Heathdale flower 05th June 2024

Developing the Long Game

While exam week offers students the chance to demonstrate their growth and skills, parents are invited to partner with us in supporting a balanced perspective on these assessments as part of a lifelong learning journey.

Heathdale flower

This week is exam week for all of Years 7-11, a time to consolidate the learning from a semester’s work, test the acquisition of skills and provide an indication of growth and improvement.

We all hope our children will approach exams with diligence, and both teachers and parents seek to scaffold the experience with encouragement around study and preparation so that they are set up for success. The experience of managing exams each year will build our students’ confidence around their ability to tackle exams and produce their best.

But we also need to encourage them to remember that exams are just one measure, at one point in time, of their learning journey. Learning is a life-long process, not a one-off event.

Nurturing a healthy sense of perspective during and after exams (as results are received) is important as we want to keep pointing forward to the next area of growth, not get stuck looking down at our feet on the path we’ve just trekked through.

Consider opportunities to talk through exams with your child this semester to see how things have gone from their perspective. Provide space for them to process by asking questions like:

- “What worked well for you this time?”
- “Would you do anything differently next time?”
- “What can we do to help you during exam time?”
- “Where do you want to focus your efforts next semester?”

Aim to guide your child to think more about process and progress than a score. Major on the way to grow forward, rather than the immediate result. You might be surprised by how much they are already able to articulate about where they want to go next in their learning journey.

Perspective for teenagers does not necessarily come easily. ‘Right now,’ looms very large in a teenager’s mind, and that’s quite developmentally normal! But the things that are so critical to them right now might look somewhat different down the road from the vantage of their rearview mirror. Not just exams, but a lot of life’s challenges, benefit from a healthy dose of perspective.

Families can help develop perspective by sharing stories:

- Talk about a time you remember facing a big deal in your teenage years. How did it turn out and what did you learn from it?
- Remember together the good times you’ve had as a family – go back over those memories and highlights often. Keep building on the story of your own family journey.
- Reminiscence about the funny things your children have done as younger children. Comment on how much they’ve grown. Help them to see how far they’ve come and how proud you are of the things they’ve already conquered.
- Spend good time with extended family to provide that sense of being tied-in to a larger story that extends beyond your immediate family.
- Read together God’s Word to take in an eternal perspective.