5 best ways to support G12 students at end of their DP studies.
As we move into February we start preparing our Grade 12 students for the final stages of their Diploma course. Over the next 3 months they will undertake a number of key assessment tasks, which will all have a bearing on their final Diploma scores. Firstly they will have trial examinations in February, and then there will be the finishing off any outstanding Internal Assessments, followed by the revision and review necessary for the final examinations in May.
The question often arises - how best do we support the students at this time ?
The benefits of quality sleep cannot be overstated. Sleep affects attention span, memory recall, temperament, mood, sociability, self esteem, self efficacy etc. G12 students should be aiming for at least 8 hours of quality, uninterrupted, sleep each night. Increasingly students are leaving digital devices outside of their bedroom in order to aid their sleep. Parents can support their kids by insisting that they go to bed at a sensible time, and in a calm environment. If students are finding it difficult to sleep tip #2 will help. The key idea here is that quality sleep is far more beneficial than staying up all night reviewing material.
2. Physical exercise.
We all need to be healthy in both mind and body, the two systems are mutually interrelated. Exam season can make us more sedentary at exactly the time that we need to be more physically active. Exercise boosts dopamine levels, which in turn improves attention spans, self esteem, efficacy and sociability. Most crucially, physical exercise helps us to sleep, especially when potential stressors (such as exams) appear in our lives. It would be great if G12 students would arrange joint games sessions (such as playing football, going for a jog, or swimming) together during the final weeks of the course. Laughing, smiling and sweating together is more beneficial than worrying on your own.
3. Planning preparation.
The first two tips are trying to introduce balance into a busy academic schedule. Students should develop time plans in advance of busy periods. This could include a revision schedule, major deadlines, family time, social time and exercise sessions. You can use digital diaries, or pen and paper, what’s important is that you plan ahead. Perfect planning and preparation leads to positive performance.
4. Focus on the positives.
The Self Fulfilling Prophecy has been known for many years, but is just as relevant as ever. If we focus on the positives the results are more likely to be positive. We need to surround our G12 students with positive affirmation, confidence and support at this time. This is in no way disingenuous (they’ve already succeeded in a challenging academic programme), it’s more a matter of emphasis. Let them know what great individuals they are.
5. Keep our eyes on the prize.
Each of our G12 students needs a target to work towards during the next few months. For some this could be a specific IB score, for others maybe progression to a particular college. Keeping that target in mind is really helpful to keeping going during the inevitable trying times. Visualisation such as pictures or writing may help. Just remember that it is often the journey, and not the destination which actually counts in the long run.
Best wishes to all of our G12 students over the next few months, just remember that we are all making this journey alongside you.