Supporting your child through exam season - Bangkok Prep

Supporting your child through exam season

Supporting teenagers through their schooling is challenging at the best of times. Add a stressful period of examinations to the mixer and emotions can run high. The term ‘treading on eggshells’ can often be applied in most households.

This article explores a few ways in which you can support your children through an exam season. Please kindly note that there isn’t a magic wand with this and there is certainly no magic recipe. These are just some considerations for you and your children to work through. Keep up the passions and hobbies!

Some might argue this is a controversial starter. Students probably would say the same too but all research literature concludes that we should continue doing the things we love in times of ‘hardship’ or ‘stress’. Firstly, stress and challenge are absolutely needed and necessary in life, but we need the things we enjoy in our lives to keep us going and remain balanced when things become tougher than the ‘norm’.

Research and experience teach us that having balance in our lives, ensures we remain in a stable state of mood, we are refreshed and recharged for the challenges ahead and have the motivation to work in that all important state of flow for longer periods of time to maximise our effectiveness.

Sport and exercise during exams – A study commissioned by the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference in the UK, discovered that taking part in competitive sports during GCSE and A-Level exam periods has no negative effects on teenagers’ grades. The study’s organiser, Professor Peter Clough at Huddersfield University’s Psychology department, who analysed the GCSE results of 1,482 students from 19 schools, clarified: “Overall, taking part in sport appears to have a lot of positive impact.” He claims that, “taking part in sport on a regular basis is not doing [school pupils] any harm and it is doing them good.” According to the Telegraph, Professor Clough’s study has found “a significant relationship between involvement in sport and mental toughness” with the “super performers” – students with top academic results – playing “a lot of sport as well as achieving the highest grades in their class.”

 

Moreover, according to experts at Birmingham University, sport improves academic performance in a range of indirect ways, too.

 

  1. It produces endorphins and serotonin that reduce stress levels.
  2. It boosts general energy levels, which makes it easier to concentrate during revision.
  3. It helps regulate sleeping patterns.
  4. It improves clarity of thought as training can help the mind meditate on difficult concepts.

 

In short, as long as students maintain good time management practices, their sports activities can actually improve their exam performance. Reframing the language slightly

– How we say and ask things can often be perceived by young people very differently. Especially if they are experiencing some hormonal challenges at that particular time. A simple supportive question such as ‘…are you sticking to your revision schedule?’ can often cause young people to become defensive and a sense of intrusiveness appears out of nowhere. If we change the semantics slightly and put a supportive spin on our so-called ‘intrusiveness’, research will tell us it can go a long way. Asking if you can support with planning the revision schedule or ‘is there anything we can do to best support your revision schedule’ should open more doors for your child to be further willing to share information.

Share the accountability load – Another way to support your child’s revision schedule and time management is to ask if you could have a copy of the schedule or better still, ask whether it could be displayed in common area in the house. That way everyone is being accountable for the revision schedule to be followed and adhered to. I must make a point here though and it’s imperative that self-care practices, breaks, exercise and downtime need to be included in the schedule. Why not try to factor in some family time into the schedule as well? Please do remember that it’s your child’s revisions schedule and they should be the designers, implementers and reviewers of its success. You are there as a supportive figure who is on their side.

We pride ourselves at Bangkok Prep for not enforcing a ‘heads down policy’ during exam seasons and important deadline periods as we feel strongly that students need to be keeping up with their ‘non-academic’ commitments. We also feel that it is teaching them essential life skills, being able to juggle various commitments, even during important exam sessions. Of course, in a school setting there are exceptions to this rule, especially for those students who need extra support in the run up to their exams or who have missed periods of their education.

The overwhelming message (from this article) is that we should be encouraging the students of Bangkok Prep to engage in self-care practices during exams or periods of high workload. This includes sports fixtures, music concerts, family meals, social events with friends and after school commitments. They need these activities to remain recharged, balanced and to perform at their personal best. Using COVID as a lesson and with everything that has happened over the last three years, it has surely made us all realise that looking after both our physical and mental health is priority number one.

Lastly, our students won’t perform to their best of their abilities during testing periods or examinations if they are burnt out. A revision schedule without periods of rest, exercise, healthy dieting and sufficient sleep will cause burn out and in turn result in a drop in performance levels. In a School that prides itself on academic excellence and holistic education, we should never neglect the things we love doing to achieve our goals. In fact, they should be a key component to our success.

