The Study Sessions: Back to school

It’s a new school year! Hurrah….. 

In the past there might have been a level of nervous excitement about going back. Even if every young person in the country would honestly prefer to have a life-long summer holiday. 

But, 2020 isn’t like any other year. As a result, the return to school for our teens has a Covid-shaped shadow over it. Not only have many of them not stepped foot in a classroom for almost 6 months, but they’ve seen:

  • a bit of a debacle with this years’ exams;
  • shifting sands over social distancing and safety in school; and
  • unanswered questions about next year’s GCSE exams.

This first episode of Season Two of The Study Session Podcast from The Study Buddy looks at, unsurprisingly, going back to school.

5: One size won't fit all: Autism and SEN in studying. The Study Sessions: from The Study Buddy

Sometimes it can seem like teens get pushed through a cookie cutter template. But it’s important to remember they are all individuals. Each young person is unique and will approach things in a different way.  We seem to have comfortably adopted a view that ‘normal’ exists – albeit within certain parameters. And this is how we have structured the mainstream system. But how does that work for those who are further away from ‘average’? And importantly what can ‘mainstream’ learn from those outliers? In this episode we’re thinking about Autism, Special Education Needs – the impact that it has on those young people and what lessons there might be for all parents when it comes to supporting their teens. Nathan is joined by parent, Justine and Autism and SEN experts, Lynn McCann ( of Reach ASC ( and Georgina Durrant ( founder of the SEN Resources Blog ( . We hear about the importance of flexibility, experimentation and above all of communication between parents, teachers and the young person.  While this episode is focused explicitly on SEN, and especially Autism, it is important to note that these young people will likely find themselves confronted with the same kinds of issues as their ‘neurotypical’ peers. The significant difference is that their reactions and experiences may be amplified. However the approaches we take with these teens should shine a light on how we might better support all teens in their studies. For more information about The Study Buddy's approach to time management and study skills visit ( Produced by Pineapple Audio Productions ( .
  1. 5: One size won't fit all: Autism and SEN in studying.
  2. 4: Motivation in teens: how to get it and how to keep it.
  3. 3: Hit the ground running or ease in gently: Managing study in uncertain times.
  4. 2: Well-being in students: External pressure and internal coping.
  5. 1: Back to school: Is it all doom and gloom for the class of 2021?

Our students have talked to us about their concerns for this coming GCSE year. In this episode Nathan McGurl – founder of The Study Buddy – discusses those with Charles Fillingham – Headmaster at Francis Holland School – and Kevin Aires – founder of September Ready Go.