Stress in students can lead to poor academic achievement, apathy, depression, behavioural problems etc. and at a time when schools are increasingly under pressure and both students and staff face higher levels of stress, It is perhaps appropriate for schools to consider alternative approaches to address these issues.
In September 2013 a research study carried out by Edge Hill University, the University of South Australia and the AQA exam board Britain found that teenagers who stress about doing well in their GCSE exams are more likely to fail to achieve their target grade than the ones who ooze confidence in their ability.
Teenagers and students are under constant study and exam pressure. Due to the increasing pressure on targets and data demanded by society, students, staff and schools feel the direct pressure to perform at their very best constantly.
It is common for students to latch onto their weaknesses, rather than their talents and strengths, and students can easily be discouraged by negative criticism even if it is them saying it to themselves; they are in fear of failure, or not being able to remember what they have learned and to apply it on the day of their exams.
Many students struggle unnecessarily during the run up to exams with their focus and attention due to excessive pressure and lack of self-belief.
For some it isn’t just the anxiety or nerves at the time of the exam but very often it’s the weeks or months ahead. They feel that while they are quite confident in the subject they are being tested at any other time, their “nerves” will cause them to let themselves down on the day.
I have the ability to teach students simple coping strategies that they can utilise to reduce their anxiety levels and perform at their very best. All this can lead to much better academic performance and far greater emotional.
During twenty-six years of being a teacher and middle leader in large schools, I have experienced and understood the pressure staff and students face in order to function constantly at high levels.
I feel it is important to give the students the ability to help themselves in order to create a plan of action to strengthen their grades. I believe I can teach students not only to improve their confidence for their looming exams but also give them the skills to achieve self-assurance in their academic future.
This is not a short term fix but will develop a lifetime habit of feeling calmer under extreme pressure in all works of life.
Students and staff who are stressed will perform at a lower level than peers who remain calmer. It is estimated that one in ten children and young people aged 5-18 suffer from a mental health difficulty. This is on average three students in every class. Giving children the right help can set them up for life, teaching them resilience and perhaps even valuable life skills.
Previously, coursework and written papers took pressure off students, but it now all depends on the actual work produced in exams.
This causes the child a heavier feeling of tension due to this burden. Many students struggle unnecessarily during the run up to exams with their focus and attention due to excessive pressure and lack of self-belief. They feel that while they are quite confident in the subject they are being tested at any other time, their "nerves" will cause them to 'let themselves down on the day.
I can teach students the way to take control of their emotional state, and remain focussed and confident whilst being challenged.
Whilst a certain amount of anxiety is natural around exam time, for some students it is crippling, and very damaging. However, these students can learn to overcome their anxiety, grow in confidence, and feel comfortable in exam conditions.
The little negative chatterbox in our head keeps telling us, we won't be able to do it, we won't be able to answer the questions, I'm going to fail. We panic and because we convince ourselves we won't do well…… we don’t.
Through this program of mindfulness and educational performance students can take control of their emotional state and remain focused and confident during exam challenges. What I am offering is first hand empathetic support and knowledge that will benefit students or staff for a calmer educational experience.
I appreciate the pressure felt by staff and student in meeting deadlines and the anxiety felt when constantly under pressure to accomplish good to outstanding performance criteria. I know how the want to perform well and strive for recognition of excellence can affect the individual.
I now realise that this anxiety can be lessened through applying simple techniques.
This technique can also be adapted for staff advancement days.
Many schools are already investing in personal development for students, and these methods are supported by the government.
Three x 1 hour sessions are designed to bring about positive changes in your students mind-set, to give them a set of ‘mind management tools’ that can help them focus on success instead of focusing on negatives and failures.
The Programme includes a take-home support CD and ‘Guidelines Pack’, which the student is asked to listen to each day, and which will reinforce, the calmness state and rid the student of any build-up of the little day to day stresses.
Based on a group of 10 students, investment in the 3-part programme is £350 plus VAT = £420 and includes all support materials (take-home CDs) A Guideline Pack is available photocopying for all 10 students.
Additional charges for extra students would be:
Optimum group size is 10-12 students, maximum15 students in any one group. If you require an additional group(s), investment would be £315 plus VAT = £378 per group if booked for the same time block as the original booking. If additional groups are required on separate days, investment would be £350 plus VAT = £420 per group. (Group of 10)
A 30% deposit is required 10 days before programme commencement to secure dates/times.
STAFF DAY - Mindfulness and Relaxation, separated into 5 groups throughout the day, max 15 per group - £350 plus VAT = £420 include Certificates for attendance - CD £6 on demand.
