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‘I’m a big kid now’ – Advice from second-formers to those just entering high school

Published:Wednesday | September 5, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Jaylan Bryant
Denzil Allen
Kharemah Birch-Gentles
Byonce Bell
Gabrielle Burke
Alicia Brown
Shadriea Brown
Brando Banton
Nadine Molloy (front centre), principal of Ardenne High School, and Khaleil Woolcook, grade eight coordinator, taking a selfie with second form students, who gave advice to the 'little kids' who are just entering high schools.

One year ago, they were the ones making the scary transition from primary school to high school. A new environment, new teachers, new ways of teaching, and suddenly, they were the youngest ones in the school, having left institutions where they served as prefects, head boys and head girls, and were the oldest of the students.

But they survived the change and have started second form without any of the fears that followed them to high school.

Now, these Ardenne High School standouts have some advice for the 'little kids' who are walking in their path and entering first form.

Jaylan Bryant: My advice is that you [must] always pay attention in class. There will always be teachers giving out homework, assigning projects and putting you in groups, and you need to know what to do. You need to be organised. You may have 13 or 14 subjects and 13 or 14 teachers, but you can still be the best student, just as when you had one teacher. It is all about being organised.

Kharemah Birch-Gentles: In primary school, you had one teacher (or two) for every single subject, but in high school, it will be different. You will have different teachers coming in and out of the classroom or different classrooms. The best way to deal with this is to look at the teachers and find out their personalities and determine how you will approach each teacher.

You will find that there is a very strict teacher and you have to be on your 'Ps' and 'Qs', while some teachers are more relaxed, and you can have fun with them, but you still have to show them respect.

To move from class to class might be difficult, [and] I suggest that you use the bathroom between classes so that you won't need to go while in class.

Denzil Allen: Do not procrastinate and do not sit beside your friend, because, from what I learnt last year, when you sit beside your friend, you waste time and do not do a lot of the work, and then you get the homework and you don't know what to do.

You also have to be aware of your surroundings and take part in extra-curricular activities - at least one.

Byonce Bell: In grade seven, I focused on making new friends and I wasted my first term focusing on that. Because I had no friends, it hurt me emotionally, to the point where I went to the guidance counsellor.

But when I started focusing on my work, I noticed that that changed, and I had friends. So just because you are starting a new school, it doesn't mean you have to know everybody. Just focus on your work as making new friends might be difficult at first.

Gabrielle Burke: My advice to the first-formers is to always be yourself. No matter how tall you are, or how short you are, or your skin complexion, you should never worry to fit in because the right people will come along and be your friends.

And always believe in yourself because in exams, if you don't believe in yourself, it can bring down your grades.

Alicia Brown: My advice to grade seven students is to don't wait until the last minute to study. You should always study. Don't wait until the exam to start to study because you will not understand in time for the exam. But high school is not all about work,. It is also about having fun sometimes.

Shadriea Brown: My advice for the grade seven kids is that high school is going to be hectic, and it is up to you to decide if you want it to be fun or just boring.

I would tell you to keep friends who can help you to study and push you to do your homework. Don't keep the friends who will waste your time.

Here is one quote that I have used: 'If you stand for a reason, be prepared to stand alone like a tree, and if you fall, fall like a seed that grows back to fight again'.

Brandon Banton: My advice to the grade seven students is to focus on your work. The main reason you have gone to high school is for the academics, but also have fun. You can go into sports, but remember, you have to focus on your work and not just football, or cricket, and those.