Is there too much pressure on children in school today?

Children from ages 6 onwards have to deal with the stress of exams. In 2016/17 the NSPCC-service reported that it delivered more than 3,000 counselling sessions for children suffering from exam stress.

In year 9 children have to decide the next step in their lives. They must choose their options which will decipher their futures. Some students feel as if schools and teachers tend to exaggerate the importance of these decisions, but of course this is not always true.

Facing these decisions prove to be a stressful episode in their lives. A newly employed English teacher shared her experience about GCSEs.

“I took History, Music, French and IT.”

“I was told to take History by my teachers as it would benefit my future. This stopped me from taking Drama which I regret. For me personally taking History came with a lot of pressure, and as one of the more able in my class I was pushed harder and harder. This led to a negative attitude towards my education.”

Some children feel pressured into taking certain subjects but it’s important to take what you’re good at and what you enjoy most. Don’t let people pressure you into taking “the best subjects” as they might not be best for you.

It isn’t only the children who suffer the consequences of exam stress. Studies show that almost a quarter (24%) of parents have lost sleep because they were worrying about their children’s exams.

According to a poll by 5 Live, two in five parents have also said that not knowing how to help their children revise has made them feel as if they ‘are not good enough parents’.

52% of parents said they would like more advise on how to help and support their children through their exam period.

In more extreme cases, some parents have reported their own mental health suffering because they were worrying about their children’s exams.

You may be feeling stressed and worried about exams but it is critical to understand how to deal with stress. Excessive anxiety can cause lack of sleep.

· It is very important to ensure that you get around 6-8 hours of sleep to help stay focused and concentrate better.

· Children are pushed to revise by reading big information books. It is very important to revise but reading information books isn’t always the best way. It could make you feel more stressed.

· Revising is good because it helps you prepare for exams. For people who procrastinate revising could be difficult. Which means it is important to exclude yourself from distraction.

· Revising can stress you out a lot but remember it is a good idea to find your own way to do it.

Studies show that a helpful tip is to revise without distractions for 10 minutes and then have a break for 10 minutes, then start again. Maybe try for 20 minutes with o 10 minute break or even 40 minutes. Being organised is great and is a good idea is to create a revision timetable.

By Ellie, Tallulah, Mared, Caitlin