This week the external exam season began in earnest. It really does only feel like yesterday when I was speaking to year 11 pupils and saying that the year would ‘fly by’ – and it certainly has!
Exams are important but not more important than wellbeing. I want all pupils to do well, do the best they can but to appreciate that, as long as they have tried their best, then that is good enough. The pressure on young people is immense and even though some journalists seem to suggest that it isn’t the case, exam pressure is mounting year-on-year. There is a role for everyone to ensure that pupils are supported over the coming weeks, whether that is by giving the time and space they need, by ensuring there is a plentiful supply of custard creams to hand or by some simple words of encouragement – this support can all make a difference.
Our pupils have been bombarded with revision tips and advice over the past few months and so here I have taken the liberty of sharing with you what I think are the top pieces of advice for parents and carers:
- Agree the balance between work and social life and stick to the agreement. Again, flexibility is the key – if a special night comes up, agree that they can make up the work at a specified time
- All students fall behind, feel demotivated or overwhelmed, or struggle with the balance of social, work and school demands at times. When your child feels like this, berating and threatening them will have a negative effect. Talk to them about the issues, acknowledge their feelings and adopt a sensible attitude in wanting to find a solution
- Be flexible – use the 80/20 rule. If your child is sticking to what they are supposed to be doing 80% of the time, they will be doing alright
- If your child asks for your support, encourage them by helping them to see the difficulties in perspective. Teenagers often take an all or nothing ‘catastrophic’ approach to difficulties – “I’ve messed up this essay, I might as well give up.”
Exams can be stressful for parents and carers too but please remember your support is invaluable!
Our photo of the week shows Year 7 pupils starting their exciting 3-year science project with Trio Science Cymru.