May 2024 - Capital City College Group
Accessibility & Translation

WestKing celebrates Korean Cuisine Month with exciting culinary events

WestKing’s School of Culinary Arts and Hospitality spotlighted Korean food by hosting Korean Cuisine Workshops and showcasing Korean dishes in its restaurant.

Westminster Kingsway College (WestKing) celebrated Korean cuisine as it hosted a month of mouth-watering activities. Korean Cuisine Month, organised in collaboration with the Korean Cultural Centre UK, included a series of Korean Cuisine Workshops and a Korean Cuisine Menu Week at The Brasserie, part of WestKing’s unique dining venue, The Vincent Rooms.

The series of Korean Cuisine Workshops took place between 27 April and 18 May at WestKing’s School of Culinary Arts and Hospitality and covered K-street food, kimchi and vegan dishes. Participants enjoyed being able to learn new skills and gain hands-on culinary experience within the college’s professional kitchens. The informative and highly enjoyable workshops received positive feedback from those attending for their simplicity and organisation.
Participants said:

  • “Very nice venue, great teaching and good class size.”
  • “Great course, learned lots of tips and surprised myself in being able to make all the dishes.”
  • “Excellent teacher, very clear explanations and tasty food.”

The celebration of Korean Cuisine extended to WestKing’s restaurant, The Brasserie, where Korean Menu Week took place from 7 May to 10 May. The week-long special menu featured a range of traditional Korean dishes such as Kimchijeon (Kimchi pancakes), Beef Bulgogi Mandu, Bibimbap, Korean Fried Chicken and Hottoek (sweet-filled pancakes) with Makgeolli ice cream – all prepared and served by students at WestKing’s School of Culinary Arts and Hospitality

Korean Menu Week proved extremely popular with diners at The Brasserie, and 173 guests visited the restaurant during the event. The Brasserie also welcomed Dr. Seunghye Sun, Director of Korean Cultural Centre UK, who dined in the restaurant on 7 May to celebrate the launch of the Korean Menu Week.

Dr. Seunghye Sun said: “Food is the fusion of taste and aesthetics. Taste is both an ancient memory and a contemporary one. I hope that this precious opportunity to intuitively experience Korean aesthetics through flavour will create new memories, connecting Korea and the UK, and contributing to a future rich in diversity and inclusivity. We value our continued successful partnership with Westminster Kingsway College on this project since 2021.

The Korean dishes served at The Brasserie also received praise from Jihun Maxime Kim, Executive Head Chef of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, who said: “I dined in the Vincent Rooms during Korean menu week and was very impressed. A well thought out menu and authentic tasting dishes. I congratulate WestKing and KCCUK on a great collaboration.”

If you’re interested in learning about international cuisine and advancing your culinary skills, apply for Hospitality and Culinary Arts Courses.

WestKing Business students organise fundraiser to support local charities

Level 3 Business Students at WestKing host a fundraiser to raise money for three local charitable organisations. 

Students from Westminster Kingsway College (WestKing) hosted a special event on 30 April at the college’s King’s Cross Centre to raise funds for three local charities.

The students, who are studying for the Business Enterprise and Innovation – Level 3 Extended Diploma, planned, promoted and carried out a range of fundraising activities to support Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity, Young Camden Foundation, and Let’s Get Talking

The three local charities have particular relevance to young people.

  • Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity supports young people and their families, funds research into children’s health, provides life-saving medical equipment and contributes to the rebuilding and refurbishing of the hospital site
  • Young Camden Foundation supports young people by building partnerships which provide communities with important resources and funding
  • Let’s Get Talking provides education for young people about health and crime, with a particular focus on drug awareness and knife crime

The students organised stalls selling delicious treats including cakes and sweets and popular accessories such as sunglasses and phone cases. Visitors to the fundraising event were able to change their look and decorate themselves with temporary tattoos and eyelashes. For those looking to participate in competitive activities, there was also the opportunity to take part in basketball games and darts matches.

The fundraising event organised by WestKing’s Business students raised over £300 and was divided between the three local charities.

Congratulations to the Level 3 Business Students on supporting local charities through your fundraising activities!

Find out more about how you can get involved in volunteering activities to support the community and learn new skills.

