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Five Tips to Have a Good Start to The New School Year

Welcome back to the SOIS family, let’s move successfully 

into the new school year of 2023-2024.

A new school year offers opportunities to enjoy learning 

and to make progress.

A new start - keep going and try your best.

Below is a special interview with Ms. Fiaola, our expert in learning support, who shares FIVE suggestions to enable SOIS students to have a good start to the new school year.  


Time is limited, and the time you have at your disposal is even more limited. Effectively using after-school time is extremely important and quality is more important than quantity. Take homework as an example. Just half-hour focused and productive work is far better than two hours of just mucking around and being distracted.

  • Visual reminder

    Creating a visual reminder, such as a weekly plan, is especially helpful for students who have just entered Y7. The schedule should be highly visible and give a good overview of all the classes and their learning tasks, making time management and organization easier, and trackable.

    Exam time and homework submission time are especially important and should be clearly marked on the planning chart to allow plenty of time for revision and submission.


    Parents are specially encouraged to support their children is setting up these planners and foster good organization habits. “The development of good learning habits and self-management skills need to be learnt and we cannot expect the students to all of a sudden have these skills just because they are now in Middle School". This is why guidance during the first few weeks of school for the Year 7 students is especially important. It is recommended that the chart is posted in a place that is easier to see, for example the refrigerator, or on a door. More importantly, parents can also see the task so they can help their kids changing from feeling ‘lost and overwhelmed’ to ‘comfortable and well adapt in their learning environment’.

  • Break tasks into manageable chunks

    When students encounter more difficult learning tasks, it is helpful to first break the task into manageable chunks so it is not so overwhelming. For example, if the student finds it difficult to write a complete essay all at once, they can start by writing just on paragraph, and then another, and another; or learning historical events with complicated information, they can start with the reasons that led to this historical event, and then dive deeper into the more complex events.


For SOIS students, please use our teams platform for your learning and ensure you understand all the subject folder information including where you can see homework information, where the homework needs to be uploaded, and where can you see that the upload has been successfully submitted .....


Before starting your homework, ask yourself first:

- Have you understood the task?

- Do you know what you meant to do?

- Do you have everything you need to successfully complete the task?

It is important to clarify these questions before starting the task; if you are unsure what to do or are missing critical information you will not be able to complete it to a good standard.

- Check teams for all homework information and requirements daily.

- Ask the teachers if you have and questions or if you are unsure about anything!!! (This is very important!!!)


Everyone has a learning preference, which is how learning is most effective and enjoyable for that particular person.

For Mrs. Fiaola re-writing the notes that she took in class in a tidy and organized manner at home was really helpful. “I would take notes in class which were mostly very untidy and then re-write them again at home into my notebook. This act of re-writing the notes helped me to review the topics that had been covered during the lessons.”

For Ms. Fiaola’s daughter, songs and music was the best way to memorize information; even today, many years later, she can still remember the different stages of the water cycle because she learnt it as a song. 

What is your learning style? If you are not clear, think about when you achieve your best learning results. 


Learning for understanding helps new information to be transferred into the long-term memory. When a student connects new information with previous learning, even across different subject areas, then true mastery and understanding takes place.

When acquiring new information, ask yourself: 

- Why are you learning this and what is the purpose of understanding this information?

- Where does the value of this new information connect to your real life?


Be curious and eager to learn. Teachers love curious students who ask good questions:

-What’s difference…

-What behind this…

-Why we are learning this…

-How is connected to…

-Can you tell me more about it…

-Be brave and raise hand to ask questions! 

We hope that you are finding the above suggestions useful. Great thanks to Ms. Fiaola. May your good learning habits take you forward in this school year.