Tips to Support Your Child During Examination Time
- Talk to your child about how you can support them and what they would find helpful.
- The simplest of things can often get in the way of beginning any revision – time can be lost for example whilst pupils are going to get some folders, marker pens etc. from the shop. Get around this by simply providing the files, wall charts etc. that your child will need for the revision period.
- Encourage your child to empty their bag and pockets and then file any handouts / information from lessons at the end of each day into the correct folders. They won’t seem important to your child until they are needed, at which point they are likely to be lost under a mountain of random papers!
- Support your child in choosing one good revision guide for each subject – it’s the best investment you will make. There are lots around so check with the subject teacher yourself if you are not sure which one is the best, Broadoak teaching staff will always be happy to help and advise.
- Help your child to plan their revision timetable, it will take an investment of your time but it really will help with the effectiveness of revision and therefore the outcome. Children vary in the amount of support that they need for this process but when it is complete check it together.
An Example of a Revision Timetable
|DAY / DATE||A.M.||P.M.||EVENING||SUPPORT AVAILABLE|
|Saturday 16th April||Revision||Free Time||Free Time||TV Bitesize - Science|
|Sunday 17th April||Revision||Revision||Revision|
|Monday 18th April||School||School||Revision||English support after school - Learn notes|
|Tuesday 19th April||School||School||Revision|
|Wednesday 20th April||School||School||Revision|
|Thursday 21st April||School||School||Free Time|
|Friday 22nd April||School||School||Revision|
|Saturday 23rd April||Revision||Revision||Free Time|
Supporting your child during revision
- Support your child in sticking to their revision plan and keeping to the start and finishing times they have agreed. Praise them when they do it and if necessary agree a reward structure. Do not make threats dependent on certain results as it may add to their disappointment if they do not do as well as expected.
- Make sure they can access a quiet space at home in which they can focus and concentrate without interruption.
- Provide favourite snacks and water for revision periods.
- Be a flexible parent – if they want to go out to a special event on a revision night, agree when they will make up the time.
- Be sensitive to the pressure your child is feeling – let them know that if they are not really up to revision on an odd day, it’s not the end of the world – let it go when it really matters to them. Remind them of all the good work they have done and will continue to do! It is the big picture that will count in the end
- Keep up with regular check-ins and do not nag in between times – be positive! Show an interest in how the revision is going, talk through any difficulties and be prepared to help them reschedule their planning as necessary.
- Keep things in perspective – your child may not be doing things the way you would do them or as often as you would like but remember, they are doing the best they can in a way that works for them at the stage they are at.
Supporting your child in during the examinations
- The exam period can be very stressful for pupils. Encourage your child to keep a positive perspective.
- Try not to add to the stress levels in the house by rising to the bait when your child pushes the limits. None of us are at our best under stress and it is likely that their behaviour will be challenging during this time. Pick your battles carefully, shelving any issues that are not of immediate importance. Now is not the time to bring up the issue of the untidy bedroom or the washing up being left again!
- Ensure that your child is prepared for the examination and talk through when it is and what they need to take with them etc. On the day make sure that they have the correct equipment with them, a watch and an adequate supply of pens and pencils for example.
- Try to keep routines the same. On exam days try to ensure that they have a good breakfast or suggest they take a banana or another source of energy food with them if they say they cannot eat anything first thing in the morning.
- Before the exam remind them that you love and value their best effort whatever happens. Remind them of any strategies for keeping calm and make sure you wish them good luck.
- After the exam, ask how it went but do not insist on a long post-mortem unless they wish to give you one. Be available but respect your child’s wishes to deal with their feelings in their own way. Try to adopt an attitude of ‘tomorrow is another day’, if things have gone badly.
Supporting your child in dealing with examination stress
Some stress is normal and can help with successfully tackling exams. Some of the symptoms of stress maybe:
- Difficulty in sleeping or waking up
- Poor appetite
- Loss of interest in things they used to enjoy
- Headaches or other unexplained aches and pains
- Irritability and frequent angry episodes
- If your child is stressed, try to encourage them to take a break from any school work and do something that they enjoy.
- Exercise promotes hormones that actively counter stress, so try to encourage this.
- Ensure your child eats well and let them know that you are always there to listen – stressed people usually need someone to listen and empathise with the feelings they express – try not to give advice unless they ask for it.
- Encourage your child to attend the examination relaxation classes at Broadoak School which are offered to support pupils with stress.
Supporting yourself as a parent
Do not feel at a loss as your child enters examination time. Your involvement during this crucial time can make an enormous difference. Educational studies have stated that Parental support is very important and can lead to greater success for your child.
You do not have to be an expert, just follow the Parent tips and practical advice which has been offered above…and remember…Broadoak School and Members of Staff are always available to work in partnership with you and can provide the expertise and other resources to help you and your child acquire the knowledge, skills and understanding to do the best in each examination subject.