For looked-after children, the end of primary school and a move to secondary school can be a challenge. Education undergoes a significant shift from task-based learning to a more independent and self-directed approach. To ensure a smooth transition, it is crucial for looked-after children to develop effective study skills.
In this blog post, we have gathered some essential study skills for looked-after children (ones we often communicate to the virtual schools we work with when providing online alternative provision support!), so that their transition from primary to secondary school can be as seamless as possible.
One of the key study skills children need to develop is good organisational and time management habits. Breaking down tasks into manageable chunks and setting achievable goals are crucial aspects of effective planning and preparation. By practicing these skills, children can alleviate stress and increase their willingness to complete their work. Encourage children to reflect and re-evaluate their progress once they have achieved their goals.
Learn how to take notes
Note-taking is a fundamental skill that can significantly enhance a child’s learning experience. We suggest engaging children with topics they find interesting, such as videos, stories, or newspaper articles. Set a specific target for the number of notes or bullet points they should take to summarise the information. Encourage verbalising the notes and transforming them back into full sentences to ensure comprehension. This exercise helps children develop better note-taking techniques and comprehension skills.
Explore revision techniques
Creating a revision timetable is a valuable practice for effective time management. The timetable should include dedicated study periods, breaks, and non-exam related activities. By incorporating breaks and leisure time, children are more likely to engage in focused studying during other periods. Visual learners can benefit from techniques such as drawing diagrams and colour-coding. Additionally, encourage children to look at past papers to help familiarise them with the question format and develop strategies for answering them effectively.
Build up research skills
In an era dominated by the internet, it is important to help children explore research beyond simple online searches. Encourage them to be creative in finding information by speaking to friends, adults or individuals in the local community who may have knowledge on the topic. Utilising resources like old newspapers, photographs, and books from home or the library can provide fresh perspectives and improve research skills.
Work on time management
Teaching children the importance of time management is crucial for their overall success. A timetable can help children visualise how they spend their time, balancing study hours with other activities. It is essential for children to understand the significance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Encourage studying in manageable chunks, revisiting key areas, and setting small, achievable goals. These habits cultivate valuable life skills and contribute to long-term success.
As children transition to secondary school, it becomes increasingly important for them to develop effective study skills. By implementing these tips, you can play an active role in helping children acquire these skills. Prioritising organisation, note-taking, revision techniques, research skills, and time management can equip children with the necessary tools for independent learning and academic success.
Keep in mind that tutoring for schools is still available and subsidised by the government via the NTP – it can serve as a valuable confidence builder for students seeking additional assistance and guidance throughout a transition to secondary school.