100 things you should have done at school before the age of 16 – chosen by secondary students

TES surveyed 2,500 students to discover the experiences they value most at school

Tes Reporter

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Schools are not just places of academic learning, they are environments in which young people learn valuable life lessons and where they experience the things that will shape them as adults. Teachers and parents alike have strong views on what these lessons and experiences should be, but what do the students themselves value?

TES surveyed 2,500 secondary students – from across the maintained, independent and alternative provision sectors – to find out what they believe every pupil should have done at school before the age of 16.

Pick up the 29 July issue of TES for a free giant poster for the classroom listing the 100 things they chose, which looks like this:

secondary experiences

The list in full...

  1. Fall asleep in class
  2. Fall off a chair because you were rocking back on it
  3. Gain the ability to live on your own
  4. Have your teacher contact home with positive news
  5. Learn how to be good at interviews
  6. Learn how to look after someone or something
  7. Try school dinners
  8. Be hit in the face by a ball
  9. Be proud of some work that you’ve done
  10. Throw an old pen in the bin from across the room – and get it in
  11. Kick a ball over the fence
  12. Learn how to save money
  13. Be told to tuck your shirt in, tuck it in, and then walk around the corner and untuck it
  14. Forge your parent’s signature in your planner at least once
  15. Wear PE kit from the lost property bin
  16. Give a speech to an audience
  17. Be told how to buy a house
  18. Look after a fake baby for a week
  19. Learn how to do CPR
  20. Get to a cake sale while there are still cakes left
  21. Win something
  22. Lose something
  23. Learn to trust/be trusted
  24. Learn about taxes
  25. Lead a group of people
  26. Take part in community outreach work
  27. Learn how to cope with anxiety and stress about exams
  28. Learn how to look after yourself
  29. Learn what to do if you are in debt
  30. Spend your dinner money on sweets before school
  31. Dress up for World Book Day
  32. Wear uniform on non-uniform day
  33. Run a charity event
  34. Learn how to love yourself
  35. Have your phone go off in a lesson
  36. Learn the staff wi-fi code
  37. Experience disappointment
  38. Learn from your mistakes
  39. Educate a teacher on new social trends and terms
  40. Dissect something in science
  41. Get a part-time paid job
  42. Draw on your friend's book
  43. Experience loyalty from a friend
  44. Take part in a school production
  45. Visit an old people's home
  46. Forget to do homework
  47. Have a school romance
  48. Experience the need to be resilient
  49. Listen to music in lessons
  50. Break something and deny all knowledge
  51. Go with your parents to parents’ evening
  52. Talk to someone new
  53. Find a hobby you are passionate about
  54. Mix with pupils from other schools
  55. Push a pull door
  56. Visit the school nurse
  57. Rename British Bulldog because it's banned
  58. Go on work experience
  59. Have a favourite teacher
  60. Get a selfie with your favourite teacher
  61. Know when it’s important to tell a teacher something − and that it isn’t landing your friend in it, but helping them
  62. Own up to a mistake you’ve made
  63. Have a water fight
  64. Try a new look
  65. Get a detention
  66. Be in a band
  67. Experience different cultures
  68. Call the teacher "mum" or "dad"
  69. Learn when not to speak
  70. Put your hand up in class… and get something right
  71. Get a grade you're proud of
  72. Be given responsibility
  73. Try new sports
  74. Stand up for someone
  75. Stand up for yourself
  76. Go to the end-of-year prom
  77. Go to a national sporting event
  78. Have an embarrassing school photograph
  79. Vote in a school election
  80. Be in a class with none of your friends
  81. Represent the school in an activity – academic or sporting
  82. Laugh out loud in a quiet class
  83. Do a tour around the school for a visitor
  84. Have a piece of work on display
  85. Walk into the wrong class
  86. Have the class go silent just as you say something embarrassing
  87. Be more confident and talk to those who have different views
  88. Fall or trip in front of everyone
  89. Be a role model for younger students
  90. Make a best friend for life
  91. Do homework during break or lunch for the next lesson
  92. Take a risk
  93. Take part in after-school activities
  94. Partake in a moment of bravery
  95. Get annoyed with a friend but remain friends
  96. Draw a self-portrait
  97. Watch a film in class
  98. Fall out with a friend
  99. Have a mini heartbreak over "the one"
  100. Say sorry to someone you hurt

This is from an article in the 29 July edition of TES. This week's TES magazine is available at all good newsagents. To download the digital edition, Android users can click here and iOS users can click here

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