Principal’s Message – Dear Parents/Guardians,
Welcome to the new term, arguably for pupils in years 11, 12 and 13 the most challenging term of the school year and, for some, the final term of their school careers. I wish them all success and urge them all to work hard in preparation for the upcoming, crucially important exams. I don’t envy parents as they attempt to find that balance between giving their boys and girls the encouragement and support that they all need and at the same time ensuring that they have opportunities to rest and relax. No doubt many of you will be accused of “nagging” but it’s important to remain positive and cheerful. Examinations can be stressful for young people and the pressure that they feel can affect the whole family.
There are lots of things that you can do to help navigate your child through this potentially difficult time:
Give them space to revise. As a parent, one of the worst things you can do is hassle your children about revision (hard though that may be!). They need to be motivated to revise themselves – otherwise even if they appear to be revising, they probably won’t be using the time effectively.
Create a space for revision. Your child needs a quiet, separate area, away from distractions like the TV or noisy brothers and sisters. Make sure they have lots of room for notes, text books and other resources.
Encourage your child to revise in short bursts. The ideal way to revise varies from person to person, but we suggest trying 90 minute sessions separated by ten minute breaks.
Be there to help. Even if you only provide moral support, it can really help to have someone there. Try to be understanding – the run-up to exams can be a stressful time, so be sure to listen to any problems.
Get the rest of the family on-side. It’s no good you being supportive if your other children are undermining your efforts. It is important that everyone in your household understands the importance of revision.
Make revision notes visible. Encourage your child to display revision notes, timetables, prompts and diagrams around the house. Now is not a good time to worry about adhesive marks on the walls!
Look out for their wellbeing. Provide nutritious food for your child (plus the odd treat) and make sure they are getting plenty of sleep. This is essential for successful revision.
At this point I must congratulate the many boys who came into school for revision sessions over the holidays and, of course, the staff who gave up time that could have been spent on more leisurely activities! It’s no surprise that Desborough College continues to go from strength to strength.
We were featured in The Advertiser during the Easter Holidays and praised for our inclusivity and the outstanding progress made by our Pupil Premium boys. I shall not copy the entire article which is quite critical of eight secondary schools within RBWM but I think that the following quote is worth sharing: “ However, just two miles away, Desborough College, in Shoppenhangers Road, was shown to have no attainment gap, with disadvantaged pupils, usually determined by whether or not they receive free school meals, performing “ 17 percentage points higher than similar pupils nationally”. I think that this is important recognition that we value all boys equally irrespective of their circumstances.
Personally, I enjoyed a lovely break with my family and have returned to work feeling fully refreshed and raring to go. This is an important term and everybody here will be working flat out to ensure that it will be a successful one.