IT'S EXAM SEASON

As we head into Exam Season, we want to share with you a few simple ways to encourage those preparing for their SATs exams to look after both their mental and physical health.

HEALTH & WELL BEING TIPS

Let’s help those studying to:

1

Stay Hydrated

Drink plenty of water. Drinking water will improve your child's mood. Staying hydrated also improves their ability to execute a task, by improving both memory, attention and decision making.
2

Focus on Energy Levels

Try to plan regular and nutritious meals to keep up their energy levels. High protein snacks are good for brain power. Choose berries or nuts to give their memory a boost.
3

Manage Anxiety

This can be a tough one, especially for those children who naturally suffer from nerves and anxiety. Keep talking, remind them that they are not on their own and by sharing their worries with friends and family, it will help alleviate some of their concerns.
4

Get Active

Physical activity can help burn energy and the Adrenalin created by anxiety. Running around at play times, rocking or swaying, swinging their legs under a chair, or performing through singing and dancing, can help release this energy. Repetitive actions can also help to calm an anxious child.
5

Reduce Screen Time

You may think, by allowing your child to 'relax' watching television or playing on their iPad is the right thing to do after a hard day at school. However, anxious children, who struggle to wind down after a stressful day, require more physical input to get them to a relaxed state. If they do insist on using their iPad, try researching some fun yoga moves for all the family to try out!
6

Feel Safe

If you really feel your child is struggling this week it is really important that you communicate your worries with your child's school. From your child not eating or sleeping to the opposite of over eating and feeling tired all the time. These actions are signs that your child needs combined support from you and the school.

HERE ARE SOME GREAT IDEAS TO HELP YOUR CHILD SUCCEED

Better Breakfast

It is so important for every child to start the day with a balanced breakfast.  So many families use sugary cereals or white toast and jam to fuel their children before school.  We say SWAP THESE OUT!

Children need lots of different nutrients to fuel their growth, including their brain’s development.

We love our Boiled Egg & Soldiers, a really easy Monday morning health fix.  Or why not try our Perfect Pancakes recipe?  You can prep the pancake mix the night before to make breakfast super healthy and quick.

Here at SPR Juniors, we are constantly reviewing our recipes and nutritional advice to help keep children calm and fuelled.  We recently reviewed the top SEVEN micro-nutrients your child needs and recommended some different foods to introduce to your child’s daily diet.  You can read this article here.

kids celebrating

Free Play

Is the decline in ‘free play’ causing a rise in anxiety and depression in our children?  Children’s freedom to play and explore on their own, independent of direct adult guidance and direction, has declined greatly in recent decades.  Free play and exploration are, historically, the means by which children learn to solve their own problems, control their own lives, develop their own interest, and become competent in pursuit of their own interests.  In fact the ‘value of play’ is being researched heavily as we see children’s mental health issues rise.

Here at SPR Juniors, we are not suggesting you go out of your own comfort zone and allow your children to ‘play’ in an environment you are not happy with.  Maybe head to your local park or woods, take one of their friends and give them the freedom to explore (not too far).  If you have a Year 5 or 6 primary school child then let them explore the supermarket with a basket and make their own choices for their dinner.  Or walk to school with friends?  The most important thing is that you are giving your child the chance to feel in control.

Create a mindfulness space

Relaxation Techniques

Relaxation is a coping strategy for managing overwhelming feelings maybe from over stimulation or conflict. Our children need opportunities to learn about stress, the symptoms and the effects it can have on their health and well-being.

It is well documented, that once children know what a relaxed state actually feels like in their body and mind that they start to request more of it. Evidence-based practices like deep breathing, meditation, guided imagery, rhythmic exercise and yoga have all proven to reduce stress, boost energy and mood while improving a child’s mental and physical health.

SPR Juniors, recently reviewed relaxation techniques to support the mindfulness of children.  One of the wonderful tools we found was to create a peaceful corner for your child to retreat to when they are feeling a little low.  A tent with fairy lights was the most popular idea here!  You can read the full blog including 8 relaxation rituals for you to do at home with your child here.

Remember, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.  If you, as a parent, are worried about your child during this exam season then the first thing you must do is talk to your child’s teacher.  The school will be able to work with you to identify the core issues or struggles that your child is going through.

All schools have access to well being programmes to support children with more serious anxiety or other mental health issues which are invaluable.

Finally, it is important to put exams into perspective!  For children between 5 and 11, play and exploring their own world is truly invaluable and there is plenty of time to focus on exams as they get a bit older!

The SPR Juniors Programme

SPR Juniors Programme is a highly active P.E lesson resource pack containing video and lesson plan resources that allow staff to deliver high quality Physical Education at the push of a button.

Learn More

The programme for SPR Juniors is designed to offer each primary school a balanced education programme focusing on nutrition, fitness and mindset delivering Strong Powerful Resilient Juniors!

Primarily, the programme provides progressive P.E. lessons for years 3 to 6 which help children improve their core fitness and develop motor skills that will underpin their sporting performance.

Each school will also have access to our SPR Junior Resource Centre. This is an online library for teachers to access nutritional guidance to support their curriculum plus it includes fun goals and milestones for pupils to reach that will support their nutritional awareness.

These resources are designed to be used as part of the weekly parent newsletter.  They help parents understand, in more depth, what their children are learning in relation to nutrition and fitness and give them the core information on how to encourage their children to continue their SPR Junior’s programme at home!