Arklow CBS

Tips & Tools 3rd & 6th Years

25-March-20

Tips and tools to flourish and succeed 6th & 3rd years

We are all operating in a changed environment at present. This means that there will be massive changes to how teachers and students had planned to manage their work and preparation for their classes.

There are a few stages we need to embrace before we can all move forward:

  1. We must accept that for the present we will all do our work differently. With this mindset change is key.
  2. Planning. ‘First things first’. Draw up a workable plan/timetable for your school days at home, or follow your current school timetable. Your teachers will have informed you how they will communicate with you. Plan your work around this. You will also need to be mindful if there’s only one device which facilitates online learning in your household. Is it possible that your sibling(s) or parent(s) / guardian(s) need to use this device at certain times of the day too? You will need to plan around this. Post this plan on your phone and on the wall where you study.
  3. Routinemay sound boring, but it is your best ally for the greatest satisfaction, productivity and success. Set a routine of studying at the same time each day. You already have a routine of following your school timetable, so if this works for you, continue to follow it. Your brain will become used to studying at the same time and will be trained to learn during those moments.

School work

  1. You are used to working within the school day timescale. Keep to that routine as much as possible. This will also help greatly when schools resume.

  1. Give yourself enough time to complete the work set by your teachers – rushing through work is not helpful to the learning process. 40-50 minute blocks per subject every day followed by 10 min break. If you are following your school timetable, follow the 40 minute blocks and take the usual break and lunch that we do in school.

  1. Use the time allocated with you teacher online to make sure you seek clarity on any new material you may be covering.

  1. If you are confused or concerned over work assigned, email that teacher to clarify what you need to do.

Study

The next few weeks are an opportunity for you to consolidate the knowledge that you have accumulated over the last number of years.

  1. Separate schoolwork from study as you do in the normal course of the week. Study happens after the schoolwork is completed.

  1. Have a designated quiet and clean study area. Get rid of distractions e.g. phones, tablets, game consoles. It is best not to listen to music while studying so your mind is fully focused.

  1. Studies have shown it is best not to read over a chunk of text. Instead, take short notes, use flash cards, introduce highlighters and different coloured pens, draw mind maps, practice exam questions. Explain a science topic to a family member to ensure your understanding, you can listen to a language through apps and online while out for a walk or you can work with friends and peers online if that works for you.

  1. This is a fantastic opportunity to practice key exam preparation skills: Timing yourself as you simulate exam conditions is an example of an important exam skill.

  1. Review your mock papers and note how you can improve on your answers.If you didn’t do well in a certain area on the paper, attempt the question again and send it to your teacher to be corrected in hope that you will have done better this time round.

  1. Organise your revision notes.

Useful general guidelines

  • Keep hydrated, eat and sleep well. (You’re not on holidays so no late-night social media, Netflix or gaming. You need to be able to get up in the morning as if you were getting up to attend school). Get plenty of fresh air and exercise, while keeping social distancing in place.

  • Be mindful of the reasons schools have closed – social distancing to reduce spread of Covid-19. Think of enjoyable ways to enjoy your down-time with family as face to face interactions with friends are discouraged.

Don’t arrange a usual meeting with friends, instead talk in a group chat or online. Read that book that you’ve had on the shelf since Christmas or participate in ‘create don’t contaminate’.

  • Mind your mind! Fretting about what may happen is unhelpful. Stay positive, good humoured and engaged with others, especially family.It is important not to panic and worry about things beyond your control. Information about when we are to go back to school and examination information will all be given to us in due course.

  • Every exam student in the country is in the same situation so you are not at a disadvantage to anyone else.

  • Finally avoid feeling overwhelmed and procrastinating – put your work plan together and start acting on it today!

  • If you are feeling overwhelmed and feel that you need to talk, you can email either of the guidance counsellors during school hours who will be happy to help. You can contact Ms. Whelan on cwhelan@arklowcbs.ie or Ms. Rooney on srooney@arklowcbs.ie. Seek the help if you feel you need it.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, it is the one that is most adaptable to change”

Charles Darwin

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