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Staying mentally healthy during exams

Practical tools for support, Mental health in schools

This resource covers:

Activities, resources and lesson plans for the classroom to support your pupils in the lead up to their exams and help them look after their mental health, as well as tips for school staff to look after their own wellbeing.

Staff wellbeing tips for exam time

We know exam time can be hard for teachers and school staff too. Like your students, you have spent months of effort getting them ready to do as well as they can in their exams. It's important to remember that you are holding a lot of responsibility and can become very emotionally invested in the young people you teach. Take some time to look after your own wellbeing and speak to a friend or colleague if you need some help.

  • Trust your pupils

    Have faith that you have equipped them with everything they need to manage the exams.

  • Try to stay relaxed during exams

    Modelling this will help your students feel calm and ready.

  • Don’t make massive changes to your life

    Keep things simple and organised. If you need support, make sure you seek out your friends and colleagues and share the challenges of your day.

  • Stay positive

    Remind yourself and your students how hard you have worked this year. Celebrate the end of the tests or exams and feel proud of all that you’ve achieved.

  • Keep energy levels up

    Remember that, while you are holding your students in mind, tests and exams can be stressful for you too. Maintain a healthy lifestyle and ensure you have breaks. 

  • Practise your self-care

    You may feel very emotionally invested in the young people you teach and if you feel anxious, use your wellbeing strategies to support these feelings.

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Staff wellbeing tips

Download our staff tips for exam time.

Document type: PDF Document size: 0.2MB

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Balance activity for exam time

An image of our Balance Activity with a yellow and blue cartoon styled butterfly.

Many pupils may struggle to find a healthy balance between revising and resting during exam time. This simple worksheet helps them visualise that balance by listing all their worries, what they need to get done, and what they can do to rest and relax. You could revisit this by asking the children in your class what de-stressing activities they find helpful each week.

Document type: PDF

Document size: 2.2MB

Download the balance activity

Stress buster timetable for exam time

An image of our Stress Buster Timetable.

We've created a timetable of wellbeing activities to help your school plan exam time with a healthy balance of study and downtime. These best-practice ideas will help make the test or exams weeks as stress-free as possible.

Document type: PDF

Document size: 1.4MB

Download our timetable

Wellbeing tips for secondary pupils during exams

A screenshot of our resource 'Tips for secondary pupils during exams', the screenshot has a title which reads 'We asked young people to give us some wellbeing advice for exam time and this is what they told us'.

Exam time can be a really stressful and challenging time for pupils and it can be especially hard for young people who are struggling with other areas of their school or home life. We asked young people to give us some wellbeing advice for exam time and put together this handy poster for you to use at school.

Document type: PDF

Document size: 0.3MB

Download our tips

Wellbeing tips for primary pupils for SATs week

An image of our 'Tips for SATs week' poster. The title at the top of the poster reads 'tips for SATs week'. Next to the title is our 360 schools logo.

SATs week can be a difficult time for younger pupils, so we've created some handy SATs week tips to help children look after their wellbeing, plan their week and talk to someone if they're struggling.

Document type: PDF

Document size: 0.2MB

Download our SATs tips

A young person's guide to exam stress

During exam time, students can feel a huge amount of pressure to do well. This can affect their mental health.

Share our guide to exam stress with the young people you work with to support them through this difficult time.

View our young person's guide to exam stress

Whether you love the page or think something is missing, we appreciate your feedback. It all helps us to support more young people with their mental health.

Please be aware that this form isn’t a mental health support service. If you or a young person you work with is in crisis right now and wants to talk to someone urgently, find out who to contact on our urgent help page.

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This form is not a mental health support service. We cannot reply to this. If you or a young person you know is at immediate risk of harm, call 999 and ask for an ambulance or go to your nearest A&E. If you are worried about the mental health of a young person you work with, you can signpost them to our website or suggest they contact one of these helplines: Childline (for under 19s) on 0800 11 11; or Samaritans on 116 123.

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