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2022 Blogs Senior Sixth Form

Strategies to help your child tackle exams – useful exam tips for parents

As well as being Head of Religion and Philosophy, Zak leads our digital vision. He was instrumental in developing our excellent online learning offering during lockdown, much to the relief of our parents, and is now leading the roll out of our school device programme.

Strategies to help your child tackle exams – useful exam tips for parents

As well as being Head of Religion and Philosophy, Zak leads our digital vision. He was instrumental in developing our excellent online learning offering during lockdown, much to the relief of our parents, and is now leading the roll out of our school device programme.

With exam season rapidly approaching, the pressure is mounting on today’s young minds. Exams are a stressful time. Between studying and testing, it may feel like your child’s entire life is revolving around an exam hall. The stress your child is experiencing, accompanied by normal teenage angst, can often amp up the stress for the entire household and make everyone in the home feel more tense.

For this reason, exam season can be just as stressful for parents as it is their children. Knowing how to help and figuring out the right way to support them through this difficult time may feel hard. This article will offer some suggestions on things you can do as a parent to help make exam season as peaceful as possible for all.

Managing your expectations
In most homes, children are expected to pull their weight. Be it a few chores around the house, keeping their bedroom tidy, or helping out with tasks that will prepare them for later life. However, during exam season, added pressure from studying and from exams may mean you notice your child forgetting to do little things around the house or that their bedroom may be a little bit messier than usual.

While it’s easy for a parent to continue to uphold the same standards and expectations for chores and help around the home during exam season, it’s important to remember the added stress your child is currently going through and to factor that into your expectations.

As a parent, you may want to consider easing up on the chores during exam season. When your child’s plate is stacked so high, they are bound to drop the ball once in a while. It’s your job to face this with understanding and to offer help where possible.

Encourage fresh air and exercise
During the chaos of exam season, it’s easy for your child to spend hours on end cooped up at a desk with their head in a book. But equally important as revising, is ensuring that your child is able to spend some time in the great outdoors, exercising.

As cliché as the saying is, a healthy body really does equal a healthy mind. When you exercise, you raise your heart rate which increases blood flow and consequently oxygen supply to your brain. This is beneficial to the studious mind as it allows you to boost your concentration.

Exercise is also a great way to help your child reduce their stress levels. It allows them a chance to clear their mind and cool down from the stress of exam season. After exercise, your child is more likely to return to the books with a fresh mindset!

For this reason, as a parent, it’s really important to encourage and enable your child to peruse physical activities during exam season. Whether it’s by taking them to their sporting clubs or by joining them on a run, walk or cycle. Any support you can offer to get them moving will help them massively.

Help create a routine
While we are on the topic of taking time out to exercise, it’s important that as a parent you encourage your child to find a healthy balance in life. Studying is important, as is allowing your child time to relax and enjoy being young. Due to this, having a routine is key!

Creating a routine is so important during stressful times. It allows a reliable and stable environment to be created which, in turn, reduces the stress levels associated with exam season. Scientifically, a lack of routine can lead to increased stress levels as not knowing when important tasks will get done can create anxiety. It can also cause poor sleep and poor eating, which can lead to poor physical condition. Poor physical condition will further make exam season feel harder and more stressful. Most simply put, a lack of routine can lead to ineffective use of time.

For your stressed child, finding time to eat, sleep, exercise, and wind down between the mounds of studying and exams they are expected do may seem like an impossible task. As a parent you can help them create a schedule to ensure that their time is being efficiently managed and used.

A schedule is not only useful in allowing your child a chance to bring balance to their life during exam season, but a study timetable will also give them the opportunity to ensure that they are spending equal amounts of time on different subjects and will allow them the opportunity to discover which areas need more attention than others.

Meal planning
As unrelated as meal planning may seem to your child’s exam season, it’s actually vital! To begin with, creating a meal plan ensures that your child knows when and what their next meal will be. This eliminates an unknown aspect in their schedule that has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety.

Meal planning also ensures that you’re able to create balanced meals for your child during their exam season and allows you to ensure the foods they are eating are going to help fuel their mind and their body.

Have an open and honest conversation
While this may be something you and your child already do, it’s more important than ever to speak to your child about the upcoming exam season. Discuss how they are feeling and ask them if there is anything they would like from you to make the season run as smoothly and in as stress-free a manner as possible.

It’s also important to ensure that you have spoken to your child about your expectations. Of course, you want your child to achieve the best grades possible and you want them to secure the brightest possible future for themselves, but between the pressure they are putting on themselves and the pressure they are feeling at school, your child will need your support.

Ollie is a QEH 'lifer', as he joined QEH Juniors in Year 3, eleven years ago.  It's been great to watch his development through the years, both on and off the pitch.

Thank you Friends of QEH!

Ollie is a QEH 'lifer', as he joined QEH Juniors in Year 3, eleven years ago.  It's been great to watch his development through the years, both on and off the pitch.

Ollie signs for the Bears!

As well as being Head of Religion and Philosophy, Zak leads our digital vision. He was instrumental in developing our excellent online learning offering during lockdown, much to the relief of our parents, and is now leading the roll out of our school device programme.

On stage!

Year 11, 12 and 13 Art students went to the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford for a tour by Clare Cory, the Learning Officer for Secondary and Young People. It was her first tour since lockdown so she was particularly energised and enthusiastic with the group!

Art Trip to Oxford

You run a remarkable school with an ethic that is truly unique.
It shines through in each and every boy. There’s something in the way the teachers know every boy’s talent and in the way the boys support each other (while also embracing real competition!) that’s just remarkable.

Esther, parent

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