Stephen Hurworth is currently Deputy Head Teacher of Secondary at Bangkok Prep. Before joining us this academic year he spent seven years at Dulwich College Beijing where for the last four years, he was Assistant Head of the Senior School. Stephen also held leadership responsibilities at DCB as Head of Department, Head of Year and Head of Football. His first international post was at Heathfield International School in Bangkok where he was Head of Key Stage 3, Head of PE and Examinations Officer.

 

Our Campus

BANGKOK PREP ADDRESS

77 SUKHUMVIT 77, VADHANA
BANGKOK, 10110

77 สุขุมวิท 77 วัฒนา
กรุงเทพมหานคร 10110

02-700-5858

Primary School

The Head of Primary at Bangkok Prep emphasizes the importance of primary education in shaping students’ lives academically and socially. The school aims to prepare global citizens capable of facing life’s challenges in an ever-changing world. With a dedicated team of educators, Bangkok Prep sets high standards, encouraging students to dream big and work hard towards their goals.

Aligned with the National Curriculum of England and Wales, the school’s curriculum is adapted to reflect Thai culture and society. Teaching follows an innovative thematic approach, integrating real-life contexts with academic rigor to develop well-rounded individuals. Learning is personalized to cater to diverse abilities and talents, fostering mutual respect, trust, and inclusivity.

Bangkok Prep’s primary curriculum extends beyond statutory requirements, focusing on engaging cross-curricular themes to facilitate high-quality learning. Emphasizing active and interactive learning experiences, the curriculum encourages exploration, questioning, and collaboration. The school aims to nurture students’ curiosity, helping them discover lifelong passions and talents while preparing them for a fulfilling future.

Admissions Procedure

When choosing Bangkok Prep for your child, you’re welcomed into the school family, ensuring a warm and supportive environment. The admissions process begins with completing a brief enquiry form, followed by an invitation for an introductory visit and tour. Conveniently located on Sukhumvit 77, Bangkok Prep offers both Primary and Secondary campuses. Upon deciding on Bangkok Prep, applicants submit their application form and required documents. Assessment sessions are then scheduled based on the applicant’s year level, ranging from 30 minutes to 3 hours. The assessment includes various activities and tests tailored to different age groups. After assessment, the admissions team evaluates the application and notifies the family of the decision within 1-2 weeks. Successful applicants receive a formal offer letter and an invoice for initial fees, including placement, security, and registration fees, which must be paid within the specified timeframe to secure the child’s place.

Early Years

At Bangkok Prep, the Early Years curriculum follows the Early Years Foundation Stage framework of England, emphasizing thematic topics and child-led learning for a stimulating and enjoyable school experience. It nurtures learning through play and focuses on developing concepts, skills, and positive attitudes across various areas including personal, social, emotional, communication, language, physical, literacy, mathematics, understanding of the world, and expressive arts and design. The curriculum prioritizes individualized learning, ensuring continuous progress while maintaining confidence and a can-do attitude. Specialist sessions in Thai language and culture, music, library, physical education, and swimming further enhance learning opportunities. Supervised by native English teachers and Thai-speaking teaching assistants, children immerse in language acquisition through the immersion method, preparing them for the international community. The Early Years program prioritizes outdoor learning environments, valuing them as essential for children’s wellbeing and development. It serves as ideal preparation for the transition into primary school and provides resources for parents on the Foundation Years website.

Secondary School

Bangkok Prep prides itself on being a distinct international secondary school in Bangkok, prioritizing student needs and providing a stimulating learning environment. Central to this is the pastoral system, where each student is assigned to a tutor group led by a Form Tutor, ensuring personalized care and support. The curriculum evolves to meet students’ changing needs, offering a core curriculum supplemented by option subjects as students mature. Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9) focuses on a broad curriculum adapted from the English National Curriculum, fostering personal growth. In Key Stage 4 (Years 10-11), students choose option subjects alongside a core curriculum, culminating in IGCSE examinations. Key Stage 5 (Years 12-13) sees students specialize in Advanced Level courses while also engaging in a core curriculum and receiving support for university applications. Bangkok Prep fosters a warm, inclusive community and actively participates in regional competitions and events. The school encourages student involvement and leadership, ensuring a thriving learning environment. Contact information is provided for further inquiries.

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