Drawing and talking is a safe, easy to learn method of working with children to help with underlying emotional difficulties that may be affecting their learning and behaviour. The core of the method is encouraging the children to draw with a person they feel comfortable with regularly at the same time each week, and this person asking some non-intrusive questions about the child’s drawings. Over time, a symbolic resolution is found to old conflicts, old trauma is healed and the child becomes more able to control their behaviour and better able to access the curriculum
The Duchess of Cambridge has voiced her belief that the nation's children should be "supported through difficult times in their lives" in a video message recorded to mark Children's Mental Health Week.
Kate is the royal patron of the children's mental health charity Place2Be and in her message she highlights the importance of giving youngsters the "tools to cope, and to thrive" as they encounter life's challenges.
The Duchess said in the message:
This Children's Mental Health Week we want to support schools to prioritise the emotional wellbeing of their students, alongside academic success.DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGE
By ensuring every child is given the emotional support they need, we are giving them a firm foundation for the happy healthy future they deserve.
Drawing and Talking is a serial drawing technique which takes place over a number of sessions. During this time there will be an opportunity to see how drawings change over time as this powerful, yet safe, healing method takes effect.
The idea is to use the neurobiological theory relating to trauma, how to create a safe and containing space, the importance of endings and losses, how to deal with distress and Child Protection issues. The facilitation and drawing is therapeutic and the use of clean language helps children feel at ease and gain a feeling of peace and mindfulness that is in a controlled tranquil situation and inorder to talk or not talk as the case may be.
The experiential component will be an opportunity to develop the technique of mentally ‘Holding’ and ‘Being With’, another human being, an essential part of the therapeutic process. Participants will be expected to draw but no special artistic ability is necessary as it is solely to practise experience and create the sessions for them.
During my degree as well as many philosophers, psychologists and sociologists I studied, I learnt the theories of Jung and art therapy, symbolism and understanding as part of my development. My understanding of children through art is what has helped me as an educationalist for so long. I have knowledge on the following:
Drawing and Talking is a powerful yet safe healing method which compliments the Every Child Matters agenda. It is a low-cost, short-term intervention to use with children for whom there is nothing else available, or as an interim intervention for those children on the waiting list for CAMHS or other Outside Agencies.
Group of up to 10 students a day ……
One to one student every half an hour.
Max 5 Students for one hour introduction and general meeting once a week.
One to one ……
Half hour sessions £40 plus VAT = £48
Hour sessions £75 plus VAT =£90
Day concessions £350 plus VAT =£420
All travel expense not included 50p a mile added on agreed before contract made.
Cricket Kemp, Caitlin Walker and Nancy Doyle Magic Spelling ltd.
This way of spelling isn’t magical at all. As far as we know, nearly everyone who can spell accurately does it this way. It’s only magical to those who have used other methods to spell or have given up due to the attitude of….Its hereditary or I can’t spell, therefore I must be dyslexic or stupid.
I was one of those people who had a terrible reputation for spelling. I used to tell people my first language was Welsh and English was my second language as an excuse. It’s not but it was a coping mechanism for me, as many English teachers in my day, took pleasure through my difficulty with words. I could read but just couldn’t spell. I could retain facts but just couldn’t spell; I could achieve a Degree in Ology’s but just couldn’t spell. Children rely too much on the spell check so when actually writing their spelling shows their true understanding.
Magic spelling is based on the research by Robert Dilts, one of the founders of NLP ( Neuro – Linguistic – Programming) a process developed in 1970.
When a good speller is writing, a particular idea comes to mind. It triggers the image of the word they want to write from memory, this stored image informs the fingers holding the pen or typing and the word is written. The only time a speller stops and thinks about the spelling is when their fluent strategy has let them down and they try to recall phonetically. As a Child I was taught how to spell phonetically this is probably why I spent most of my time in the English room locked in a cupboard trying to phonetically learn words with a welsh accent and not getting anywhere.
Teaching Magic spelling increases reading speed See Stephen Krashen’s review on the Spelling Reading Connectionhttp://www.trelease-on-reading.com/spelling-krashen.html
As a facilitator, students will be observed, as small clues will be expressed through their movement, facial expression, posture, tone of voice, gestures, etc to help understand the individual’s way of processing data.
Remember I am Teaching not testing and it is learning in a very positive and fun way..
This programme is used in schools and family groups.
For all day training
One to one ……..Half an hour session
2-5 children ……..One hour session
Up to 10 students …………..Two hour sessions
Up to 25 children a day MAX
Price per day £550 ( 5 hours) plus 20% VAT = £660
Or £125 per hour plus VAT = £150 up to 5 children
The smaller the group the more beneficial the result.