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English School Vocabulary – Back to School Words and Phrases

We have reached that time when parents and children are leaving the thoughts of summer holidays behind them. And the return to school has taken place. Here are some English School Vocabulary words, phrases and idioms that are related to Back to School event. It is an event that brings out mixed emotions. The parents are happy and the children mostly sad.

It doesn’t seem so long ago that schools were breaking up for the summer with exams and tests a distant memory. However, after what appears to me anyway to have been a very long warm summer, thoughts now turn to the start of another school year.

English School Vocabulary - Words and Phrases related to going Back to School

English School Vocabulary – Back to School Words and Phrases

Book lists will have been provided by the school and your own personal check list will be written and re written time and time again to make sure you have included everything. We rummage among the piles of clothes discarded on the floor or hanging on a chair or stuffed in to a draw or wardrobe, in the faint hope that we can find some clothes that still fit as children seem to do all their growing over the summer. Old clothes are dumped or saved to be passed down to the younger sibling.

A trip to the city is organised and the day is planned. Clothes and shoes to buy and books to get together with new copy books and note books and an assortment of pens and pencils and the other necessities for the new year.

 These days schools usually provide the timetables and booklists via the internet but there is still a lot of running around needed to get everything. Books: check, shoes: check, trousers/skirts, shirts or blouses: check. Soon everything is ready and the day arrives.

In reality even though there is sometimes some negativity about the return to school ,most children are looking forward to catching up with their school mates and usually cannot wait for you to drop them off at the gate. Old friendships are quickly renewed and within a few days old habits have been picked up again. The teachers happily get into the groove quite quickly and soon the children are getting on with  their homework and getting down to their studies.

Another school year is here! Happy New (School) Year.

English School Vocabulary - Idioms related to School

A schoolboy error – this means a simple error made by someone senior that you would only expect a schoolboy to make.

ex. In the football match the defender did not clear the ball and allowed it to bounce over his head. The striker was very quick and scored a goal. The crowd groaned that it was a simple schoolboy error by their defender.

A Teacher’s pet – someone who is the favourite student of the teacher always answering first, always doing his homework .

Old School – usually refers to someone who is a little old fashioned or conservative.

ex. Michael did not dress in modern clothes. He had worked at the bank now for 30 years. He was “old school” his clothes were old fashioned and very conservative.

To hit the books – when someone really needs to start studying hard they will use this phrase.

ex. I  really need to hit the books this weekend. I have that repeat exam next week.

To make the grade – when someone is likely or unlikely to be successful in a job or a position we can use this either in the positive or the negative.

ex. I don’t think he will make the grade he is just not suitable to this work.

Or if he continues to work like this and puts in the effort he will certainly make the grade.

To teach someone a lesson – used when we really wish to punish someone and make sure they know how and why they made the mistake in the hope they will not make it again.

ex. The boss was really going to teach him a lesson. He had failed to complete the customers order twice. It was not acceptable. He made him stay late for 2 days until it was completed. I think he understands now.

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English Idioms about Education

English School Vocabulary - Learning Words and Phrases

mixed emotions – some happy some sad
breaking up for – end of term and the start of the holidays
to turn to – to start thinking (about)
check list – items you need and things you have to do
to rummage – to search
to discard – to leave
to stuff in – to push in
faint hope – small chance
still fit – still the right size
to dump – to throw out
to pass down to – to give to
sibling – brother or sister
a trip to – a journey (to)
an assortment of – a mix of
new year – new term
timetable – schedule of classes
to run around – to chase
check – yes
to catch up with someone – to see someone again
to drop (someone) off – to take someone by car
to pick up – to start again
to get into the groove – to get back into the way of (teaching)
to get on with – to return
to get down to – to begin

English School Vocabulary related to the exams in UK and also the different types of schools in UK can be found here

More Information

For more information on English Phrasal Verbs, English idioms and English new vocabulary words, check out the following links:






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