CANDI hosts colourful Culture Day event to celebrate diverse student body

Staff and students at CANDI host an exciting Culture Day celebration across its three college sites.

City and Islington College (CANDI) hosted an exciting celebration of multiculturalism as it welcomed students and staff to take part in Culture Day.

The event, which took place on 29 April, involved around 20 student volunteers who ran events across CANDI’s four sites, the Centre for Business, Arts and Technology in Camden Road (CBAT), the Sixth Form College and Centre for Applied Sciences in Angel and the Centre for Lifelong Learning in Finsbury Park.

The student volunteers made posters to publicise the event and collaborated to create a multicultural playlist featuring songs from around the world. They also styled the event space with flag bunting and a balloon arch.

During the event, over 500 students took part in a range of exciting activities that showcased the wonderful range of cultures represented across CANDI’s colleges. Students were invited to wear clothing from their cultures or flags which represented their home nation or cultural heritage. 

The student volunteers showcased their skills and creativity by organising a range of Culture Day activities which included:

  • A henna stall where students could have intricate designs applied to their skin
  • A giant map for students to place a sticker on to mark their cultural roots. By the end of the event, the map was covered in colourful dots showing the diversity of the CANDI community
  • A badge-making stall where students could create pin badges of different flags
  • A flag trivia quiz that challenged students to match 12 flags to the appropriate country
  • A performance by the CANDI dance group
  • Sharing music and dance styles from different cultures. Students were able to request songs and this led to some wonderful spontaneous dancing

The event was a joyful celebration of diversity and multiculturalism. Students enjoyed sharing elements from their own cultural backgrounds and learning more about the culture of their peers.

Student volunteer Deimante Sidoraviciute, who is a Year 12 Sixth Form College studying A Levels in English Literature, Sociology, and Psychology, said: “Culture Day meant a lot to me as I was able to learn different cultures. It was amazing looking at the map and seeing the variety of countries people were from. The highlight of the day was seeing all the cultural attire and the dances as well as the music.”

Another student volunteer from the Sixth Form College, Chanel Haake, who is studying A Levels in Sociology, Philosophy, and Politics, said: “Thank you for coordinating such a special event, we really appreciate it as well. A truly unforgettable experience!

Catherine Quinn, Deputy Head of School CANDI’s Sixth Form College, said: “Today has been absolutely gorgeous for our students! [I] got a bit emotional earlier hearing the students talk about it!”

At Capital City College Group (CCCG), we take every opportunity to celebrate the diversity of our staff and student body and remain committed to meeting the needs of our learners within a multicultural society.

Find out more about college life at CCCG!

CONEL Cyphers League of Legends team win regional championships and progress to national finals

CCCG Esports Academy triumphs as its second Esports team qualifies for the National Finals.

The Capital City College Group (CCCG) Esports Academy is celebrating once again as the CONEL Cyphers League of Legends team has progressed to the final round of the national competition. League of Legends is a multi-player strategy game which challenges two teams of powerful champions to compete against each other.

The League of Legends team, which consists of 5 learners from across the college group, claimed victory against MidKent College in an online match on 24 April. The team convened at  The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London’s (CONEL) Enfield Centre to participate in the match, which British Esports broadcasted on their official stream.

After winning an impressive 9 of their 11 matches, the CONEL Cyphers League of Legends took home the regional title and will join the CCCG Esports Academy Valorant team at the National finals in Nottingham on the 7 July.

@capitalccg

Only two months to go till we defend our Esports National Championship! 🙌 Our Esports training centre is equipped with twenty high-end gaming PCs, 144hz monitors and professional gaming peripherals. Joining the academy will provide you with training, coaching and guidance. We offer a place for learners to share ideas and explore their passions with the support of a professional Esports coach. 🎉 🎮 Click the link in our bio to learn more about our Esports Academy. #esports #gaming #valorant #leagueoflegends #conel #london #college #enfield #tottenham #lifeatcccg

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The League of Legends team consists of five students – Luis Costa, Rojelio Kuka, Alex Pawlak, Ilia Keris and Ben Knight. The players are studying a range of courses spanning Engineering, Physics, Chemistry and Creative Media at CCCG colleges.

Finlay Stewart, Esports Coach and Lecturer in Computing at CONEL said: “The team has done amazingly to get this far. They are very busy with their studies, employment and other priorities, so they have done an amazing job of making it to the finals all things considered. They have a lot of talent and that is what has carried them to the final hurdle!”

