Here at John Kyrle High School and Sixth Form Centre, preparations for the examinations season are well under way. With two of my own children also in the middle of this, I fully understand how challenging a time this can be for families as well as young people.
In our work with examination groups we often teach how to deal with the potential stress of this challenge as well as how to revise. It seems to me that much of the advice we give to young people is equally as valid for those of us with a few more years under our belts. Here’s what we tell the students:
1. Ask for help. There are times in our lives where all of us need help. It is ok to ask people for support and guidance. In school, we’re all here to help and actually really enjoy supporting you.
2. Be kind to yourself. We can’t pour from an empty cup and its really important to look after ourselves. This means thinking carefully about what we eat, taking regular exercise and making sure that our “inner voice” talks in a positive way. Celebrate your hard work and little achievements along the way!
3. Keep things in perspective. Like most things in life, a sense of perspective helps a great deal. Examinations are very important, but so are very many other things.
4. Remember to take a break. Those people who throw themselves at tasks often do really well. Dedication and commitment are to be applauded. However, we know our own bodies best and when we need a break we need to take one. Sleep, hydration, time with friends and even a good walk are all important.
5. Don’t compare yourself to other people. We’re all unique and have our own skills and attributes.
To all of those young people working hard towards their examinations, I wish you well. To all of those parents and carers supporting at home, I thank you. We’re here to help and support in any way we can.