Exam time is looming and whilst it is important for your little (and not so little) people to do their best, it is also important for them to stay calm, happy and keep some perspective. 


As parents, we can help our kids to focus and work effectively by keeping them well fed and watered. Nutritionist Laura Clark comments “the day to day reality of even mild dehydration is that the brain has to work harder to achieve the same ‘output’ – this can cause tiredness, headaches, lack of concentration and influence a child’s ability to perform”.  Keeping a bottle of water or other non-sugary drink such as milk or iced tea topped up on their desk is always a good idea.

We wondered what other winning tips there were out there so we spoke to Jo (a Year 6 teacher with oodles of experience preparing pupils for SATs) and Ben Kirby (a secondary history teacher and Head of Economics and Business Studies) to see what else they might recommend. This is what they came up with:

Mr and Mrs Kirby’s SMART guide to constructive concentration and exam success!

S - Short Bursts.Thirty minutes of planned study are much more productive and less daunting than hours with your head in a book, so timetable for a variety of subjects in one day punctuated by regular rest breaks. 

M - Movement. Healthy body, healthy mind! Try to exercise or get outside during long periods of study. If you struggle to disconnect from revision, record some notes on your phone you can listen to while you walk laps of the park.

A - Allies.Maybe your best friend is a Maths whizz but you’ve got Geography down to a T?! Plan to work collaboratively and help each other fill in the gaps in your knowledge.  

R - Routine.Try to set your alarm for the same time each day to maintain a routine. Reward yourself by also scheduling in one thing you really enjoy each day, be it yoga or cooking!

T - Test yourself. You may be familiar with course content but sometimes it’s all about nailing that exam technique! Spend time familiarising yourself with past papers and you’ll soon feel the anxiety melt away.

Tag us with your own #smarteapants ideas for the chance to win a set of hydrating teas for your little smart studier.

Becky Coletto