Alex Pawlak, one of the League of Legends team players, said: “I genuinely am just happy to be able to play in a competitive environment at a college and reaching the finals is just a bonus!”

If the fascinating world of computer games and Esports appeals to you, why not explore our range of Esports courses? Anyone enrolled on a course at CCCG can join the Esports Academy, which offers access to a fully-equipped Esports training centre and guidance and training with the support of a professional Esports coach.

Congratulations to the CONEL Cyphers League of Legends team on securing your place in the national finals!

Find out how you can join the Esports Academy!

CANDI A Level Student wins place on highly competitive Aon apprenticeship programme for 2024

A Level student accepts an apprenticeship with Aon after participating in a range of career programmes facilitated by the college careers team.

Ruben Bonomo, a Year 13 A Level Student from City and Islington College (CANDI), has successfully won a place on a prestigious and competitive apprenticeship scheme with Aon. Aon is a global expert in Risk Capital and Human Capital and their apprenticeship scheme has been listed among the top 100 employers by RateMyApprenticeship.

Ruben is studying A Levels in Economics, Psychology and Music at CANDI’s Sixth Form College in Angel and will complete his courses this summer. While studying at CANDI, Ruben has taken part in a variety of initiatives offered and facilitated by the college’s careers department. He participated in the Lloyds Junior Scholars programme which develops students’ finance skills and boosts employability. During the programme, he worked closely with Lloyds apprentices and was selected for a one-week summer work experience placement at Lloyds Banking Group. 

Ruben has also been an active participant in the programme offered by Career Ready, a national social mobility charity which connects employers and educators to provide better opportunities to young people. The charity provides mentor meetings, paid internships, workplace visits and masterclasses. As a result of the programme, Ruben has been mentored by SMBC Banking throughout his time at CANDI and completed a four-week summer internship with them in 2023. Ruben also completed the Big Alliance mentoring programme which matches volunteers from local businesses to students in schools and colleges across Islington.

It was Ruben’s experience of working with Lloyds apprentices that inspired him to consider an apprenticeship after completing his A Levels. After applying for a number of business and finance apprenticeships, Ruben was shortlisted for an apprenticeship with Aon and made it through to the assessment day, where he joined around 40 other candidates to complete group activities and attend a formal interview. His suitability for the programme was also informally assessed during a lunch, a tour and a Q&A session.

Ruben gained a great deal of experience in corporate environments through his participation in CCCG’s career programmes supported by the careers team. These experiences enabled him to step into the apprenticeship application process with ease and experience. As a result, he was able to demonstrate his skills and show how he would be an asset to Aon during the interview. Following the assessment day, Ruben was offered a place on Aon’s Commercial Risk and Reinsurance Broking Higher Level Apprenticeship commencing in September 2024, which he was delighted to accept.

Ruben said: “I’m particularly excited about the learning and development opportunities that lie ahead. I’ll be diving into a structured program that encompasses on-the-job learning, centralized learning sessions, and the pursuit of professional qualifications – all with full support from Aon.”

Ben Orcese, Careers and Higher Education Advisor at CANDI, said: “Moving onto any kind of apprenticeship post A Level or BTEC is incredibly challenging for any student. With Ruben, it is clear that motivation, hard work, resilience and dedication really does pay off if you are serious about making a professional non-higher education destination.”

Ruben’s success demonstrates the importance of career education and career enrichment for students. At Capital City College Group (CCCG) we offer extensive Career Support and Work Experience to all of our students, whether they are about to embark upon a new career or career path, or need support in their current role.

Congratulations to Ruben on your apprenticeship with Aon!

We offer one of the largest ranges of Apprenticeship Training across London, allowing students to gain valuable skills and earn while they learn. If you’re interested in doing an apprenticeship, take a look at our excellent range of Apprenticeship Courses.

WestKing Students attend Employability Festival at In House Pro Bono Day

A group of A Level and Business students meet expert volunteers from marketing, technology, finance and law professions at an event designed to build confidence and boost employability.

A group of 40 Students from Westminster Kingsway College (WestKing) took part in an Employability Festival as part of In House Pro Bono Day at The Law Society on 24 April. In House Pro Bono Day is an event organised by In House Pro Bono Group to support people looking to secure meaningful employment.

