Preparing for Exams

About this Guide

This resource is designed to support practitioners deliver appropriate PSE in conjunction with their learners in light of the Scottish Government PSE Review (2019). You may with to look at the information about cocreation in the activity section, along with the associated benchmarks, to support your learners build on their existing knowledge and understanding of this topic. This suggested Preparing for Exams content will support practitioner work with their learners to develop the curriculum to suit their local context and meet the relevant age and stage of development for children and young people with regard to Mental, Emotional, Social & Physical Wellbeing.

Suggested Experiences & Outcomes

Mental & Emotional Wellbeing

HWB 4-01a

I am aware of and able to express my feelings and am developing the ability to talk about them.

HWB 4-02a

I know that we all experience a variety of thoughts and emotions that affect how we feel and behave and I am learning ways of managing them.

HWB 4-03a

I understand that there are people I can talk to and that there are a number of ways in which I can gain access to practical and emotional support to help me and others in a range of circumstances.

HWB 4-04a

I understand that my feelings and reactions can change depending upon what is happening within and around me. This helps me to understand my own behaviour and the way others behave.

HWB 4-06a

I understand the importance of mental wellbeing and that this can be fostered and strengthened through personal coping skills and positive relationships. I know that it is not always possible to enjoy good mental health and that if this happens there is support available.

HWB 4-07a

I am learning skills and strategies which will support me in challenging times, particularly in relation to change and loss.

HWB 4-08a

I understand that people can feel alone and can be misunderstood and left out by others. I am learning how to give appropriate support.

Social Wellbeing

HWB 4-10a

I recognise that each individual has a unique blend of abilities and needs. I contribute to making my school community one which values individuals equally and is a welcoming place for all.

HWB 4-14a

I value the opportunities I am given to make friends and be part of a group in a range of situations.

Physical Wellbeing

HWB 4-15a

I am developing my understanding of the human body and can use this knowledge to maintain and improve my wellbeing and health.

HWB 4-16a

I am learning to assess and manage risk, to protect myself and others, and to reduce the potential for harm when possible.

HWB 4-17a

I know and can demonstrate how to keep myself and others safe and how to respond in a range of emergency situations.

Health & Wellbeing

HWB 4-25a

I continue to enjoy daily participation in moderate to vigorous physical activity and sport and can demonstrate my understanding that it can:
• contribute to and promote my learning • develop my fitness and physical and mental wellbeing • develop my social skills, positive attitudes and values • make an important contribution to living a healthy lifestyle.

HWB 4-26a

I can explain the role of sport in cultural heritage and have explored the opportunities available for me to participate in school sport and sporting events. I make use of participation and performance pathways that allow me to continue and extend my sporting experience in my place of learning and beyond.

HWB 4-28a

I have investigated factors which can influence participation in physical activity and food choices, and the impact of activity on population health in the Scottish and wider contexts. I can use this information to discuss policies and inform my own health choices.

Associated Benchmarks

  • Sustains daily moderate to vigorous physical activity.
  • Extends opportunities to develop/achieve in sports performance and/or outdoor learning, within place of learning and community.
  • Evaluates how physical activity impacts on mental, emotional, social and physical wellbeing.
  • Explains the role of sport in cultural heritage, for example, shinty, rugby, curling.
  • Evaluates own lifestyle in relation to the balance of sleep, rest and physical activity and the impact this may have on health.
  • Explains factors which influence participation in physical activity and food choices, for example, socio-economic, media, peer pressure.
  • Analyses current national guidance and policy and explains their impact on own health choices, for example, sugar intake, physical activity targets.

Suggested Learning Intentions

  • to learn to understand my emotions and those of others
  • to develop my understanding of strategies to support wellbeing
  • to investigate how I can look after my own, and others, wellbeing

Suggested Success Criteria (I Can…)

  • explain and discuss the impact of feelings and emotions on my own and others behaviour
  • discuss and demonstrate strategies I could use to make informed choices in stressful/challenging situations
  • demonstrate how my physical wellbeing impacts my feelings and explain how these can affect my behaviour

Suggested Learning Experiences

These suggested activities/tasks are for group work within a classroom and target holistic/generic/universal needs of learners. You should select activities/tasks that are most relevant to the needs of your learners and school community. Please use your professional judgement as to how best to deliver these types of activities/tasks sensitively/appropriately with your learners and which other staff may also be able to provide support/differentiation to meet their needs.

What do we know?

What ways have young people dealt with these types of situations in the past? You could ask learners to reflect on prior learning around this topic. Ask learners to share what tips/techniques they have found helpful when studying – is this the same for some/most/all in the class? How have they found out about preparing for exams? What are their concerns about preparing for exams?

What do we need to know?

You may wish to link with Planning for Choices & Change topics along with the resources in the NHS Library and External Links sections.
Young Minds – exam stress and staying mentally healthy during exams along with butterfly of balance activity and stress buster timetable resource and how to cope with exam results that could be useful for your learners. Testing Times from SAMH has advice on how to deal with exam stress. SQA have advice on National Qualifications, creating a study plan and taking notes and BBC articles such as study-life balance, planning revision and setting up a study space to support learners. You could also use the MHF Scotland information in the Download section with your learners.

What’s happening here/locally? What could we do next?

What can/could we do in school to help us prepare for exams? How will these help us support our physical and mental wellbeing while we study? What can we do if we are worried about ourselves or someone else? What local support is there to help us with exam stress? Do parents/carers understand exam pressure – how can they help? Learners could explore these questions and share finds with school/community.