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Tips for organisation in grammar school?(29 Posts)
DS is a bright but not very practical boy in his first year of Grammar school (we are in NI). He’s 11.
His first report has come through and is pretty dire. He basically isn’t able to organise himself. I spoke to his form tutor earlier this year and he said they’d try to help. Really though I think it needs to come from DS.
Does anyone have any practical tips for how their children are organised?
DS has about 12 subjects and it’s a nightmare.
A few things that we found helped in the first year were:
Copy of weekly timetable in his bedroom and in the kitchen
Separate folder for each subject so handouts etc at least made it to the folder if not the exercise book!
Bags packed and checked the night before.
Also checked that pens, calculators etc were in the bag.
Really don’t understand the point of saying your DS is at a gramnar school though, how is that relevant?
Being organised at Grammar School is the same as for any other school I imagine. Which bits is he struggling with?
Not sure why you feel the need to highlight the fact he is at a grammar - his struggles are no different from a pupil at any secondary school making the step up from primary.
We have 10 popper a4 wallets (Monday week A, Tuesday week B) and each has a sticker with her classes on that day written down so she just has to pick up the correct wallet and fill it will her books for that day. We have also laminated a credit card size timetable so she can have it in her blazer pocket as the paper versions were falling apart every 2 weeks.
Things have been much better since we implemented these things.
You need to scaffold for him until he can do it by himself.
locations for books at home
way to track when homework is due
checking through timetable when packing bag
You can't expect him to just 'get' it without help.
My DC have a pencil case (or plastic wallet) containing all essential stationery items. This lives in a blazer pocket, is only taken out during lessons at school and then goes straight back in pocket. We have another set of items for them to use at home. School diary goes in another pocket, always to be put back in after use. That means they always have most of the items they need. They also spend the previous evening going through tomorrow's timetable and working out what books need to go to school.
As with others have copy of timetable in the kitchen and bedrooms.
When they started it helped to write deadlines for homework in date order (so in order they were due in) somewhere prominent.
DD has a plastic wallet with 5 sections, which she reloads every night with the things for 1 lesson in each section. DS favours the everything in a pile approach!
My DC are at a comprehensive though, so it might be different at grammar
Sorry to those I offended with the Grammar school subject line. I wasn’t trying to be snooty. In NI there is a distinction. We also have a non functioning local government and a poor record on women’s rights.
I’m not expecting him to ‘get it’ without help but because I didn’t go to school in this country I have no idea what help to give him.
@Hersetta427, the 10 folders sound like a great idea!
Where did you find plastic folders strong enough to hold a whole day’s worth of work? Laminated credit card timetable sounds v good too!
@RedSkyLastNight thank you for your help! I will try writing out the homework dates. Where did you find the folder with 5 compartments?
Again, thanks everyone for their comments and apologies to those who I appear to have offended.
We got two 5 draw plastic stacking things where DD keeps school stuff in. Books, PE kit etc. Also have a laminated copy of time table. She has a weekly planner where she writes down when homework is due and packs her bag the evening before making sure all gomework due in has been done. Any odds and sods get put on the family calendar on our phones for 7.15am...
She is a bloody nightmare though and has found it a bit of a learning curve
I’m a Year 7 form tutor and this is what I tell my kids:
Small laminated timetable in blazer pocket, visual reminder of which week it is at home (and in form room)
Pack bags every night (with parents)
Write homework in planner immediately (no, you will not remember it later!)
Do homework on the day it is set
Ask teachers how they want homework. Some kids come with strange ideas from primary. Work is usually not on extra sheets but in the relevant book. This might obviously differ from school to school.
We do as others have suggested plus for each DC a checklist of extras for each day, eg Monday - PE kit, Tuesday trombone on the back of the front door
Thank you thank you!
How do I get a small laminated copy of the timetable?
Take a photocopy and cover it in selotape. That's what I do.
Smiths do (or used to do) some good quality A4 pocket envelopes. The cheap ones aren't up to the job as too flimsy.
Separate pencil cases for home and school. School one never leaves the rucksack when at home.
Thank you all very much!
I have a scanner, so I’ll scan it, reduce it and then tape it up.
Just to add to the great ideas above, be careful you have plan to wean off the support. I have a friend with a 17 year old DS who still requires home work proof reading, chasing up on home homework, help with checking on bag etc. Don’t fall into that trap!
DD has a copy of her timetable on the inside of her locker and her blazer pocket. If finances allow the more heavy text books are great to have a copy at home to avoid taking to and from school all the time (and avoid leaving in one place or the other). DD’s maths book weighs 2kg!
We have lots of time table copies
One in the kitchen at home
One in dc bedroom
One to carry around
One in locker
A4 folder that has lots of sections- one for each subject. Homework gets done that night and put straight into the correct section for whenever it is due.
Our school has a homework app so we don’t have to worry about missing any.
Extra language dictionaries, a set for home and a set for school.
We have 5 cardboard magazine holders labelled Monday - Friday.
At the end of each day when DDs are packing their bags they put the books not needed for the next day in the relevant folder. So, if their next English lesson is on Wednesday they put the book, dictionary etc in that holder.
They then know that if the book isn't in the holder or in their bag then the teacher has it.
It makes bag packing much easier too.
Off to copy and label his timetable more clearly.
I will shrink it down to pocket size and laminate.
Board to stick stuff too.
I bought an expanding file to keep stuff in.
Finally I bought 10 A4 zipper wallets to keep work for the different days in. These will have stickers with the day’s timetable attached.
We found these folders useful for holding exercise books plus textbooks (size was larger than A4 but not as big as A3).
They are very hard wearing. Available on Amazon and eBay.
Yes @helpmum2003, thanks! I have ordered 12 of those as the daily folders.
I found the popper wallets were breaking. These might be more resilient. Glad to hear they are!
Does the school post homework anywhere that parents can see it? My school uses the SIMs parent app. Teachers record homework on SIMs along with the deadline. Parents can then see it on the app. Even though DD is in year 13, I still double-check with her - "have you done the work for Mr X due in on Tuesday?"
I allow children whose writing is awful or who are just poorly organised to take a photo on their phone of anything technical that I have put on the board. I have a very relaxed view about using phones anyway (supported by the school which trusts teachers' discretion) and kids really appreciate it. Could you ask if this is possible for your DS?
Finally, I teach one kid individually who was a nightmare in years 7 & 8 in terms of his organisation. This year has been a revelation. I asked him what had changed as he was now studying for GCSEs. He said that he had sat down with his mum and ordered some different coloured folders, one for each subject. They coloured his timetable in the same colours. Anything and everything is put in these folders. The previous evening, he checks tomorrow's lessons by colour and puts those folders in his bag.
Oooooo colour coding the folders and timetable.
Genius. My zipper folders have arrived. I am going to make sure they all match.
DS’s handwriting is pretty bad. He is left handed and had occupational therapy for it when he was younger. I will ask if he can take photos.
We have no visibility of the work he is assigned. I was given a worksheet that showed what percentage each assignment was worth but not when it was assigned or due which was unhelpful. DS seemed unsure as to what was what and when his actual exams were.
I would liked a first term meeting with his form tutor to be honest but there weren’t any.
I had to call the form tutor when DS seemed miserable to ask about organisation but he said the school would do their best on their side to help DS.
Mine have a box each downstairs that their books go into when not in their bag. It has a timetable on it for them to check what they need, including PE kit etc
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