Queen Anne’s and BrainCanDo Feature Prominently in The Sunday Times

Monday 18th April 2016

On Sunday 17 April 2016, Queen Anne’s and the BrainCanDo programme featured prominently in The Sunday Times in an article discussing the effectiveness of attempting to control the inevitable stress and anxiety that surrounds exam season via some of the techniques that we have embedded into the culture of the school.

It is no wonder that in today’s climate young people across the country feel an increased pressure to succeed and the importance enforced in the home of good exam results has been shown to be one of the key causes of exam-related stress. A HMC spokesperson in The Sunday Times commented, “Pressure from home is a desire by pupils to please parents concerned about university places and future careers.” Now many schools are beginning to teach parents as well as their students about coping with what is a very important time as without external influences, young people put a lot of pressure on themselves internally.

It has been proven that by teaching teenage girls how their brain reacts to and under stress has resulted in significant improvements in grades. At Queen Anne’s, the girls attend regular workshops in order to coach them to deal with stress in order to prevent it becoming anxiety. Part of this is learning how to revise and plan properly in order to reduce the chance of panicking during an exam as well as being taught techniques like deep breathing to calm yourself before or during exam time. As a result, we have seen exam results improve as shown through Abigail Leach, U5, who has seen her C grades improve to As and A*s. Abigail commented:

“It’s been really helpful…I use deep breathing and also try to put the exams into perspective – they are not the be-all and end-all of life.” 

Abigail is just one of the many students at Queen Anne’s who have improved dramatically as a result of the influence of the discussed techniques and is proof of one of the key aims of the programme outlined by its founder Mrs Julia Harrington, Headmistress at Queen Anne’s School who said:

“I wanted to make sure the girls stopped being afraid of stress.”

The BrainCanDo programme continues to grow and the project now includes all of The Grey Coat Hospital Foundation and United Westminster foundation schools. As part of this, the second annual BrainCanDo Conference, Music is Instrumental,  is taking place on the 14 June 2016 at BAFTA 195 Piccadilly in London. If you would like to attend to this exciting event, please click here to book your ticket.

To read the full article, please click on the link below.

BrainCanDo Exam Stress Techniques – Sunday Times


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