Exam Stress

To nurture the skills of resilience is key to providing young people with the ability to cope with stress, adversity, failure and challenges. Resilience is evident when young people have a greater ability to “bounce back” when faced with difficulties and achieve positive outcomes.

Resilience empowers individuals to recognise the signs of exam stress and apply coping strategies to deal with it. If their results are disappointing resilience will allow them to look at their alternative options and different pathways.

It is normal for children and young people to feel a bit worried about exams, especially if they feel they are under pressure from school or family. Exam stress can cause an individual to feel anxious or depressed, and this might affect their sleeping or eating habits. It may also cause physical symptoms such as having headaches and stomach pains and feeling tired. Through general lessons about emotional health and coping strategies children and young people can develop their ability to recognise different kinds of stress for themselves and others and to build resilience, self-care and coping strategies.

  • that there is a normal range of emotions (e.g. happiness, sadness, anger, fear, surprise, nervousness) and scale of emotions that all humans experience in relation to different experiences and situations.
  • how to recognise and talk about their emotions, including having a varied vocabulary of words to use when talking about their own and others’ feelings.
  • how to judge whether what they are feeling and how they are behaving is appropriate and proportionate.
  • the benefits of physical exercise, time outdoors, community participation, voluntary and service-based activity on mental wellbeing and happiness.
  • simple self-care techniques, including the importance of rest, time spent with friends and family and the benefits of hobbies and interests.
  • where and how to seek support (including recognising the triggers for seeking support), including whom in school they should speak to if they are worried about their own or someone else’s mental wellbeing or ability to control their emotions (including issues arising online).

Source: Relationships Education RSE and Health Education (DfE)  Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education guidance (publishing.service.gov.uk)

  • how to talk about their emotions accurately and sensitively, using appropriate vocabulary.
  • how to recognise the early signs of mental wellbeing concerns.
  • common types of mental ill health (e.g. anxiety and depression).
  • how to critically evaluate when something they do or are involved in has a positive or negative effect on their own or others’ mental health.
  • the benefits and importance of physical exercise, time outdoors, community participation and voluntary and service-based activities on mental wellbeing and happiness

Source: Relationships Education RSE and Health Education (DfE)  Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education guidance (publishing.service.gov.uk)