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Park High School

Park High School

What is worrying me?

School can be a very stressful time and it is normal to be uncertain about how you feel about certain things. Below we have provided some information and advice on some common issues that we hope can help guide you with dealing with certain situations.

If you need to speak to someone regarding any one of the issues listed below or if you do not feel safe or are worried about someone else in school, you must talk to someone. Speak to your Tutor, Head of Year, PSA or Safeguarding Team they’ll be only too willing to listen, help and advise you through this difficult period.

If you are unsure of who you can speak to please click here for a full list of staff members in our pastoral care team.

Exam Stress 

Got exams coming up? A little exam stress is inevitable, but make sure you don't fall into any of these traps:

Ignoring it

Some people’s response to exam stress seems to be to carry on (la-di-da-di-daaaa) just as normal. Great in the short term – no revision, no late nights at the library, no worries! But (unless you’re actually able to reverse time) this ‘strategy’ does have an obvious downside when exam day rolls up and you haven’t prepared at all!

Are you an ‘ignorer’? If you answered yes, well done. The first stage is to admit this to yourself. Now stop ignoring and get revising!

Blaming yourself 

At the other end of the spectrum are those who respond to exam stress by constantly giving themselves a hard time. “I’m not doing enough, I haven’t stuck to my schedule, and I’m never going to do well at this rate...”

Sound familiar? I bet it does – we’ve probably all done this at some point. To an extent, a little self-criticism can be helpful – helping you stay disciplined. But too much negativity is likely to be demotivating, and sap your energy levels. Give yourself a break!

Setting unrealistic targets

This brings us to the next point... You’re not super-human! Don’t set yourself up to fail by setting goals that you’re never going to meet. Covering ten revision topics in one day was never going to be achievable – be realistic with your targets!

Cutting out fun treats and study breaks

Another common response is revision ‘lock-down’, focusing all your time and energies exclusively on the impending exam. This may seem reasonable – after all, if it’s so important, it makes sense to give it your all.

However, just like too much self-criticism, this is likely to backfire. Taking time out and doing the things you enjoy is absolutely essential to give your brain time to rest and digest information – and will boost your energy levels too.

Drinking too much energy drink

Lots of people instinctively reach for energy drink - thinking that the extra boost will give them a head start. This might help you stay awake an extra hour or so, but it won't do you much good in the long term!

Instead, make sure you stick to a balanced diet, full of slow-burning-energy foods (like pasta, wholemeal bread, fruit and vegetables), drink lots of water to keep your brain hydrated, and try to get plenty of sleep.

Coping with Exam Stress 

So what can you do to help your stress levels?

Know what to revise

It is important to know what you will need to revise. Break each subject down into topics, if you are unsure what topics you need to cover, you could ask your subject teacher or head of department for a list of topics to revise, also for any additional reading material or revision resources/websites.

Set yourself clear targets

An example of some stress relievers is to complete the next two parts of your essay plan (see below), then take a five minute break. This should be away from the computer screen, otherwise it’s not really a proper break - for your eyes, body or mind. So instead of checking Facebook, how about doing some stretches, putting on a favourite piece of music and dancing around, or even doing a bit of tidying. (These are all activities for when you’re in your own room; if you’re at the library, I’d suggest going outside!)

Work in timed chunks

This is similar to the above, but with breaks at set times, rather than on the completion of goals. For example, you could work for 20 minutes, then take 10 minutes off. This may or may not work for you, but if it does, there are lots of customisable timer programs you can download onto your computer or smartphone to help you keep strict time.

Plan, plan, plan

Teachers will repeatedly tell you how important it is to plan your essays, and I can confirm that this really helps. Spending time on the planning should make the actual essay-writing a LOT less stressful. How you actually do the plan is a matter of personal preference; it may take a while to figure out what works best for you. You might start with a mind-map, to get all your main ideas down, then group ideas into sections and start fleshing out the details. Or you could start with the conclusion – once you know where you’re going, it’s easier to write your way there! Planning techniques may also vary depending on your subject; different fields will have different conventions to which essays should adhere.

Use talking as a stress reliever

Just a few minutes of conversation (preferably face-to-face) can be a tremendous stress reliever leaving you feeling more relaxed, happier, and ready to get going again. 

And remind yourself to smile! It really helps!

Go for a walk

If you’ve been staring at your computer screen for more than a few minutes, get up. Sometimes just crossing the room can shake a thought loose, other times it’s worth taking a 10-minute stroll around your house. You’ll find your brain continues working on the problem without you even realising.

Do some exercise

If you’re really struggling, could you take some time out to do some cardio exercise? Go for a jog, do a workout DVD, whatever works for you – just as long as you boost your heart rate and release some endorphins. It will really shake off that kind of sluggish despair that only an essay crisis can induce, and hopefully get rid of any mental blockages.

