Part 1 - Study guidelines to help students manage their time.

Tips for staying productive while working/studying from home 


Timing – Set yourself a start and finish time. This will give your day structure. It could be useful to set your start and finish times similar to school hours, so you are following your normal routine as much as possible. 


Prepare for the Day – Follow your normal morning routine – get up, get dressed, eat your breakfast and prepare for the day. This will help put you in a good frame of mind to tackle your schedule for the day. 

Schedule - Use a timetable or schedule template to plan out your day in a way that suits you. (There are several included in this document- pick one that works best for you.) You might choose to follow your own class timetable, spend 40 minutes to 1 hour per subject or choose to focus on one or two subjects in greater detail daily. This will come down to what suits your best. Be sure to include breaks in your schedule and stick to them! 


Prioritise – Check the Google Classroom and make a list of all the work your teachers are asking you to do and any deadlines they have set for this work. Make sure you prioritise the work that is due first so that you can keep on top of meeting your deadlines. Knowing what tasks are priority will also help you to create your daily schedule. A to-do list template is also available in this document. 


Space – Have a specific area that you will use for schoolwork. Most of you may already have something like this. Sitting at a desk will help keep you more productive than sitting on a couch or your bed. 


Phone – We understand that many of you are using your phone to access Google Classroom during the COVID-19 school closure but put your phone on DO NOT DISTURB in order to avoid any distractions and only use it for the purpose of school work when completing tasks or assignments. It is very easy to sit at a desk all day and do absolutely nothing but procrastinate on your phone! Check for messages and new work when you begin your study each day. When you are ready to post your assignments to Google Classroom or email work to your teachers later on, you may then use your phone. Individual Teachers will advise you how they would like you to submit your work. Follow your teacher’s instructions carefully. There is a guide to using Google Classroom in part 3 of this booklet. Students need to be very disciplined about this in the virtual classroom. 


Taking time – Make sure to take time in your day to exercise. This could be before you begin schoolwork, during your day or when you have finished – whatever works best for you. This will help clear your head. 


Ask – If you are unsure of anything you are being asked to do or have any queries, your teachers are available via email to help using Google Classroom to communicate with students. Please ask if you are having any problems with anything as it is important that work is completed to the best of your ability and on time. Identifying long-term goals for Leaving Cert can help focus students in their work. Once students identify what they would like to achieve at Leaving Certificate (and they should aim high) they should work backwards and identify what grades they will need to achieve in every large exam until then. These will become a student's medium-term goals.


In order to achieve their medium-term goals students should aim to achieve at least an equivalent grade in each class test. These are their short-term goals. 


Here are some examples of goals: 


short term: what I would like to achieve this week 


medium term: the grade I would like to achieve in the Christmas exams 


long term: the grade I would like to achieve for Leaving Cert 


Focusing on achievable, short-term goals while understanding how this will help achieve a long-term goal will help reduce stress and get the student closer to their ultimate goal. 


Measure success 

Nobody wants to spend hours a day at a desk, although sometimes this is necessary. By having a study goal as something measurable like 'complete an exam question without using the book' or 'know three quotes off by heart' students are able to measure what they have achieved, make their study more efficient and will be motivated by their progress. 


Start small and plan exactly what is to be achieved by the end of the study session. This will help motivation, allow students to keep track of what they have achieved and improve grades. 


While doing good homework, practice questions and keeping up with the teacher are all great ways to ensure that students are on track to achieve their Leaving Cert goals, at some point, students will have to sit down and memorise information in order to succeed. Nobody enjoys this part of the process, but it is unavoidable and the earlier you can begin the better.


Doing this as every day will pay off as students will find new information is easier to learn and will not have to revisit it in sixth year.

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