Volunteers from international law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP joined professional services firms including Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and Bloomberg to volunteer their knowledge and experience. The event brought together lawyers and experts from the fields of marketing, technology and finance.

The WestKing students who attended the event are studying a range of A Level Courses, including Economics, Business Studies and Politics, and Business Enterprise and Innovation – Level 3 Extended Diploma. Also at the event were clients from Dress for Success and Suited and Booted who came to learn from experienced professionals, build their employability skills and increase their confidence.

During the Employability Festival, students took part in a speed networking session and connected with business professionals from a variety of industries. They were able to learn more about different professions and ask questions about career paths and professional roles.

The next session was a CV workshop, where students had the opportunity to draw on the expertise of a volunteer from one of the companies and look at ways to strengthen their CVs. This was followed by mock interviews, where volunteers used the students’ CVs as a guide and asked a variety of competency-based and strength-based questions. These personalised simulated interviews gave students the chance to role-play an interview and develop their responses. The Employability Festival concluded with a wider group discussion where attendees reflected on their experiences.

Amna Akhtar, a Year 12 A Level student, said: “Entering The Law Society was a dive into a trove of wisdom and possibility, each interaction a stroke toward crafting both my corporate and legal journey.”

Jennifer Oteng, Employability and Events Coordinator at WestKing said: “The students were really engaged in all the activities and networked with the professionals which was great to see. It was insightful and highlighted the significance of professionals engaging in events like this with students, to share their knowledge and expertise and leave the students feeling inspired”

Capital City College Group (CCCG) is committed to supporting students in finding meaningful employment. We do this by providing access to events such as In House Pro Bono Day, offering exceptional Career Support and Work Experience opportunities and maintaining and continuously developing our Employer Partnerships.

Whether you’re looking to take A Levels, study Business or start an Apprenticeship, we have an excellent range of courses for learners of all levels. Apply today and see how our courses could benefit you.

CANDI students write winning short stories as part of GCSE English Course

Students showcase writing skills and create dystopian worlds for a college competition.

A group of six GCSE English students from City and Islington College (CANDI) have been awarded creative writing prizes for their original stories. The students, all of whom study at CANDI’s Centre for Business, Arts and Technology, Camden Road (CBAT), wrote short creative pieces as part of their GCSE English course. The course involves a range of project-based work and in February students completed a creative writing task on the theme of Utopia and Dystopia.

The creative writing competition was organised by Sean Vernell, a GCSE English Teacher, who opened up the challenge to five of his GCSE English groups. Sean invited students to submit their creative pieces and chose six winners.

The winning pieces are set in dystopian worlds brought about by wars, climate change, new technologies and pandemics. They include richly descriptive and detailed portrayals of dystopian landscapes, incorporating dramatic scenes of conflict and survival as well as engaging original characters.

The six winnings stories were:

  • The Authority by Zahara Parsons
  • Life in 50 Years by Kiara Ezechie
  • A Time To Die by Aisha Sharif
  • The Silent Room by Ediana Pires
  • Meta Earth by Plando Hoppe
  • Trapped in a World by Jade Byrne

Sean Vernell, the GCSE English Teacher who guided the students through the project and organised the competition, said: “The world in which young people live is fraught with tensions and fears. These stories reflect these anxieties about their future worlds. […] All six are worthy winners of this year’s creative writing competition.”

The winning authors received a short anthology containing their creative writing pieces along with Amazon vouchers. The prizes were presented by Sacha Murmann, Head of School for Maths and English at CANDI, Shima Javadzadeh, Curriculum Manager for Maths and English. and Seval Fadil, Assistant Principal at CANDI.

Sacha Murmann, Head of School for Maths and English at CANDI, said: “We found all the entries to be outstanding examples of high-quality powerful writing that should now be enjoyed by a wider audience. […] I look forward to seeing these young, exciting writers in a few years’ time with their first novels.”

You can read the anthology containing the students’ winning stories here.

If you’re looking to improve your English skills, we offer a wide range of highly accessible English courses for students of all ages and backgrounds. 

CANDI students take 2nd Runners Up trophy at London Metropolitan University’s Big Idea Challenge 2024

Innovative students from CANDI attend awards events for university enterprise competition.