Useful Revision Links

Speak to the subject teacher or head of department to find out if there are more subject specific revision websites:

https://www.parkhighstanmore.org.uk/page/?title=Curriculum&pid=34

¡https://www.bbc.com/education/levels/z98jmp3

¡https://www.s-cool.co.uk/gcse

¡https://revisionworld.com/gcse-revision

¡https://www.memrise.com/home/

¡https://university.which.co.uk/advice/ucas-application/revision-exams-making-the-grade

¡https://www.kerboodle.com/users/login?user_return_to=%2Fapp

Useful Support Links

Beditation - Are you having difficulty sleeping?  Beditation might be able to help!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5ut2NYdAEQ

Childline - You can contact Childline about anything. Whatever your worry, it's better out than in. They are here to support you and help you find ways to cope.

https://www.childline.org.uk/info-advice/school-college-and-work/school-college/exam-stress/

Student minds - Student Minds is the UK’s student mental health charity.

 http://www.studentminds.org.uk/examstress.html

Mental Health 

Are you feeling worried? Are you upset? Are you feeling depressed? Are you feeling anxious? Do you need someone to talk to?

Most young people experience short but significant periods of high anxiety, stress, distress or anger that may affect their education. Some young people have a range of longer-term recognised mental health conditions. It is important to talk and not to keep things bottled up, a short conversation (preferably face-to-face) can be a tremendous stress reliever leaving you feeling more relaxed, happier, and ready to get going again. 

Mindfulness

What is Mindfulness? Mindfulness is an awareness of our thoughts and feelings as they happen moment to moment. It's about allowing ourselves to see the present moment clearly. When we do that, it can positively change the way we see ourselves and our lives.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sceq4mtZhjI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kk7IBwuhXWM

Headspace - Mediation made simple

https://www.headspace.com

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3JhfsgFPLSLNEROQCdj-GQ

Future Learn - Mindfulness courses

https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/mindfulness-wellbeing-performance

https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/mindfulness-life

NHS - provides information about Mindfulness

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/mindfulness/#what-is-mindfulness

Useful Support Links

Young Minds - there to make sure you get the best possible mental health support and have the resilience to overcome life’s difficulties.

https://youngminds.org.uk/

Grief Encounters - Support bereaved children and their families to help alleviate the pain caused by the death of someone close. 

https://www.griefencounter.org.uk/

WISH Harrow - Provide counselling and support to young people in harrow through Safe2speak counselling service. 

 http://thewishcentre.org.uk/

Mee Two App - Peer and expert support for young people.

https://www.meetwo.co.uk/

Samaritans - They offer a safe place for you to talk any time you like, in your own way – about whatever’s getting to you. You don’t have to be suicidal.

https://www.samaritans.org/

Childline - You can contact Childline about anything. Whatever your worry, it's better out than in. They are here to support you and help you find ways to cope.

https://www.childline.org.uk/info-advice/your-feelings/mental-health/

Student minds - Student Minds is the UK’s student mental health charity.

http://www.studentminds.org.uk/supportforme.html

Family  

Family Life can be hard sometimes for lots of different reasons. It is important to talk and not to keep things bottled up, a short conversation (preferably face-to-face) can be a tremendous stress reliever leaving you feeling more relaxed, happier, and ready to get going again. 

Park High offers a drop in session for young carers once a Month. You can take a break from your caring role, have a chat, try something new, get some information and support from other young carers in a non-judgemental and confidential environment. To find out when the next meeting will be click here.

https://www.parkhighstanmore.org.uk/page/?title=Are+You+a+Young+Carer%3F&pid=291

Useful Support Links

Harrows Carers - to improve the wellbeing and resilience of carers from all ages and backgrounds, so that they can continue to provide for their cared-for without compromising their health, inclusion and ability to contribute to society.

http://harrowcarers.org.uk/

Samaritans - They offer a safe place for you to talk any time you like, in your own way – about whatever’s getting to you. You don’t have to be suicidal.

https://www.samaritans.org/

Childline - You can contact Childline about anything. Whatever your worry, it's better out than in. They are here to support you and help you find ways to cope.

https://childline.org.uk/info-advice/home-families/family-relationships/

Sexuality and Relationships 

Relationships

Just remember, everyone gets nervous about things like relationships sometimes and it can be very confusing. Being in a relationship can be really exciting, getting to know someone, hanging out and feeling happy just thinking about them. The most important thing is that you're happy to choose when the right time is for you and whether they're the right person for you. Your boyfriend or girlfriend should care about you enough not to pressure you or make you do something you're not happy about.

