Organising Your School Day

Strategies and advice to help you organise your school day.

Using Your Daily Timetable / Planner

You may already have your new school timetable. It is very important that you check your timetable as it will tell you things such as:

  • Which lessons you have.
  • Which room the lesson will be in.
  • Which teacher will take the lesson
  • What time the lessons starts and ends.
  • What equipment you might need e.g.…PE

You will need to change classrooms throughout the day and you need to get to each lesson on time. If you don’t have a watch, it would be a good idea to buy one. If you buy one with an alarm it can remind you of any important times throughout the day. It can also wake you up in the morning!!!


Timetable Activity
You can work with a friend or family member. Complete this activity using a copy of the black/white timetable - find all the English lessons.  How many are there? Now try same with a copy of the coloured timetable. Which timetable was easier? Could this help you with organisation?

Why not try colour coding your own timetable.  You could colour code your books, jotters and equipment too to make packing your bag easier.  You could also colour code your homework in your planner.


Packing Your School Bag

You will have a lot more to take to school so plan ahead and pack your bag the night before! Organising your school bag the night before will save you a lot of time in the morning.

Click here for a downloadable copy of School Bag Checklist.


You may have to cover your exercise books. If not, they will probably all be the same colour. This can make it difficult to find the right book when packing your bag.
Colour coding your books to match your timetable can make things a lot easier when you are packing your bag. You can make up coloured labels to stick onto the spine of your exercise book.

Visual Planners and To Do Lists

Unless you have an exceptional memory, you will need something to remind you of the jobs you have to do every day.

At secondary school you will have a lot of different subjects to study, and more equipment to take with you each day. A ‘to do’ list or visual planner might help with this.

Most people rely on lists, notes, or diaries to remind them of what needs to be done and when it has to be completed. You will have to use your diary/ planner in school to record which homework you have and when it has to be handed in.

Everyone has different ways of working and no single way suits everyone. We have put together some ideas of visual planners and lists which you may find helpful. Some people prefer a written ‘To do’ list, others may prefer to put up photographs or pictures.  You might prefer to use your phone and there are apps that you can use to help.

See some examples of daily planners and weekly planners.


Homework is part of daily life. After the school day having to sit down and do homework can cause stress for all the family. Some people enjoy homework but others can find it frustrating. You will have homework for different subjects, due at different times.  It can be hard to keep track and get everything done on time.  Having a plan for homework can help.  Setting yourself tasks to complete everyday will help make sure you meet deadlines without the need to stay up late to get things finished.



Getting Started

  • Think about when is the best time for homework?
  • Do you need a rest after school before starting homework?
  • Do you have an after school activity that night? If so can homework be done at another time or another day?
  • Get a routine that suits you and your family.
  • Have a break between tasks.
  • Don’t rush homework; quality is more important than getting it finished quickly.
  • Go over homework with your parent/guardian, so you both know what to do.
  • Read instructions aloud, if necessary, practise the first example or two with them if you need to.
  • Practise using a computer.
  • If you are slow to complete work, see how much work you can do in five minutes. Then use this to figure out how long the work will take you. If it’s too much work speak to the teacher.
  • Find the right homework space; do you work better at the table or in your bedroom? Or while having a snack.
  • A timer could be useful to aid focus and attention but set a realistic time for doing the homework.
  • Make sure you have the correct tool for home and school: use two pencil cases - one at home and one in the school bag so you never run out.
  • Make a homework to-do list, cross things off when completed.
  • Use a diary or planner or the calendar on a phone, tablet, laptop or computer to keep a note of homework and when it’s due.  You could colour code this to match your subjects.
  • Break homework tasks up into manageable chunks – and have breaks in-between if needed.

Getting Organised, Have you tried?

  • Colour coding of subjects can assist organisation and planning.
  • Ask a teacher or friend to check the homework is written down correctly, or ask teachers to give written homework instructions.
  • For the next school day - pack the school bag the night before.
  • Turn off the TV - but you could have music on if you find it helpful.
  • If you are distracted by noise, try wearing headphones.
  • Make sure the goals you set are easily achievable to begin with.
  • Don’t just ask your parent/guardian for the answer. Ask them to explain how to find the information or help problem solve the answer.