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School holds dedicated GCSE study day

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Pupils from Cundall Manor School have benefited from a head start to their GCSE preparations following a dedicated day of study skills and revision techniques.

The school, near Ripon, held a Growth Mindset event which encouraged Year 11 pupils to challenge the way they prepare for their upcoming exams.

Sue O’Leary-Hall, the Founder and Academic Director of regional educational specialists, Thesan Coaching and Training, led the session.

Sue, who has 20 years’ experience as an outstanding teacher and senior leader, encouraged pupils to prepare for their exams as if it’s a marathon and not a sprint.

She said: “The new exam system is placing greater pressure than ever on young people as a result of increasing academic rigour, a grading system where the top grade exceeds the previous A* standard and the abolition of coursework.

“It is vital for pupils to learn how to manage a complex and demanding workload, as well as looking after their own physical and emotional well-being throughout the GCSE marathon.”

Pupils were also taught effective revision techniques and approaches to independent learning alongside how to manage stress and keep calm at pivotal moments.

Sue, who has previously held the roles of Director of Teaching and Learning, Head of Sixth Form and Head of English in her teaching career, added: “As ever, I have been enormously impressed by the positivity and commitment to succeed demonstrated by Cundall’s Year 11 pupils.

“They should be able to put the strategies they have learned today into immediate effect to give them the very best chance of achieving highly next summer.”

The school also invited parents to participate in a tailored session on how they can help ensure their children are as well prepared as possible to conquer the exam season.

Deputy Head at Cundall Manor School, Sara Hall, said: “We are delighted to welcome Sue and her team to Cundall.

“Sue’s innovative approach is a superb addition to our exam preparation journey. Her vast experience and her well-rounded approach to getting the most out of everyone involved ensures that we are all at the top of our game going into such an important year.”

Elsewhere, Thesan and Cundall Manor School have been working in partnership to help raise awareness of the importance of well-being across the school community.

Dr Emma Dixon, a Consultant Clinical Psychologist with 20 years’ experience of working in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), has been on hand to help promote self-care and emotional well-being and to help pupils reflect on their self-awareness and put in place strategies to cope with stress and to help develop their resilience.

From Autumn 2020, Health Education (including a special focus on mental health, well-being and resilience) will be a statutory requirement in all primary and secondary schools in England.

The North Yorkshire school is already leading the field in this area by providing specialist training for all senior school staff at the start of term through Thesan Coaching and Training.

The ‘Supporting Pupil’s Emotional Health and Well-Being’ bespoke training session draws on the latest psychological research, as well as being specifically tailored to enable staff to support individual pupils at the school.