Dealing with GCSE exam stress
Studying for GCSE exams is inevitably a stressful time. While a degree of nerves is to be expected – and can indeed prove beneficial – reports of heightened anxiety and stress amongst GCSE students in particular have led to increasing concerns from teaching bodies.
This year’s Year 11 students are the first real cohort to face the challenges of the sweeping changes to the GCSE exam structure and mark scheme across a wide range of subjects, and teachers and other teaching professionals fear that middle to low ability students and those with additional needs, especially dyslexia, will be particularly badly affected, resulting in poor exam performance.
As a paediatric psychotherapist who works with schools and individuals both in person and online to better manage anxiety and build confidence in the build up to exams, I would urge education professionals to treat mental preparation with the same importance as academic preparation – and begin focusing on their students’ mental wellbeing at the start of the academic year with some basic revision advice.
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“100% of our year 11 students achieved at least 5 GCSEs at grades A*-C.
82% achieved at least 5 GCSEs including Maths, English and/or Welsh at grades A*-C. An impressive 27% of grades were at A* or A compared to the national average of 19.4%.
We strongly believe that GCSEPod has played an important role in improving the outcomes for some of our pupils. Indeed, some of our top users exceeded their target grades in many areas and have now returned to the sixth form to continue their studies at A level.”
Diane Evans - Assistant Head Teacher,
Ysgol Uwchradd Aberteif
“There is a very clear correlation between the subjects with the most pronounced raises in attainment (English Literature, Chemistry, Biology and Physics) and those that had the highest GCSEPod usage.
In addition, the student with the highest GCSEPod usage was also our highest achiever.
Because there has so clearly been an impact on the departments that utilised GCSEPod effectively, we will be looking to increase the use of GCSEPod across the school in coming years.”
Andrew Ost - Deputy Head,
Fort Pitt Grammar School
“We’ve used GCSEPod for a year and the results speak for themselves!
Not only did we see a rise in headline measures across the board with our highest user of GCSEPod gaining 7A* – but the students and their parents love it!
It’s fun, user friendly, and easy to use in a variety of ways – on a mobile device, in school, at the heart of our mentoring and intervention strategies, for flipping learning, and to deliver positive engagement that parents can see. Plus we’ve only just scratched the surface!”
Dominic Howkins - Vice Principal,
Ormiston Sudbury Academy
Don’t just take our word for it. GCSEPod has gained huge recognition since our initial launch in 2010 and we continue to pick up industry awards along the way. We’re constantly listening to the schools that use GCSEPod and learning how we can best support teachers and students in times of change. Contact us to tell us your goals for the next year and discuss how we can be a part of your school improvement strategy.