The school is quite big and it may be daunting at first but after your first couple of days you will know your way around the school like the back of your hand! You will be in a tutor group that will stay together for most of the day. This means you all travel together, so when one gets lost, you all get lost and we can spot very quickly and help you to get back on track.
After a week or two you will think…..”this school isn’t that big at all!”
If you ever get lost don’t worry and ask someone for help such as a teacher, prefect, mentor or any student.
There is a possibility that you could be with your friends in some of your classes, but making new friends is a big part of starting secondary school. I know this is possibly the biggest fear you all have. Please trust us when we say, there will be so many other students feeling the same. Some students have come from smaller schools and will know no one at all. The people in your tutor will be in most of your classes, so it is best to get to know them well. For the first couple of weeks tutor time in the morning and SPHE class will be all about getting to know each other. You will still get to meet up with your other friends during break and lunch. This is a time in your life where you need to make new friends, keep your old ones of course, but branch out and meet new people too.
Our video will show you the main places you need to know. You’ll figure out as the weeks go on, where your classrooms are for your different subjects. Don’t be afraid to ask your mentor, tutor or any teacher or prefect where a room is if you aren’t sure, we will be more than happy to help you! Every student will have a timetable. Your timetable will tell you what subject you have and in what room. Your timetable will not change, so after a week or two you will know exactly where you are going as you are following the same route week in week out!
Your teachers will ease you into the workload when you start school. They understand you’ve missed the last few months of primary school. Over time the workload will increase, but it won’t be all in one go. Being organised and doing your best are what we ask for. Try not to let your work build up. You may not have homework due in a subject for the next day but it is best to give yourself time to do your homework and not to leave it till the last minute. All we ask is that you try your best. You will be learning new subjects and that is exciting!
There are always teachers walking around the halls. Mentors and prefects will be wearing badges on their jumper, so if you’re ever lost you can always ask one of them and they’ll be happy to help you. Teachers monitor the halls as well during lunch and break times.
Homework shouldn’t take you all evening. You should be spending no longer than 2 hours a night. The best way to avoid getting bogged down with too much work is planning ahead in your homework diary what subject you’ll work on. If you get Maths homework on Monday and don’t have maths again until Wednesday, you can do you homework on either Monday night or Tuesday night. Depending on which night you get more homework. This means your homework can be spread out. In Secondary school it is all about managing your homework so you can balance out your workload in the evenings.
Lockers are new to every 1st Year student. Every locker comes with a combination lock. Every student will be given a six-digit code to open their locker. If you forget your code your assistant year head, your tutor and the secretaries will have the code. The best way to avoid forgetting your locker code is by writing it down somewhere safe and handy. Like your homework diary. Your mentors will help you with your lockers every morning, break and lunch time. Do not worry about the lockers, we will help you with your lockers and you will have plenty of time to practice opening and closing your locker.
Sometimes you’ll be going from one side of the school to another between classes. Over time, you’ll get used to finding your way around the school. The first few weeks you can use to try and navigate around the building. If you are ever unsure of where a class room is there is a map of the school in your journal. Over the first few days your 6th Year prefects and mentors will help you and guide you around the building.
It will feel very different at first but you will enjoy the break between each class and soon you will look forward to the routine of changing every hour. It gives you the chance to stretch your legs and have a chat with friends on your way to your next class.
For junior students, you’ll have a separate P.E uniform that you wear to school on the day you have P.E. It’s important that you wear the full P.E gear to school or else you won’t be able to participate in PE class.
If you feel sick during class raise your hand and tell your teacher. You will be sent to the office where you will be allowed to ring home and your parents/guardians can pick you up. If you feel sick during lunch time you can go to the office and do the same.
All after school activities are open to all students, however some after school sports will have trials if there is a large demand. We encourage students to join as many after school activities as you can. It is a great way of meeting new friends and friends from different year groups. The list of after school activities is endless and we will inform you of what is on when you start in September.
Unfortunately, bullying is in every school. In Scoil Mhuire we have a very strict no bullying policy. I know your Primary school teachers have done a lot of work with you on bullying and we will continue this work. In Scoil Mhuire we accept no bullying at all. Please be assured our senior students are there to help you. Although our school makes every effort to avoid bullying, of course, incidents do occasionally occur. It is important to report any such incidents to staff or a trusted adult and they will be dealt with accordingly. Keep in mind, these incidents are very rare!
In your journal, there’ll be a section where you can write out your timetable in a way that is easy to follow. Your tutor group will have the same timetable as you, except for your option subjects. Each timetable is divided into tutor in the morning then two one hour classes, break, two more classes, lunch and finally the last two classes. This doesn’t change so is easy to follow. The highlight on the timetable is that now you will have a half day every Friday finishing at 1.15pm.
We will try our best to accommodate you but we would encourage every student to give the subjects they have picked a chance. Sometimes it can be difficult to change to the subject you want as the classes might be full. Start by speaking to your Year Head if you have a subject issue.
All teachers will take this into consideration. Remember, we have all missed the end of our school year. We are all playing catch up when we go back in September so please don’t worry about that. We really understand that you have missed out on closing the final chapter of Primary school. In September, we will look back on your Primary school journey with you and at the same time hold out the hand of friendship and guidance as you start your journey in Scoil Mhuire. The majority of what you learn in secondary school will be completely new. Your Junior Cert course is full of new and different topics from primary school so missing the end of sixth class shouldn’t be an issue. Remember all first years will be in the same boat and teachers know that, you won’t be on your own! To give you a head start though, teachers recommend reading lots over the summer- so get as many books read as you can before September! Duolingo is also a helpful app if you want to revise and improve your Irish.