Students from City and Islington College (CANDI) made it to the final round of judging in London Metropolitan University’s Big Idea Challenge 2024, with one team bringing home a trophy.

Two teams represented CANDI at The Big Idea Challenge final at London Metropolitan University on 24 April. The Big Idea Challenge is an annual enterprise competition held by London Metropolitan University that allows students and recent graduates to turn their ideas into a business. Entries can be commercial, creative or focussed on social impact. Winning entries receive prizes which will support them in developing their ideas and launching their product or business.

The event began with a speech from Donna Atchere and Dr Abigail Othchere, co-founders of SiSTEM, a platform which supports and connects women in STEM. This was followed by the awards presentation, including a Popular Choice Award, 2nd Runners-Up, 1st Runners-Up and Overall Winner.

Team Mag Vision from CANDI’s Centre for Business, Arts and Technology, Camden Road (CBAT) were awarded the position of 2nd runners-up for their innovative invention. Team Mag Vision designed state-of-the-art glasses that connect to personal devices via Bluetooth, enabling users to protect confidential information when working in public spaces. The glasses work by turning the device screen black and transferring private information directly to the glasses so that only the wearer can see it. The members of Team Mag Vision were Kyle Cambell-Evans, Naomi Weres, Zahrah Parsons and Idorenyin Unwene.

The other CBAT student team in the final round, Team SEDA, designed a cropped hoodie with a silk hood to protect the wearer against the unpredictable UK weather. The members of  Team SEDA were Elizampet Lesi , Gulici Karaaslan, Mahnaz Nazar, Tasnim Wahid and Celeste Garcia.

The students came from a range of Business Courses and Health and Social Care Courses and were supported by Rahma Hussein, a CBAT Student Engagement Officer, throughout the competition. The project was an extracurricular task that helped students to develop their entrepreneurial abilities. Participation in The Big Ideas Challenge also enabled them to build on essential skills such as research, collaboration, presentation, problem-solving, critical thinking and communication.

Congratulations to both teams for making it to the final of London Metropolitan University’s Big Idea Challenge 2024!

Students represent Team CCCG Sport at AoC National Championships

Students from Capital City College Group display their sporting abilities and compete in six sports at the Association of Colleges National Championships.

Students from Capital City College Group (CCCG) showcased their sporting skills at The Association of Colleges (AoC) National Championships 2024. The event, which took place from 19 to 21 April in Nottingham, was an exciting celebration of 12 competitive sports which gave students the opportunity to compete against their peers. 

The AoC National Championships are the largest annual Further Education student sporting event in Europe, with around 1500 colleges taking part each year.

This year, Team CCCG Sport consisted of 40 learners who competed in six different sports: Basketball, Table Tennis, Badminton, Netball, Cross Country and Football. After excellent performances in the regional sports championships, the students progressed to the national competition. As a result, Team CCCG Sport made up the majority of representatives from London, and they proudly represented both the college group and the city.

Basketball

Team CCCG Sport’s Basketball team entered the National Championships as reigning champions and was asked to take part in the opening ceremony and a showcase game to open the tournament. After winning the opening fixture, the team continued to perform well and made it to the final, where they had high hopes of retaining their title. They played a closely matched evening final in front of a packed arena and were narrowly beaten by a strong Cardiff team who won 13-9.

Table Tennis

Business student Rayan Ansari entered the national competition after winning the regional championships comfortably. Rayan played extremely well in the competition and was eventually knocked out in the semi-final by the player who went on to win the championship. This year is the first year that Team CCCG Sport has been represented in the sport and the team is immensely proud of Ryan’s achievements.

Badminton

Another first for Team CCCG Sport was its participation in the Badminton competition. City and Islington College (CANDI) student Dylan Gregory competed as part of the doubles team representing London, which included two more players from other London colleges. Dylan played alongside a partner from Kingston College, and they performed well, winning five of their eight matches. The London doubles badminton team was placed 6th at the end of the competition and Team CCCG Sport were incredibly proud of Dylan’s performance.

Dylan, who is currently studying Engineering – Level 3 Access to Higher Education Diploma, said: “I have had a great time at the championships, and this is certainly one of the highlights from my time at the college”.