Just remember everyone's different, there’s nothing wrong with you if you're not in a relationship, there's no set time for you to begin your first relationship.

Sexuality

If you fancy someone of the same sex, it may mean that you are lesbian, gay or bisexual. Being lesbian, or gay or bisexual means that these feelings go beyond a one off crush. It might take some time to work out what your sexual orientation is. It is important to allow yourself time and space to explore how you feel. Remember there is no such thing as normal and you should not feel under any pressure to decide if you are lesbian, gay, or bisexual or to attach a label to your feelings if it makes you feel uncomfortable.

The first step to "coming out" is being able to tell and accept yourself as lesbian, gay or bisexual. Telling other people you're lesbian, gay or bisexual is different for everyone and you'll know when it's the right time for you, there's no right or wrong way to tell your family or friends; However, it's a good idea to take time to think about what you want to say. Your friends and family might be shocked, worried or find it difficult to accept at first. Remember, their first reaction isn't necessarily how they'll feel forever, sometimes they will just need some time to process what you have told them.

The Park High Pride Youth Network is a student-led organisation, which looks to challenge homo/bi/transphobic language and behaviour at school. They have regular meetings to discuss the different activities students can do to raise awareness and aim to create a more inclusive, safe school environment, where everyone is able to freely express who they are. They have done lots of things in order to try to raise awareness such as:

  • Ran several assemblies for all year groups to raise awareness and educate everyone
  • Created a display to raise awareness of our services and ideas
  • Fundraised money for LGBT+ charities through an Educate and Celebake cake sale
  • A ‘drop in’ every Thursday for any student who needs support
  • Attended the Pride Youth Network conference and received the PYN pioneering award
  • Having an LGBT+ inclusive range of books in the school library
  • A PYN support page on Canvas for students who want to access support and advice
  • Held a coffee morning for parents to find out more about us and inform them on how they can help challenge homo/ bi/ transphobic language at home
  • Led a staff training session on creating a more LGBT+ curriculum.

They can be identified by the rainbow badges.

Useful Support Links

Stonewall - They are here to let all lesbian, gay, bi and trans people, here and abroad, know they're not alone. 

https://www.stonewall.org.uk/help-and-advice

Samaritans - They offer a safe place for you to talk any time you like, in your own way – about whatever’s getting to you. 

https://www.samaritans.org/

Childline - You can contact Childline about anything. Whatever your worry, its better out than in. They are here to support you and help you find ways to cope.

https://www.childline.org.uk/info-advice/friends-relationships-sex/

https://www.childline.org.uk/info-advice/your-feelings/sexual-identity/sexual-orientation/

CEOP.POLICE - Are you worried about online sexual abuse or the way someone has been communicating with you online? Make a report to one of CEOP's Child Protection Advisors

https://www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre/

Think you know - Need advice? About sex, relationships and the Internet? 

https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/

Sexual Health - Information and advice on sexual health services

http://www.harrow.gov.uk/homepage/198/sexual_health

NHS - Provides information about sexual health

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sexual-health/15-things-young-people-should-know-about-sex/

Bullying or Friendship issues 

Any student who feels that they are being bullied must tell someone what is happening to them.

The Oakwood Project is an anti-bullying initiative in school. The name ‘Oakwood’ promotes the idea of strength, growth and sustainability. The Oakwood projects moto is 'Stand Tall, Stay Strong, We know, Bullying is Wrong!' The aim of the project is to combine the advice and resources available from all of the prominent organisations, Kidscape, ChildLine, StoneWall, The Diana Award and The Anti Bulling Alliance to name only a few, to promote a strong anti-bullying message throughout the school.

If you are being bullied or having friendship issues you can speak to:

  • A student member of the Oakwood project, you can identify them by their Acorn badge on their blazer pocket.
  • Your Parents
  • Your Form Tutor
  • Your Head of Year
  • Your Pastoral Support Assistant
  • Or A member of the Safeguarding Team

Useful Support Links

Kidscape - Their mission is to provide children, families, carers and professionals with advice, training and practical tools to prevent bullying and protect young lives

https://www.kidscape.org.uk/

Stonewall - They are here to let all lesbian, gay, bi and trans people, here and abroad, know they're not alone. 

https://www.stonewall.org.uk/help-and-advice

Samaritans - They offer a safe place for you to talk any time you like, in your own way – about whatever’s getting to you. 

https://www.samaritans.org/

Childline - You can contact Childline about anything. Whatever your worry, its better out than in. They are here to support you and help you find ways to cope.

https://www.childline.org.uk/info-advice/bullying-abuse-safety/types-bullying/

Mee Two App - Peer and expert support for young people.

