This week at the ISPTA coffee morning, I was asked to share some advice on how parents can best support their children through the mock exams and assessment blocks.
The ability to perform under pressure is a valuable personal attribute and the secret to success is in careful planning and organisation. Much of the pressure that students experience is generated by either leaving too little time to prepare for a looming deadline or not using sufficient time effectively.
This pressure often generates significant stress for students and it can ripple out into their families, creating anxiety, tension and sometimes conflict.
The best advice I can offer families who are dealing with this scenario is to work together with their young person to develop a plan.
Below are some ideas for considering when preparing this plan:
- Start by checking the school website to become familiar with exam and assignment schedules
- Make decisions about how much time is required to successfully meet these expectations and develop a weekly schedule to manage time
- Make sure the schedule includes exercise, family time and leisure activities
- Work together to maintain excellent attendance. Staying home from school to complete an assignment just puts a student behind in other areas which then need to be made up
- Reduce work and social commitments as required over this period
- Ensuring the schedule includes sufficient time for sleep. Research shows that sleep plays a pivotal role in learning and performance.
- Maintain a good diet
These associated topics are regularly covered by tutors and it should be remembered that any parents wishing for more advice are encouraged to contact their senior head of House.