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Support available to students taking exams for first time in three years

This year students from across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly will be sitting GCSE, A Level and B-Tec exams for the first time since 2019.

Sitting exams can be stressful at the best of times, never mind during an ongoing global pandemic, so Headstart Kernow are on a mission to ensure young people across Cornwall have less exam stress.

Ahead of exams this year, parents, carers and young people in Cornwall can access a wealth of mental health support on the Start Now website.


Image of students in front of sign 'Young people of Cornwall You'er amazing!'

The resources from Headstart Kernow, part of Together for Families at Cornwall Council and funded by The National Lottery Community Fund, have been developed in conjunction with young people themselves.

Start Now Cornwall website

Cabinet Member for Children and Families, Cllr Barbara Ellenbroek, said:

“We know this year is going to be challenging for students sitting their exams, but we want to let them to know that advice and support is avalable. We also want to offer reassurance to young people and their families, who may be worried about their exams, that they are not alone. You won’t be the only person feeling like this and we would ask you to reach out for support. Schools are prepared and understand your anxieties and our teams have lots of resources available to support you.”

Hannah Tallis, HeadStart Engagement and Coproduction Officer, said:

“We’ve also been speaking to young people and rather than solely focussing on the problem of exam stress, they wanted to share some positive messages with others who are going through the same thing. So, we’ve been working with students from St Ives School to produce an advertising campaign to remind young people how well they’ve coped over the last two incredibly challenging years and that if they’re not okay, that’s okay too.”

The positive messages campaign has been running throughout March and April across social media, targeting young people with messages such as ‘Don’t give up’, ‘You can do it’, and ‘Be proud of who you are’. Visitors to Truro in March may also have spotted a billboard proclaiming, ‘Young people of Cornwall, you’re amazing!’

St Ives School student Zennor Lewis commented:

“Seeing our positive messages being used in this way is great. They’ll show other teens that it’s okay to be different and hopefully make them feel more positive about themselves.”

Niki Wooders, Student Welfare Lead at St Ives School, said:

“We’re incredibly proud of the way our students are supporting each other and have been using positivity as a way of tackling the inevitable stress and anxiety that comes with exams.
“We do everything we can to give them the help and guidance they need, and welcome the support offered by Headstart Kernow.”

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