https://www.meetwo.co.uk/

The Anti Bulling Alliance - They are a unique coalition of organisations and individuals, that work together to achieve their vision to: stop bullying and create safer environments in which children and young people can live, grow, play and learn. 

https://www.anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk/

The Diana Award - They are the living legacy to Princess Diana’s belief that young people have the power to change the world for the better. They help and support you take a stand against bullying in your school/youth organisation/community.

https://diana-award.org.uk/anti-bullying/

CEOP.POLICE - Are you worried about online sexual abuse or the way someone has been communicating with you online? Make a report to one of CEOP's Child Protection Advisors

https://www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre/

Think you know - Need advice? About sex, relationships and the Internet? 

https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/

Peer pressure  

Peer pressure is feeling like you have to do something just because all your friends are doing it. It can be really tempting to do everything you can to fit in with your friends or partners. But if you don't feel comfortable, it's okay to say "no" and make your own choices.

Useful Support Links

Samaritans - They offer a safe place for you to talk any time you like, in your own way – about whatever’s getting to you. 

https://www.samaritans.org/

Childline - You can contact Childline about anything. Whatever your worry, its better out than in. They are here to support you and help you find ways to cope.

https://www.childline.org.uk/info-advice/friends-relationships-sex/friends/peer-pressure/

Frank - friendly confidential advice on drugs

http://www.talktofrank.com/are-you-under-the-influence

Substance Abuse 

If you are struggling with substance abuse or you may have been offered drugs or know others who use them. If drugs are part of your world, it's important to know the facts, and where to go for help and advice.

Useful Support Links

Compass Harrow Service - If you are experiencing difficulties associated with your own or another person’s drug or alcohol use, Compass Harrow offers a range of free, professional support services to help you tackle these tough situations.

http://www.compass-uk.org/compass-harrow/

Frank - friendly confidential advice on drugs

http://www.talktofrank.com/

Childline - You can contact Childline about anything. Whatever your worry, its better out than in. They are here to support you and help you find ways to cope.

https://www.childline.org.uk/info-advice/your-feelings/feelings-emotions/addiction/

Samaritans - They offer a safe place for you to talk any time you like, in your own way – about whatever’s getting to you. 

https://www.samaritans.org/

Young Minds - there to make sure you get the best possible mental health support and have the resilience to overcome life’s difficulties.

https://youngminds.org.uk/find-help/looking-after-yourself/drug-use/

NHS - provides information about addiction

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/addiction-what-is-it/#getting-help-for-addictions

Future Pathways 

It is important that you are fully supported and guided through the process of planning your futures. Information, advice and guidance for all students from Years 7 -13 is provided by our full time, careers and employability coordinator, a professional careers adviser. 

Mrs Donna Foster

Careers & Employability Coordinator

Located in the Careers & Employability office in Park Block 

Email: dfoster4.310@parkhighstanmore.org.uk

Useful Websites

UCAS - The best place to start with any sort of decision about your future, is to do your research. If you're not sure what you want to do, UCAS can show you all your options to help you make an informed decision.

https://www.ucas.com/?tile=tile-436

Skill Routes - Skills Route is a set of tools to help students, explore the different routes that they could take, plan and learn about all the options that are available for study after GCSE and find all the information they need to Research College or sixth forms.

http://www.skillsroute.com/

Future Finder - The Free Your Life Future Finder website helps students learn which STEM A-Levels, are used in Medical Careers such as General Practitioner, Hospital Doctor, Surgeon, Psychiatrist and Pathologist.

https://futurefinder.yourlife.org.uk/

iCould - iCould provides career inspiration and information for young people. Shows what is possible in work and offer different ways to think about careers through free access to over 1000 personal video stories, detailed job information, plus practical tips, insight and advice.

https://icould.com/

National Careers Service - Provides information, advice and guidance to help students make decisions on learning, training and work.

https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/

Prospects - Job profiles, career planner, work experience, search graduate jobs, what can I do with my degree, careers advice.

https://www.prospects.ac.uk/

The Medical Portal - Helps students get into Medicine with free guides and expert prep for UKCAT, BMAT & Interview. The Medic Portal is partnered with the Royal Society of Medicine.

https://www.themedicportal.com/

Which? University - See where your A-level subjects will lead you.

https://university.which.co.uk/

Target Careers - TARGET careers can help you decide what degree subject to study. If you already have a career in mind, find out which subjects will get you there.

https://targetcareers.co.uk/

 

Address Park High School, Thistlecroft Gardens, Stanmore, Middlesex HA7 1PL

Headteacher Mr Emlyn Lumley

Phone 0208 952 2803

  • National Teaching School
  • Healthy School
  • Arts Council
  • Teacher Development Trust
  • Ofsted