Caitlin Gaul, from West Derby, is a year 9 student at Broughton Hall. She has written her top ten tips for new year seven pupils.
Being in year 9, it wasn’t long ago I was in your shoes and starting senior school. It may seem a bit daunting at the time, but you will quickly get used to your new surroundings. Hopefully these tips from my past experiences will guide you through year 7 a little easier.
1- Be organised. Make sure to write down your homework in your planner- there is nothing worse than forgetting what to do or when it is due in. Pack your bag the night before with all your books, equipment and homework. I have had plenty of occasions when I have been halfway to school and I had to run back for something I had forgotten. Not good.
2- Don’t be scared to ask older students for help. Senior school seems huge when you first arrive, everyone has been lost at least once – you’ll soon know your way around like the back of your hand. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to ask any teachers or students where to go or what to do. They’ve all been in the same position and know how you feel. They will help you get used to senior school in no time.
3- Join an afterschool club. Clubs are a great way to meet new people and make new friends from different year groups. I have a ton of friends that vary in age due to attending clubs, whether it is sport or music or art, there will always be somebody there who shares the same interests as you. There are many great things you gain from participating in clubs, such as performing or competing; you are bound to make memories that will stay with you forever!
4- Always be on time and punctual to lessons. If you’re 5 minutes late to each lesson, you miss 25 minutes of learning a day! Being late interrupts the teacher and the students – the whole lesson in general.
5- Be respectful to all of your teachers. Don’t misbehave in lessons; it annoys the students as well as the teacher. If you need to speak to your teacher about something, they will always have time for your queries after the lesson or after school. ‘The only stupid question is the one you don’t ask’; as somebody once said.
6- Try to have full attendance. If you miss two weeks of school, that means you have 50 lessons to catch up on. Being behind is tricky when the entire class is ahead of you and you have to keep up. Ask a friend or stay behind with a teacher to help you fill in on the things that you have missed.
7- Put in the time and effort to complete homework. When I have tried my hardest with homework I notice positive feedback and rewards from teachers, so it really pays off to get a piece of homework of your highest standard in on time.
8- Don’t be afraid to interact with new people. Everyone is in the same boat as you. Whether they’re in your class or not, don’t be shy about introducing yourself and getting to know people who you didn’t go to primary school with. Friends are the perk of senior school; you meet people who you stay in touch with even after you leave school, perhaps for life, and year 7 is a perfect place to start.
9- Get to know your teachers. If you do clubs or speak to your teachers on a regular basis, going to lessons won’t seem as bad. They are always there to talk to if you have any worries or need help.
10– Enjoy your first year of secondary school! You are only in year 7 once so make the most of it, meet new people and have fun! It is an exciting year with plenty of changes and new beginnings. I’m left with a load of funny and amazing memories of year 7, and I’m sure you will be too!