Going back to school after a long summer break is the hardest thing anyone could do. It can be especially scary if you’re starting secondary school.

It will be hard for the Autumn term is the longest term of the year. But you will get there. 

South Korean Education

South Korea is the most top-performing country in the world when it comes to education. But, what is their secret to success? Well, the answer is all of this blog post!

It’s a long day | The parents are on it too | Education is a big business | Religion and education are very good friends | But it comes at a cost | And it’s not just the students who are under pressure

It’s a long day

South Korean schools start at around 6 am and finishes at around 4.30pm. But, they don’t spend it all in the classroom. At 4.30pm, most leave school and go to hagwons (where you have a tutor and they teach you things about particular subjects, such as Maths.) They can spend anything from two to five hours in one of these hagwons. Some South Korean schools are open until midnight!

Children studying in hagwons.

The parents are on it as well

The parents will move to within a school’s catchment range which they think will be good for their child. They won’t see their children much, though, and will only see them on weekends.

Education is a big business

In South Korea, there are teachers who are celebrities. One teacher teaches Maths wearing fun costumes such as a chicken, Batman or anything else. Students pay £22 a month to watch his Maths videos and is so famous that 300,000 students could be logged into his website at any one time.

Religion and education are very good friends

In South Korea, mothers go to a temple to pray for good test results for their children. At the ceiling of the temple are lanterns with children’s pictures on it. These lanterns are lit until the child reaches university. They also burn old textbooks to get rid of any bad luck for the exams.

South Korean children smile for the camera.

But it comes at a cost

South Korea has the highest suicidal rate due to studying in the world. Unsurprisingly, you would have noticed that there are looming pressures from parents and teachers to do well in exams and to get to a decent university.

And it’s not just the students who are under pressure

The students aren’t the only ones under pressure. Teachers are observed by parents and are given feedback on their teaching. The teachers, unsurprisingly, do find it stressful but they find the feedback useful.
Retired teachers protesting over the government's plan to write South Korea's history into a single text book.

Back to School

Ugh! It’s that time of year again! Your beloved summer holidays have come to an end, and now you have to go back to school and start learning… again. Well, going back to school doesn’t always have to be the gloomiest time of the year.


This website is entirely based on helping you with your homework. But, if you’re around 10 or 11 years old, the first pieces of homework you’ll be hit with should be as easy as anything. That’s right: laying sticky back plastic on your books so they’re always protected from spillages and other forms of damage.

If you know how to lay sticky back plastic, do it yourself! Or get a helpful parent, guardian or older sibling to do it for you.


If you haven’t seen or got in touch with your friends this summer, ask them how their summer holiday was. Then, hopefully, they will ask you how your summer was. And even if you have seen them over the long summer months, ask them how their summer was.

Going into Year 7?

If you’re going into your first year of Secondary School, there is additional advice here.


Most teachers won’t overwhelm you with work for the first two weeks back. They’ll probably spend some time trying to get to know you all. This may depend on whether you’re at primary, secondary, middle or high school.