With education establishments closed for the foreseeable future, what does this mean if you are a senior phase student at secondary school?   A few months off school may be quite appealing – no studying, no assessments, no homework and no exams to sit.  Time to chill, hang out with mates and try to figure out what all this means for you and your future.

Or you might feel devastated that the school year has ended abruptly, without the opportunity to sit exams and get the grades that you have been working hard to achieve. You might feel a bit down emotionally and anxious about the next stage of your education. Things may be difficult in your household with stress and worry about Coronavirus.

In all this uncertainty there are plenty of reasons to hit the pause button on your learning.  Schools are closed, exams are cancelled and teachers are trying to figure out ways of keeping classes going through online study.  Students might be forgiven for thinking it’s okay to swap Maths and Science for Apex Legends and Call of Duty until schools are back open.

But it’s more important than ever to make sure you KEEP LEARNING over the next few months.  Here’s why.

1. Schools will open again and education will resume

In a normal school year most National courses begin in May, not August.   That’s because there is a lot for learners to cover in 10 months to make sure they’re ready for exams the following year.  It’s really important that you find ways to continue studying your chosen subjects over the next few months.  The more learning you can do while schools are closed, the better your chances of achieving good grades in next year’s exams.

2. Learning is good for your mental health

If you are feeling emotionally low or anxious with all that’s happening, it’s good to have things to focus on, targets to aim for and daily routines to keep you occupied.  It may seem like everything is on hold at the moment, but that needn’t stop you from learning.  It’s important to try to stay positive and learning is one of the best ways to develop a positive mindset and take control of what is happening in your life.

3. Your teachers will be doing all they can to support you

Teachers are as upset as you are about the disruption to courses and exams and they have a responsibility to make sure that students are supported even when schools are closed.  All schools have ways of sharing resources digitally, through learning platforms, Google, Office 365 and other apps, and on their own websites.  Teachers will be able to share course notes, activities and online resources that will support your learning.

4. Studying online will help you develop new skills and approaches to learning

Learning online means you have to take more responsibility for what and how you learn.  There’s a huge amount of digital content available on the Internet and you will become more skilled in identifying what’s useful when it comes to your subjects.  This makes you more empowered in your learning, rather than having to rely totally on your teachers.  Online learning can help you develop skills and attributes that are so vital for learning, life and work in an increasingly digitised world.

5. You will learn something about yourself

How you respond to the challenges over the coming weeks and months will teach you a lot about yourself.  In the future maybe you’ll reflect on how the events of 2020 changed you, both as a learner and as a person.

  • Were you motivated to keep learning during a time of adversity?
  • Were you able to remain positive and achieve the targets that you set for yourself?
  • Did you take responsibility for your learning and develop new skills?


  1. Keep in touch with your teachers.  Make sure you know what you should be learning and how to go about it.  If you’re not sure, don’t hesitate to contact them for help.
  2. Establish study routines for and try to stick to them. Allocate time slots for different subjects.
  3. Keep in touch with your friends and classmates, as learning together or collaborating online can help you stay focused and motivated.
  4. Try to stay positive.  Remind yourself that you’ll be back at school in a few months.
  5. Keep yourself fit and healthy.  Don’t sit around all day playing computer games or texting your mates.  Keeping physically fit improves your mental health.
  6. Take responsibility for your learning.  There are many fantastic websites and apps that can help you.  Check out our website and sign up for ACHIEVE which is completely free until the summer holidays.  If you come across helpful resources, share links with your friends and your teachers.
  7. Remember that studying is important, but it’s only part of your life.  Make time for family and friends and for supporting others to get through this situation.  Is this your chance to finally take up that hobby that you have never had time for?

Sign up for ACHIEVE free at

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