The words relaxing and revision don’t usually go hand in hand.
But that is exactly what 40 GCSE students experienced when they enjoyed a two-day hotel break crammed full of expert tips on how to improve their performance on exam day.
The Year 11 boys and girls at Purbrook Park School were chosen for the event at Brookfield Hotel in Emsworth to give them an extra push to attain the gold standard of five good GCSEs with English and maths.
And judging by the feedback, a day spent learning revision tricks and memory games alongside concentrated spells of maths and English seemed to do the trick.
Jennifer Pearce, 16, says: ‘I’ve really enjoyed some of the memory games.
‘It’s interesting how much you can retain if you learn rhymes, for example, which help jog your memory.
‘I will be applying them to my English, maths and PE GCSEs as I want to do well in those.
‘I’d like to do something in sports for a living – but you’d be surprised how much theory there is to learn.’
She explains: ‘I don’t tend to perform as well as I should in exams because I’m very laid back about revision.
‘But I need to do well in my GCSEs if I want to go to college and have a shot at a successful career.’
Lucy Poulaki, 16, gets so worked up about exams she finds it hard to revise.
She says: ‘I get stressed out quite easily, which makes it impossible for me to revise.
‘I’ve found the mind maps really useful. They’re a good way of breaking down a subject into different compartments which you can visualise easily.
‘It’s been nice to get away from school and learn in a different environment. It makes you feel like a grown-up and it feels like you’re getting a fresh boost.’
If all these students achieve as well as they could in their exams, it could improve the school’s good GCSE pass rate by as much as 25 per cent.
Headteacher Paul Foxley says: ‘Part of this is to make them feel special – we’ve brought them out to a lovely environment and we hope it will be an experience they remember and tell all their classmates about.
‘We want to raise their aspirations and give them the tools to fulfil their maximum potential and achieve top grades.’