Parents play a crucial role in supporting their child through examinations, so I thought it might be useful for you to have just a quick checklist of the key things to consider:
- Children need to be at their most alert and prepared for revision and examinations, so eating healthily, taking regular exercise and sleeping well are really important during this time. I have highlighted sleep because too many young people feel pressured to work until the early hours and then snatch a few unsatisfactory hours of sleep before the cycle of revision and testing resumes. This is not the way to maximise the prospects of good results. Children, just like adults, perform best when well-rested and refreshed, and this means getting between 8-10 hours sleep each night. Parents need to be at the forefront of the drive to support their child’s wellbeing by ensuring regular bedtimes.
- A dedicated work space is very important in helping a child to prepare for examinations. The ability to work in uninterrupted silence, in a room with lots of natural light, sufficient ventilation and a minimum of distractions like a television or games’ console, is a key part of good preparation. Younger children will need help in setting up a work space, so parents once again can help by talking to your child about the process of revision and the importance of a reserved area for study. This gives a child more ownership of the learning process, as well as showing them how important the exams are to you as their parents. By sharing the burden of revision, it can help to ease the excessive stress that many young people experience at this time.
- All children sitting examinations will have revision guides, but not all are capable of using their notes, guides and other resources effectively. By helping your child to get organised, parents can once again help to give the revision process a focus that it might otherwise lack through the inexperience (or inherent disorganisation) of a young learner. I also think it a good idea to draft a revision schedule in collaboration with your child and his or her teachers. Revision schedules are really useful in helping children to divide what can seem like an insurmountable amount of work into manageable sections, once again helping to reduce the anxiety levels which are so damaging to effective preparation.
- Finally, be aware that some children can react in novel and unexpected ways to the prospect of examinations. Your child may exhibit some new and, in some cases, troubling signs of pressure and anxiety. These could include pulling out clumps of hair, constant nail biting, scratching or cutting themselves on the arms or legs, becoming withdrawn or sullen in company, or reacting aggressively when asked to help around the home. If you suspect that your child is struggling with their emotions, please do not hesitate to connect with us here at school. We have a system of counselling and support that can help, providing experienced and sympathetic listeners to all our pupils, even at short notice.
Developing a familiarity with examinations and the work that goes around them is crucial in training young learners to be successful at school. As adults – parents and staff – we can help to support children by observing these simple steps and showing understanding at times of anxiety. There are few better sensations in school than achieving great results in examinations, but as with so many things in life, this success often has its origins long before the date for any given examination. We cannot help our children once they open a paper and start writing, but we can and should be there for them along the path to that moment.
FROM THE DIRECTOR OF MUSIC
We warmly invite you to attend our lunchtime concert on Friday 31st May. Due to public exams, it will take place in the Seldon theatre on this occasion. This recital will feature a range of soloists and two beautiful choral arrangements performed by the Wellatonics. The concert will start at 1330hrs, so please be seated at 1325hrs at the latest. We hope to see many of you there.
Thursday 30 May 2019
9:00AM – 10:30AM
FOW: Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) (ES) (WCA Room)
9:00AM – 12:00PM
FOW Reading Group (ES) (MB 125)
2:00PM – 3:15PM
Meet the Master: Year 2-6 parents (ES) (Duke of York’s room)
Friday 31 May 2019
Nest: Children’s Day: Traditional Dress day (DZ) (The Nest)
8:30AM – 9:00AM
Nest Assembly: Poetry Nursery (DZ) (Theatre)
8:30AM – 9:30AM
FOW EAL (Advanced) (PF) (MB 231)
8:30AM – 11:00AM
FOW Art Class (KM) (MB 125)
8:45AM – 10:00AM
FOW Pilates (ES) (Black Box)
9:30AM – 10:30AM
Positive parenting course (Rm N205)
10:00AM – 12:00PM
Nest: classroom activities for Children’s Day (DZ)
1:25PM – 1:55PM
Lunchtime Recital (FG) (Theatre)
Saturday 01 June 2019
8:00AM – 12:00PM
College Board SAT examination (Black Box)