Back to school

Whether your child is starting school for the first time, moving up to secondary school or simply moving up a year, you'll find lots of useful advice and activity ideas by following the links further down this page. You'll also find lots of fun ideas and book recommendations to help avoid the summer slump.

Calling all teachers! You'll find ideas and resources to help plan a smooth start to the term on Oxford Owl for School.

Starting primary school

Starting primary school is a major milestone for you and your child, but there's plenty you can do to prepare. We’ve pulled together expert advice, activity ideas and book recommendations to help you help your child make the best possible start to school life. Read our Guide to Starting School >

Primary school: Years 1–6

In our year-by-year guides, we run through the changes you can expect each year at school, what will be expected of your child, and what you can do to support them at home.

What to expect in Year 1

Light-touch learning and lots of fun!

What to expect in Year 2

Developing skills, and KS1 SATs.

What to expect in Year 3

Independence and empathy.

What to expect in Year 4

Times tables, confidence and fun!

What to expect in Year 5

A year of calm study.

What to expect in Year 6

Memories and magic!

From our blog

How to make time for homework
Tips for creating the right space and schedule for homework and home learning in busy households.
Mind the word gap
Why the word gap matters and what you can do at home to help build your child's vocabulary.
Choosing a dictionary
Choosing the right dictionary for your child can really help them become an enthusiastic, independent reader.

Starting Secondary School

Finishing primary school and moving up to secondary school is another major milestone, for children and for parents. Our blog is at hand with a series of posts, covering issues such as getting to school safely, making friends and dealing with homework. And there's a handy checklist to print and stick to your fridge in the run up to the first day. Guide to starting secondary school >

From our blog

What do the KS2 SATs scores mean?
The Key Stage 2 National Test scaled scores explained.
Settling into secondary school
Top tips for approaching different ways of learning, and increased homework.
The new GCSEs explained
GCSEs have changed in the last few years. Find out what the new scores mean, and what else has changed with our blog post.
Supporting your child through GCSEs
Find out how to support your child through GCSEs, and when to start doing it.