My daughter has just started Year Seven, having moved up from her primary school last year. Although she is still happy and enjoying the move to a secondary school, she has received some comments from her teachers about poor levels of organisation, time management and ability to hand in work on time. This is most unlike her. How best should I proceed? Teacher Jake Burnett replies: It sounds as if your daughter is going through the same sort of transition which many students of her age must face. Some find this easier than others and in this case it seems that your daughter needs a little more specific guidance from home and school to help her ease into secondary education in a way which can be as painless as possible. Firstly you should be reassured that many students will be experiencing exactly the same thing. There are some fundamental differences between the ways in which secondary schools and primary schools work and new students used to one system will inevitably struggle with some of these elements. They will have to face different teachers for every lesson, movement around the school to specialised classrooms and teaching areas, a range of homework tasks for each subject, a timetable to follow and different equipment for each of their lessons to name but a few. It would be good to share your observations with your daughter's form tutor. You have mentioned that her lack of organisation is most unlike her so it is likely that these problems are not just specific to her and there will almost certainly be other students in her class who will be having far more difficulties than she is. If this is done in a non-confrontational way, preferably by e-mail or in a telephone conversation, all the better. If you get an opportunity ask other parents whose children are in your daughter's form to see if they are experiencing the same thing. At home you should ask your daughter to show you her diary or planner on a regular basis and check whether she is using it properly; in particular if she is writing in homework tasks and deadlines. It would also be a wise idea for there to be a regular time every day set aside at home where your daughter knows she should be working directly on homework tasks. Find out how long the school expects Year Seven students to spend on homework and try to ensure she is spending just that amount of time. In their eagerness to succeed, Year Seven students often spend too long on one particular task without realising that it will have serious consequences for others. It would also reinforce the school's approach if you expected her to complete homework tasks on the day that they are set as this will help her to remember how to complete them more accurately. A regular routine of packing her school bag the night before (possibly just as she is getting ready for bed) will also help her to have the correct equipment for each lesson while also having completed homework tasks ready to hand in on time. You may need to be quite involved in this process to start with, but once you have it up and running for a couple of weeks then you should expect your daughter to be able to do it for herself. With continued reassurance from you while showing genuine interest in what she's doing, you will help your daughter in many ways - especially how she operates at school. It would be worth contacting your daughter's form tutor again in a month or so and hopefully you'll be told how well she is now adapting to being in a secondary school.