Head of George Green’s School, Kenny Frederick talks about coping with exam pressure


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Parents across the country will know children are gearing up for public exams which are about to start very soon. In years gone by this would involve only the older pupils who were doing GCSE’s or A’ Levels but now it also includes pupils in Year 6 at Primary School, who will be doing SATs, as well as secondary school students taking GCSEs, A Levels and in the case of my school, the International Baccalaureate. In addition, many students in Years 10 and even Year 9 will also be doing some GCSE exams this summer. The pressure is on and students, teachers and parents will be getting extremely anxious.

Schools will have been working towards these exams all year and the next four of five weeks will be spent consolidating knowledge and skills and making sure students are familiar with the type of questions they might be asked and the style of answers expected. Teachers will be helping students to develop their study skills and trying to get them organised so they can take it all in their stride. Most schools will offer after school revision and booster classes and private study opportunities, where students will be supervised and supported whilst they study. It’s a really good idea to encourage your child attend as teachers will be on hand to help them, answer questions and to assist in easing the panic.

This is an anxious time for parents/carers who want to help their children but don’t know how. This can lead to arguments especially with teenagers who can be just a little bit moody (it’s all down to the hormones!). This is a difficult path to tread. If you keep on at them they will accuse you of nagging. If you leave them to sort themselves out they could spend all their free time playing computer games or talking with friends on a social networking sites. So what do you do?

Most schools will be contacting parents and offering advice. Do read this advice and talk about it with your child so they know you are trying to support them and are not out to make their life a misery! Older students may have to put their social life on hold for a while but they will still need some time to relax.

Its important to keep calm and carry on!