English School Vocabulary and Idioms

Here are some English School Vocabulary words, phrases and idioms that are related to Back to School event. These vocabulary words are aimed at intermediate level English students (B1 English).

This posts consists of 3 sections:

1.short text to practise English reading comprehension

2. vocabulary words and phrases

3. 8 English idioms related to school with meanings and examples

Table of Contents

English School Vocabulary – English Reading Comprehension

Back to School 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.

Booklists will have been provided by the school and your own personal checklist 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 into a draw or wardrobe, in the faint hope that we can find some clothes that still fit as children seem to do all their growth over the summer. Old clothes are dumped or saved to be passed down to the younger sibling.

Intermediate to Advanced English Marathon

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

INSANITY: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

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 notebooks and an assortment of pens and pencils and the other necessities for the new school year.

These days schools usually provide 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.

Did you find it difficult? Read one more time and then scroll down to find out the meaning of the bolded words.

English Idioms related to School

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English School Vocabulary - New 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

8 Idioms related to School

English School Vocabulary. 8 Idioms about School. Eager beaver meaning. Teacher's pet. www.englishlessonviaskype.com #learnenglish #englishlessons #английский #angielski #nauka #ingles #Idiomas #idioms #English #englishteacher #ielts #toefl #vocabulary #ingilizce #inglese

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a schoolboy error

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


In the football match, the defender allowed the ball to bounce over his head. The opposition was quick and scored a goal. It was a simple schoolboy error by the defender.

a teacher’s pet

someone who is the favourite student of the teacher, always answering first, always doing their homework 


I was hated by most people in my class because I was a real teacher’s pet.


usually refers to someone who is a little old fashioned or conservative


Michael 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


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


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


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


He had failed to complete the customer’s order twice. The boss was really going to teach him a lesson. He made him stay late for 2 days until it was completed. I think he understands now. 

eager beaver

someone who is very enthusiastic and is willing to work very hard (volunteer, for example)


Tracey is such an eager beaver, she volunteers for every task. I bet she’s going to get a promotion next year.

with flying colours

with ease and with a high mark/grade


Olivier had been able to concentrate on his studies, and now he passed his exams with flying colours.

More Information

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




More English school vocabulary words and idioms can always be found on the Learning English with the BBC website.

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