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  • How do British boarding schools prepare pupils for exams? | Dickinson School Consulting
  • How do British boarding schools prepare pupils for exams? | Dickinson School Consulting

How do British boarding schools prepare pupils for exams?

Exam season is in full swing, with students sitting IB, A Level, BTEC and GCSE papers, so how do British boarding schools prepare pupils for exams? Here are a couple of good examples from two non-selective schools we recommend for encouraging the very best from their students.

As its pupils prepare for external exams, Scarborough College’s pastoral support includes collaboration between the school counsellor and pastoral staff to ensure that students receive personalised attention and guidance tailored to their individual needs. The counsellor provides wellbeing sessions to address any underlying emotional or psychological concerns, and to equip students with coping mechanisms to manage stress and anxiety, so students feel supported and empowered to excel academically. Pastoral staff draw upon their expertise and experience to deliver effective revision techniques, enhancing students’ study skills, time management, and organisational abilities. This holistic approach aligns with the school’s learning attributes, particularly those of inquirers, thinkers, balanced individuals, and reflective learners. By encouraging students to inquire into their own strengths and areas for growth, the school fosters a culture of self-awareness and continuous improvement. Likewise, equipping students with critical thinking skills and effective revision techniques empowers them to approach challenges with confidence and creativity, equipping them with the resilience and adaptability needed to navigate life’s challenges beyond the classroom. The College’s Dos and Don’ts of Revision is worth a read too.

The structure provided by a boarding environment provides a supportive and focused atmosphere for examination years. At Barnard Castle School, this begins first thing in the morning between breakfast and the start of the school day, when examination year students attend “Beat the Bus” revision sessions – supervised study time that boarders take advantage of while day pupils are making the journey into school; logging hours in this time has proved a real motivator. Evening tutors offer additional subject tutorials and academic clinics, as well as supervising prep time to ensure a purposeful learning atmosphere. Pastorally, balancing pupils’ time is of paramount importance. Weekend and evening activities, while normally compulsory, become more flexible, allowing examination years the opportunity to direct their time more independently. Alongside traditional city visits and onsite activities at weekends, walks in the surrounding countryside are offered to allow for valuable headspace. Avenues of support for every pupil are highlighted at every opportunity and regular, timetabled one-to-one meetings with their tutors allow pupils opportunities to discuss and address any concerns they may be experiencing.

If you’d like your child to benefit from the support offered by British boarding schools when they reach this critical stage of their education, please get in touch.