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Student Case Study: How To Use Exam Worries As A Positive

Updated: Apr 27, 2022

As exam season starts to bite, often anxiety can rise in our young people. Today’s blog focuses on how hero teachers can support their students by teaching them a technique so that they can use their worries as a positive.

Tia*, a year 11 pupil at City Academy Norwich explains the approach that one of her teachers has taught her following the training from our Future Action RISE Up teacher training course.

Tia’s story

'’I was struggling with anxiety when we returned after Christmas time because I was worried about how I would do in my exams this summer and how that would impact my future.

My teacher saw I was upset one lunch time and sat down to check I was ok. I let out how I was feeling panicky about my exams and my future and it was stressing me out.

Firstly they asked me what I could control about my exams so I started talking about my preparation and how I hadn’t done a lot of revision over the last few months.

My teacher stressed that I should focus on controlling the controllables and explained how I had two choices. I could either fret and fear the future, and get anxious about what was to come or I could focus on creating a plan and taking action.

We then met after school the next day and we created a plan that included:

  • Completing an audit of predicted grades in each subject to recognise how I was doing and what subjects I needed to focus on

  • We were to speak to my subject teachers to explain I was struggling and would like help

  • Trying my best in every single lesson and complete all homework set

  • Creating a revision schedule

  • Requesting & attending catch up sessions

  • Buddying up with a friend who enjoys the subject and could help me if I got stuck

  • Visiting revision websites podcasts like GCSE POD or revision websites such as BBC BiteSize

  • Creating task cards, and taking part in low stakes mini quizzes with my friends to build in retrieval practice

  • Completing a new audit of predicted grades in each subject and celebrate the progress I make

I started to focus on my preparation and by taking action I felt less anxious and more confident straight away. I started with small steps but as I could see myself progressing, my motivation increased and I started to do more and more.

My teacher then taught me the power of three journaling technique to help me be grateful for all that I have, to build my confidence by focusing on what I had achieved that day, and to keep me focused by setting my three wins for the next day. It’s really helped me stay focused as I could see how much I was progressing each week.

This whole process has really helped me feel less anxious and more confident about my upcoming exams. I have improved so much over the last few months and know that I’ve given myself the best chance to be successful in my exams and beyond.

I’m really grateful to have been taught these techniques and now use them in other aspects of my life when I start to feel anxious and worry about other things. Thank you sir.’

* The name of the student has been changed to protect their identity.

The RISE Up Roadmap

We teach using worries as a positive as step five of the rise up roadmap. This is part of our online teacher training course that guides great teachers to help teach their students strategies to reduce their anxiety, build their confidence and create an Early Intervention Mental Wellbeing Programme that has whole school impact within 90 days.

Our online teacher training course contains editable resources to save your busy teachers time, and enable them to adapt resources to the needs of your students.

It is ideal for your Wellbeing leads, RSHE leads, Physical Education teachers and any member of staff who wants to equip themselves with a range of early intervention skills so that they can make a difference.

The RISE Up Scorecard

The complimentary RISE Up scorecard has been created to help your school identify the areas you need to focus on to transform the wellbeing of your students.

You'll be scored in the following key categories :

[1] Activities - a range of physical activities are a fantastic way to transform your students' mental wellbeing by incorporating trauma informed practice.

[2] Mental Fitness - using positive psychology to transform your students' confidence and reduce their anxiety.

[3] Habits - embedding healthy habits and reducing unhealthy habits to enable students to self-care for their wellbeing now and long after they have left your school.

[4] Whole School Impact - identify areas where you can use the power of Physical activity to have whole school impact.

Test your school’s wellbeing provision in 3 minutes by answering 19 simple questions. You will receive your own personalised report with top tips to enhance the quality of your provision to transform the wellbeing of your students and staff.

Taking this super quick quiz will arm you with the information you need to take your school’s early intervention wellbeing programme to the next level. It will give you a way to benchmark your progress in this vital area over the next year.

We would be delighted to go through the answers you have provided in your scorecard and explore different ways we can enhance your schools wellbeing provision in partnership with you.

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