Christmas is almost upon us. For Rydal Penrhos pupils and beyond, it represents two or three weeks of fun and excitement after a busy start to the academic year.
It is a chance to rest, celebrate with family and friends and revise. This is especially true if Rydal Penrhos pupils are about to sit GCSEs or A Levels in the summer.
The big question is how much revision to do over Christmas. Something our teaching staff provide expert advice and guidance on before Rydal Penrhos pupils head off on their well-deserved break.
Some pupils throw themselves into revision. They will see the Christmas holidays as an opportunity to get lots done, without the small matter of school or homework getting in the way. However, revising constantly during this period isn’t necessarily the right approach.
Other pupils cannot wait to put their school books away. This is not the correct approach, either.
Those who work constantly throughout the holidays will return to school as though they haven’t had a break. There is still a long way until the summer exams and this might be the final opportunity they get for a prolonged spell of relaxation.
Pupils who pass the whole holiday without picking up a pen might return to school in a panic and become overwhelmed by what the year ahead will bring.
The trick is to get the balance right, between having a relaxing break and revising so that pupils are both rested and ready to return to school. This is something Rydal Penrhos monitors, but parents can also lend their support by checking in to ensure the right time is spent socialising and studying.
Aim to switch off from work for one of the weeks of the holiday and then revise during the other week, or two if the holidays are longer. Enjoy Christmas week, concentrating on family, friends and activities that don’t involve the stresses of exam preparation.
Christmas holidays can be complicated, which is why finding the appropriate balance is important. Plan study days in advance when you can concentrate on work at home and try to avoid fitting revision around any family celebrations.
There are alternative, family-friendly ways of studying, which can be equally valuable. These do not involve picking up an iPad or a pen, for those non-study days but rather reading a book related to a course being studied. Delving into a History or Science book, for example.
GCSEs and A Levels reward pupils who have wider knowledge and understanding of the subject. Perhaps a visit to the theatre for English or a walk along the coast or mountains for Geography? Playing a board game with friends or family to improve your Maths skills is something else to consider.
So how much revision should you do over Christmas?
It is a holiday, so even on those study days, enjoy a lie-in, keep evenings free for other activities, and revise during the day. Doing this will feel like a break from normal school routines, allowing time for rest and revision.