendships,” says Michaela. “At AIS we use a buddy system’where students are paired with a variety of different classmates over the first few weeks to meet and form friendships, not just in their own class but across the year level too. A smile and a simple, ‘May I join in too?’ is always a great start!”

What the kids say!

“I would encourage everyone to be a risk-taker and to try a new sport or a new CCA. It’s great to be part of a new team or sport, making friends and having fun. Also, I’d say to any new student not to worry, because we’ve all been in your shoes before with trying something new.’ Charlotte, Year 3

“Put your desk in a quiet space so you can concentrate. Don’t put any games or toys in your workspace or you will get distracted.” Joshua, Year 3

“Ask questions if you don’t understand, and make sure you get involved in conversations and activities in the classroom.” Lois, Year 4