‘Homework Diary’ ‘Reading Diary’, ‘Secondary or Primary Planner’, the name differs depending on the school. In essence they all mean the same thing but my how they’ve changed over the years. Not simply just a week view diary, the school planner is now a carefully crafted weekly school navigator working in close alignment with the National Curriculum, UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service), stem4 (the Mental Health in Teenagers Charity) and St. John’s Ambulance.
If you are tasked with organising your school’s planner this year, then make a cuppa, sit back and read everything you need to know about school planners, what to include and how to order. If you have any questions, as always, please do get in touch. We’re all working from home but still going full throttle.
10 Things To Think About When Organising Your School Planner
1] Choose A Core Function Of The Planner
The 3 core functions of the Primary School Planner are generally…
i) The Reading Diary – Key Stage 1 & 2 require national curriculum specific books to be read before the children can decide their own reading material. The reading diary is an important way of checking how quickly the students are progressing.
ii) The Spelling Lists – For the early stages when spelling tests feature every Monday afternoon.
iii) Parent, Teacher communication.
Secondary students tend to use their planners as more of a diary, with a week to view and a space to set weekly goals and then keep them accountable by ticking them off at the end of the week.
The Parent Teacher communication is also a key component for this age group.
But it’s the extra pages that add the goodness.
2] Teach Kids Ways To Get InformationTo Stick
Include an important section on Learning and Revision. An abundance of scientific research means that we are well equipped to teach children of all ages how their brains can retain information. Having this knowledge gives all students a head start when prepping for exams. Understanding the simple ‘revisiting and reviewing’ formula can structure their revision accordingly.
Here is the formula that we include in the Boomerang Revision Help pages:
>> Review your learning an hour or so after a lesson
>> Then review again, within a further 24 hours
>> Then again, a week later
>> Finally review again in a month or so
As well as the scientific proof that will help pop a child’s learning into a compartment in their brain, other useful tips will help. Teaching them how to write efficient notes, different recall methods and how to grasp the bigger picture in terms of where each piece of learning fits in, all give a solid and structured approach to revision and will see your students getting through exams a lot smoother than without.
3] Be Sure To Add Important Guidance On How Students Can Manage Their Digital Footprint
It’s so easy to get swept up in every new hot social media platform. Kids have moved from Facebook and Instagram to TikTok. Where their parents idolised pop stars and rock stars, kids now favour YouTubers with many kids venturing into having their very own YouTube channels.
Include pages in the planner that will prompt a more cautious mindset when posting online. The knowledge and reminder that digital footprints stick around forever is crucial for kids when they might otherwise be so swept up in posting for ‘likes’ that they forget that their future boss will one day be taking a glimpse before deciding whether to take them on.
4] Open Up The World
Our Boomerang planners have a great section all based on ‘Your Future’. These are the pages that can make a ‘sliding doors’ difference to a student’s entire life. Providing the information that we already host on our Oodles site clearly maps out all the potential paths that secondary year school can lead to. Whether they want to continue with study, work or do a combination of both, this section of their school diary provides a helpful starting point. We cover GCSE’s, A Levels, T Levels, UCAS Tariff points and Technical/Vocational paths. We also include important milestones; every year of secondary school when they need to make certain decisions about their path. This section is one of the most valuable sections of the diary.
Think about how you would like to incorporate this section into your own planners or simply choose a Boomerang secondary school planner and use our already crafted pages.
5] Give Your School Children’s Mental Health The Recognition It Deserves
Mental Health has thankfully become a ‘normal’ conversation. Helped along by sports personalities, the Royal family and important charities like stem4, ‘not feeling ok’ is now something that adults and children are encouraged to talk about.
The inclusion of this important subject in your school’s planner provides a consistent reminder that it’s ok to feel anxious and it’s ok to feel low, along with some warning signs to look for and some tips to get through these feelings. We are proud to have worked with stem4, a charity that supports mental health in teenagers, for this brand new section of our planners and homework diaries. Please feel free to use our already designed pages.
6] Promote A Healthy Lifestyle
We can’t provide school planners and homework diaries to the children of today without giving important nudges towards a healthy lifestyle. Prompts to eat well, exercise regularly and get a good night’s sleep can do nothing but good. What would you like to include in your Healthy Lifestyle section? This is a section not to be left out.
8] Think Of Some Inspirational Quotes
“I know the sky is not the limit because there are footprints on the Moon – and I made some of them!” Buzz Aldrin
“The future depends on what we do in the present.” Mahatma Ghandi
“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” The Dalai Lama
9] What To Include In The Diary Section Of Your Planner
In our Primary Planners we include Recommended Books at the bottom of every Reading Record page. We also include key competitions throughout the year that they may otherwise not hear about; Song Academy Young Songwriter Competition, Space Foundation International Art Contest and Junior Bake off to name just a few.
We also include generally cool information and learning resources. Where they can learn how to code their own website or animation is amongst our favourites.
10] Primary Reference Section
The primary reference section is how you put all the information from the classroom wall into the pupil’s bag so they have everything to hand whenever beginning a piece of work at home. Fractions and conversions, triangles and quadrilaterals, Nouns and conjunctions. Give them all the tools they need so they can pull it from their bag when they get home.
How To Order Your School Planner
You may be ready right now to order your planner, in which case give us a ring or send us a quick message and we’ll get right back to you. There is a minimum order of 40 planners so please bear this in mind.
If you’d like to discuss some customisation options then please visit this page or send us a message. You may want a customised cover. Perhaps a cover designed by one of your students? An art competition works well here 🙂 You may want to include plastic pockets, tearable absence slips and traffic light cards. Have a chat with our Planner team and they can put everything in the right order for you. Happy Planning!