Counsellor: So what can I do to help?
Year 11 student: I’m going to fail, I ‘m going to fail!
Counsellor: What do you mean? Your subject teachers are ever so pleased with you.
Student : Yes, but the other day we missed a couple of lessons when we practised going in and out of the exam hall. The idea was we could get used to what is expected.
Counsellor: I gather most students thought it was very effective!
Student: Well, lots of them were only to happy to be missing the lessons, because they hadn’t done the homework. Others wanted to be kind, because they knew the teachers had put it on to help us. But to be honest, I would rather have had the lessons.
Counsellor: But you’ll catch up easily. Don’t forget we’ve got the Pizza revision evening next week. Free pizza for all those attending!
Student: Yes I know – I’m missing my usual swimming club session to take part.
Counsellor: There you are. And you’ll be attending the residential study weekend?
Student: Oh yes. My parents didn’t want me to miss Gran’s birthday, but in the end they were persuaded.
Counsellor: Now let’s check you’ve got everything sorted. Exam calendar on phone?
Counsellor: Walking talking mocks completed?
Student: Oh yes – we missed lunch every day last week for those. They were really stressful – I mean – normally I just answer the questions to the best of my ability. This time I got into such a flap when I realised I had only used 2 connectives in question 1, that I didn’t answer the next question properly!
Counsellor: PLCs all colour coded?
Student: I spent last night on my English and maths ones. I wasn’t sure whether to give myself an amber or a green rating to the statement “I can write coherently.” It took me about 10 minutes before I decided on amber. Same thing happened for some other statements. In the end I got it done, but I was too tired to do the science revision which I’d originally planned to do.
Counsellor: So your first exam is a week 0n Tuesday?
Student: Yes – but I’m worried that I won’t make the 7.30 am warm up sessions before each morning exam- the traffic’s always terrible at that time! It’s my parents – they didn’t see the importance of it until they had the phone call from Mr Blenkinsopp. They said they would set their alarm clocks for 4.30 am after I flipped and shouted at them!
Counsellor: Quite right too – the warm up sessions are vital. And you’ll need to be on time for the complementary breakfast roll, fruit and water before it all goes!
Student: Miss – there’s just one question.
Student: Why am I getting so stressed?
Counsellor: Well, I’d much rather we didn’t have exams at all, but the government insist….
Student: No, I don’t mind exams normally – I know I work hard and I usually do well. But all these preparation sessions are doing my head in…
Counsellor: Well, not all students are as conscientious as you – they need to be more geared up.
Student: In that case, couldn’t you just tell them at the start of year 7 that if they work hard and listen attentively throughout school, the exams won’t be so much of an issue? And repeat that message at the start of every school year? Because all these preparation sessions are stressing out those students who work hard – we keep missing lessons for them.
Counsellor: Tell pupils that all they need to do is work hard? And in year 7? But that might stress them out……