There is so much talk in the media about the stress on young people that exams cause that we half wonder if it is this publicity partly causes the problem in the first place, but regardless of the causes ‘exams stress’ is real, it does exist, and it needs to be addressed.

There is certainly some truth in saying that if a child works hard and prepares well then they will have less cause to be stressed, but there is also a need to take on board the exam pressures that certainly are more intense than they were when many parents faced similar tests.

Of course, the role of parents is very important at exam time – putting on enough pressure to keep the revision going, but not overwhelming the chid so that they throw in the towel. It is the striking of this balance that brings worries to parents who want to get it right.

One of the best ways to relieve stress – for both students and parents – is to be well-informed and to think about how you are revising.

The new courses come with new grades and expectations and this can be confusing for parents who were brought up on a different system. The following Fact Sheet explains how the new GCSEs operate, how they will change, and keep the gobbledegook to manageable levels.

ASCL GCSE Fact Sheet

Elsewhere, the Revision page of the school website (under the Student Tab) offered lots of help and guidance and the following article gives some good general pointers on life in and around revision time:

Oli Forster, Assistant Head, said: “We are working to be flexible and supportive right through the exam time with drop-down lessons to focus on the exam in hand, providing Saturday School for students to check on anything they are worried about, offering plenty of revision support in assemblies and via the website, and more importantly being around through the days and evenings to help any child who needs that bit of extra support.”

Matt Allman, Headteacher, added: “We know that those students who have active parental support through the exam season have a leg up on other children, but we are also aware that parents may need some guidance on how they can help. We would encourage any parents with concerns or questions to contact the school in the usual ways and we will always get back to you and offer support.”