College launches Make The Days Count campaign

17th April 2024

Stratford-upon-Avon College has launched a brand-new campaign to help students prepare for their GCSE exams with a focus on managing stress and anxiety and utilising each day of preparation called Make The Days Count.

make the days count launch

Over the past two years the college and partner college Solihull College & University Centre have had countdown banners in the reception areas to highlight to students how may days left until their exams.

However, Head of Learning Technologies Isla Flood put forward an idea to the Innovation hub to change the message to students: rather than a countdown of days to exams, change into Make The Days Count; putting a positive focus on utilising and managing the time leading up to exams.

This idea came from having viewed a TikTok video from ‘Action’ Jackson Ogunyemi who is a motivational speaker with a company called the FIXUP Team and runs workshops and assemblies on resilience, self-belief and motivation in schools and colleges, both in the UK and across the world.

Holly Bayliss, Head of Quality – Teaching, Learning & Innovation was put at the lead of this campaign and developed it, believing that as a college there was a lot more it could offer students to support a Growth Mindset and engage them with self-belief during exam season.

The launch week included three events, one at the college and 2 others at Solihull College’s Blossomfield and Woodlands campuses. They included a range of information stands and interactive activities ran by college teams who provided support and resources for students including:

  • Mental Health team – providing resources for overcoming exam anxiety and signposting student to services offered by the college to support them further
  • Student Enrichment – handing out self-care packs to students which included study tips for neurodivergent students, relaxation tips, motivational quotes and some sweets
  • Learning Technologies team – provided advise on digital wellbeing alongside opportunities for students to utilise VR technology to take part in meditation sessions plus have a go at a Maths themed escape room
  • Maths and English team- provided branded revision books and subject specific resources for students about to sit their exams
  • Maths and English hubs – provided exam practice papers, advertised the revision bundles on offer to buy and signed students up for further exam practice hub sessions

The event was well received and featured a wealth of information stands, interactive activities and take away goodies

Furthermore, the college was pleased to welcome the FIXUP team (whose TikTok video inspired the campaign) who delivered nine exam preparation workshops over the three days at the college campuses.

These high energy, interactive workshops set the tone for growth mindset plus they created a link between famous successes and the hard work they put it in, painting the picture that success is accessible for all.

Student responses to the event have been really positive with lots of great feedback on the exam prep workshops that were thought provoking and helped them understand that success is an option for everyone.

The FIXUP team delivered fantastic presentations at all three campuses

Feedback from students included comments such as: “I thought it was really beneficial for me” and “They were very helpful and gave some useful tips for revision and other exam strategies.” Plus the students highlighted which elements they found most helpful which included: “Learning strategies to ease my nerves”, “Gaining confidence which can help with speaking in front of a big group of people” and “Developing the strategies to focus on the task in hand rather than all the distraction around you.”

Holly Bayliss highlighted why the campaign was beneficial for students: “This was a really important event for those students’ sitting exams after Easter. Many students have struggled with exams in the past or have never sat an exam before. It was important as a college to share with them techniques that they can use to reduce exam anxiety and also to highlight to them that this is a normal feeling, and we want to offer them strategies to help them regulate their emptions and feel confident when heading into an exam. The team at Solihull College and Stratford-upon-Avon College have done an amazing job with providing resources and advice to students over the three days and the FIXUP team proved a hit with students, who responded positively and enthusiastically to the high energy workshops they attended to look at what it is to have a growth mindset.”

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