Students moving from Transition Year to 5th year also have changes to make. Although they are more readjustments, and getting back into the academic mindset. The impact of starting the Leaving Certificate curriculum can cause much anxiety. Brian Gallagher, secondary school guidance counsellor, advises students to keep it simple. Brian emphasises that little things make a big difference and basic organisation is key to getting back on track.
Brian recommends students to have a copybook (possibly with a different colour cover) for every single subject as this makes it easier to retrieve notes on or for a specific class. “Simply keeping up with your homework is good enough”, Brian says. “Especially for the first term, an hour and a half a night will keep them on target,” he adds.
Parents can trust that the school will put the right amount of pressure on the students. Therefore, parents can take their foot off the pressure pedal at home. Brian emphasises that help is always available whether it is academic or social assistance. Ask questions, ask advice, don’t rush into making rash decisions to drop to pass level or go up to honours level without consultation.
Remember it’s always ok to put your hand up in the classroom or seek advice confidentially from a trusted mentor.
Article researched and written by Parentline volunteer and journalist Fiona Murray.