In this post, you will learn some useful language to use in Part 2: A school you went to in your childhood.

Part 2 topics here: click here.

Any words you don’t know the definition of, use google dictionary, it’s free & all you need to do is ‘double-click’ the words for a definition. Click here.

Describe a new public building
IELTS Speaking Part 2: A school you went to in your childhood.

About this topic:

This is one of my favourite “Places” type Part 2 topics. It has been used a number of times in previous seasons, but then again, if you’re new to IELTS, then I’m sure it’s a new topic for you.

Don’t worry, I’m going to talk briefly about this topic, then suggest some useful language for you to use, after that, I’ll provide an example answer for you to read.

Try not to give too much detail about the facilities at the school, and instead try to go into more detail about other things. That being said, there is nothing wrong with talking about the facilities, though you’ll miss the chance to use better (richer) vocabulary by doing so.

So, let’s talk about what “extra ideas” you could use, in order to give a great answer.

Also, please note that you could talk about the school uniform, and transfer some language over from that current topic, too.

Firstly, I’d like to mention what I recommend with all “places” type topics. 

  1. Location
  2. Quality
  3. Frequency
  4. Recommend
  5. Return

Note: 1 sentence is enough, or be creative, if you have loads of good language to use for any one of these five points, then paint the town red.

Undoubtedly, these 5 points can be applied to any Part 2 topics about “places”.

When you talk about “Location” – estimate the distance from your home or workplace. Mention if the place is in a convenient location, or if it’s a lengthy journey away.

When talking about “Quality” – there are so many things we can mention. It could be the quality of the furniture, building, services, goods, facilities, atmosphere, etc.

“Frequency”, how often you go there, or how often you went there. So, I always try to mention frequency when talking about either a Place or a Thing/Object/Person and use a good expression of frequency or adverb of frequency.

You might be wondering what I mean by “Recommend”. Well, would you recommend it to a friend? And why. Do you think they would like it? If you’re both like-minded people, more often than not they would like it too, right?

“Return”. Would you go back there? Would you like to go back there? Have you been back there since? Would you like to go back there with someone else? Who would you like to go back to therewith? Etc.

Suggested language, definitions and examples of use. 

Synonyms:

Childhood -> Back in the day, Way back when, My youth, Early years, My salad days, Infancy, Early life, My golden days/years.

Remember -> Looking back to, Recall, Reminisce (about), If my memory serves me well, As clear as day (I recall it as clear as day).

School -> kindergarten, playgroup, daycare centre, primary school, secondary school, after school centre.

Went to -> attended, used to go to.

Looking back to my golden days, I used to go to a daycare centre called Jim’s Daycare centre.”

If my memory serves me well, I attended a playgroup back in the day called Jim’s Playgroup.”

“Way back when I attended Primary school.”

Note, you should pick a few synonyms that you’re comfortable using, and try to mix & match them during your practice time. It’s quite common to talk about your childhood in the IELTS Speaking test, so make sure you can talk about it confidently and naturally.

Frequency:

From Monday to Friday.
Every day of the week.
5 days a week.
Weekends off.
5 days on, 2 days off.
My second home.
More often than not.
My home away from home.

Note, these are just some things we may say when talking about how frequently you go somewhere, like school or work.

For example; My office is like my second home. My school was like my home away from home. I’d go there each and every day. Attended school from Monday to Friday. Was there 5 days a week back in my salad days.

I would use an expression of frequency, like “all the time” – “most days” – “every day of the week”, etc.

More useful language:

My favourite place in the whole world – “The primary school I used to go to was my favourite place in the world by far.

Where I spent the best days of my life – “It was the place where I spent the best days of my life.

Relive those precious memories – “I wish I could go back in time and relive those memories.

Turned me into the person I am today – “Going there really turned me into the person I am today.
We often link this with – “I’ll never forget”, etc.

Life skills – “I learned so many invaluable life skills during my time there.”
Give a quick example. “such as” or “like……”

(the) Teacher’s pet – “I wasn’t exactly the teacher’s pet, but I did always try my best.”

(the) Top of my class – “Liz was always the top of her class in every subject at school.”

Study hard – “We used to study hard every single day.”

Live up to – “Thanks to my older brother, I had a lot of expectations to live up to back in school.”

Circle of friends – “Luckily, I had a large circle of friends in secondary school.”

High standard / low standard (of “education”) – “My school wasn’t exactly the best in the country, but we did have a really high standard of education.”

Headmaster / Headteacher – “Mr Jenkins was our school’s headmaster, he was such a kind and gentleman.”

Courtyard / Playground – “The courtyard was always so dirty.”

Also, think about the teachers there, and how they affected you.

Remember the useful phrasal verbs I discussed in (A toy from your childhood)? You could use them when talking about what you did there.

Example answer:

Well, looking back to my salad days, I went to 4 different schools whilst growing up, from kindergarten to college & everything in between. However, if I had to talk about one of them today, it would have to be my Primary school.

It was called Saint Wilfred’s Primary, located right in the heart of Manchester City centre. If my memory serves me well, there were around 200+ or so students there, I guess. Though I was too young to be able to count them all, I’m pretty sure that’s right. I used to go there back in 1993 when I was only 5 years old, so I don’t recall everything about the place. But, from what I can, it was my favourite place in the whole world back then. Like, I wish I could go back in time, and relive all the precious memories I have from in the good old days.

(quality) Way back then, it wasn’t exactly a modern school… Come to think of it, the school was actually quite poor compared to how it is nowadays, there were no decent facilities, or equipment in the classrooms. Though that didn’t really matter to a 5-year-old me, I was probably too young to notice how bad it was. They had high standards of education, and I always tried my best to live up to the teacher’s expectations, however, I was never the top of my class.

(frequency) Like most school kids in the UK, I needed to go 5 days a week. At that time, it felt like I was there all day every day, almost like my second home, you know?

(recommend) Believe it or not, with all that being said, I recently recommend to my brother that he should send his son there next year. Although we’re two totally different people, I’m sure his son would love it there as much as I did.

(return) So yeah, anyway. One day, I’d love to go back there, though I have no idea when that’ll be. I imagine that I’d get all choked up & emotional seeing the place again, I’ll never forget it, and how it made me into the man I am today.

 

So, that’s the end of the example answer.

Please remember, this example is not a REAL answer. It would be difficult for a native speaker to produce an answer like this.

Its purpose is to give you a clearer idea of the suggested language in use, and how to apply it to your answer.

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Thank you,
Jim.