Crossing the Chasm from Primary to Secondary School
Moving from primary to secondary school is a major landmark for every young student. As the summer holiday fun begins, there will have been friends for life made, some tearful goodbyes and many moments captured, to live on in the memory forever.
Secondary school, or big school as it was often referred to in my day, seems a long time away. Yet, as adults, we know that it’s just around the corner.
For every wildly excited child, there will be another filled with uncertainty and trepidation about what the new school experience will bring for them. I know when it was my turn, there were many horror stories about what lay in wait, but thankfully, it was mostly bluster from mean elder siblings and friends.
Stepping up to the challenges of secondary school is a big deal. New surroundings, new class mates, new teachers and an altogether new set of expectations from appearance to conduct to achievements. It all comes together to make the first term or so a very rich tapestry indeed!
That’s before we get to the educational demands. These days, most students have experienced homework in one form or another, well before secondary school comes around. What may come as a shock to many is the increase in assignments and projects.
Many schools ease pupils in, whilst for others, it’s straight into the deep end. Regardless, they will soon experience a demanding cadence of class work, homework, projects and extracurricular activities.
It’s in this whirl, where students are simply trying to get through the work, that standards can slip. It isn’t simply a case of grades suffering due to the volume of work. The real challenge comes in keeping up with the learning schedule. I know from personal experience as a student that struggled, and of course as a professional private tutor that once behind, it can take a monumental effort to catch up.
A friend of mine has a teenage that struggled through secondary school and it didn’t come together for him until Year 11! Talk about making hard work of it. All because of the overwhelm, combined with missed basics, experienced in Year 7.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, far from it. As a private tutor, I work with students as they embark on secondary education and towards their GCSEs, they typically excel at every stage.
Why is this? Because they are thoroughly prepared for what’s coming and because they have thoroughly learned how to problem solve independently. This skill is invaluable in generating high levels of confidence, which in turn boosts learning power.
Who does better, a student lacking confidence because they feel underprepared, or a thoroughly prepared student who is oozing confidence in their craft?
The difference in demeanour is quite staggering and this is often reflected in exam grades.
Private tuition provides the one to one focus that proves very difficult to provide in most schools. By providing a full spectrum of GCSE subjects, my students are often able to achieve beyond theirs or their parents’ expectations.
If you’d like to know more about how I may be able to help your child, please get in touch today.