Coping with exam postponement 

Advice from Guidance Counsellor Jenny Crampton

The Department of Education has announced contingency measures for the Leaving Certificate exams, due to the Covid-19 restrictions. Many of you (46,000) have spoken out about your concerns and preferred options through ISSU Irish Second-Level Students’ Union #ClarificationNow survey. ISSU has represented students views in meetings with the Department of Education as part of the Department’s consultation meetings. As with all decisions, some of you will feel this decision is the best option and others will feel it is the worst. Either way, we at least know what is ahead of us. UNICEF asked guidance counsellor Jenny Crampton to offer her advice to all of you.

Advice on how to cope with Leaving Certificate contingency measures

The measures that have been put in place to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic over the past weeks are creating new challenges for us all. We are facing different stressors and different pressures as we do our best to adjust to these new measures. You have now been thrown an extra challenge, trying to continue working towards the exam that will now take place in late summer.

Many of you will be feeling very angry, upset and frustrated at hearing this news. These are normal reactions and very understandable ones. Some of you may be wondering why they made this decision, others may be asking themselves “how can I keep this up until July or August”.  My advice to you is to take some time out now over the holidays and allow yourself to process these emotions of anger, frustration etc and then take some time to do things that you enjoy, within the present restrictions.

You need to mind your mental health during this time and keep a realistic perspective on what you can or cannot do. There are a lot of websites offering support and advice on how to look after your mental health and wellbeing.

There are many free online services that offer audiobooks, meditation apps, music lessons, yoga classes, national theatres, live stream gigs, and lots more. Here is a helpful collection GiveBack Directory.

Remember only to use reliable and trustworthy news sources. If you want information and updates on education and the Leaving Certificate use the Department of Education and Skills website.

The full details on logistics or what academic supports are going to be put in place for you will become clearer over the coming months.  We will respond to those updates and your concerns when more is known.

Remember that you are all in this together, all 60,000 doing the Leaving Certificate exams. Most of you will be having the same concerns and upsets. You have a lot of support, your teachers, guidance counsellors, school management team, family and friends. Ask for support if you need it.

And finally, stay connected and keep in touch with one another.

If you feel you need more support, Aware, Jigsaw and Spunout are continuing to provide services.

Remember…

Helpful reminders for parents…