Netball

Team CCCG Sport’s Netball Team have continued to work hard, achieving two regional championship trophies and qualifying for national competitions. During the National Championships, they maintained their position from last year, coming 9th in the competition. Having only been established two years ago, the team continues to grow and improve.

Cross Country

Hamza Rob and Wesley John, both of whom are studying for the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sports at The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL), undertook a gruelling 5k course, with both students performing well and running two of their best times.

Football

This year marked Team CCCG’s Football Team’s debut at the National Championships and the players adapted well to the new competition format. The tournament was incredibly competitive and they finished 5th, a great result for their first national competition.

Robert Murphy, Sports Development Manager, said: “I am hugely proud of the achievement of our students in the championships in Nottingham. The students had a great time at the event and treated us to some excellent performances. With so many successes in the regional championships qualifying us for national competitions, it shows how fantastic we are becoming at sports. If you are serious about sports then CCCG is a great college to attend.”

Being part of Team CCCG provides students with opportunities beyond their academic courses. The various sports departments across the college group are dedicated to supporting students in their sporting activities. 

Robert Murphy said: “I would like to thank all the staff for their hard work over the competition weekend. It was very much appreciated. The days were long and staff went above and beyond to ensure everything ran smoothly.” 

“If you are serious about sports then CCCG is a great college to attend.”

Congratulations to TEAM CCCG for your excellent achievements and participation in the AoC National Championships 2024!

If you’re passionate about sports, why not consider joining one of our Sports Academies? Our Sports Academies are open to anyone aged 16-19 and enrolled on one of our courses. The Sports Academies allow students to combine their academic courses with excellent sports training and are partnered with local professional organisations and give students the best training, advice, and opportunities.

Check out our Sports Academies and book your trial now!

To book a trial session, you must add your chosen sports academy to your basket when applying for a full-time course at one of our colleges.

5 effective ways to manage stress during exam season

Here are some essential ways to look after your mental health while taking end-of-year assessments and exams.

With exam season upon us, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Whether you’re taking A Level courses or coming to your end-of-course assessment, the prospect of retaining lots of information and performing under pressure can cause stress levels to rise.

That’s why it’s more important than ever to think about ways to manage stress and look after your mental health. This week is also Mental Health Awareness Week (13-19 May), so we’ve put together 5 ways to recognise, manage and relieve stress during exam season.

1. Notice how exam stress affects you

Before we even get started trying to tackle stress, it’s good to think about how it shows up in our minds and bodies. Are you feeling exhausted and restless or are you simply avoiding your revision?

Here are some of the typical ways that exam stress can affect people.

Emotions or feelings

Exam stress and play havoc with your emotions. You might be feeling any combination of the following:

  • Anxious, overwhelmed
  • Upset, teary
  • Easily annoyed, frustrated, angry
  • Bored, uninterested, lacking in energy, exhausted
  • Disappointed, embarrassed, lacking in confidence, confused

Physical responses to stress

Stress can also manifest physically, and you might find that you notice that your body feels different. You may experience:

  • Headaches, dizziness, blurred vision
  • A racing heartbeat
  • Changes in eating habits, loss of appetite, feeling sick, stomach pain
  • Struggling to focus, being forgetful
  • Feeling restless or tense
  • Trembling or shaking, sweating a lot
  • Feeling tired, difficulty sleeping or waking up

Stress-related thought patterns

You may find that your mind wanders off or that you’re experiencing self-doubt or fear.

It’s common to experience:

  • Self-doubt and negative self-talk
  • Fear of failure
  • Comparing yourself to others
  • Fear of disappointing yourself or others
  • Feeling like you can’t cope with what’s facing you

Behaviour linked to stress

Stress can make us act a little differently too, and it’s common for people experiencing exam stress to do the following:

  • Avoiding revision and exam planning
  • Struggling to manage day-to-day tasks
  • Lose motivation
  • Not do things you usually enjoy, or not enjoying them as much
  • Forget to take breaks and work too much

Stress is a natural response to pressure and can often help motivate us to complete the tasks at hand, but if any of these responses feel like they’re taking over, then don’t be shy about asking for help. Stress can also make existing mental health problems feel more difficult to manage. If you’re struggling to cope, don’t sit on it. 

For Capital City College Group (CCCG) students, the Support and Wellbeing team are ready to help. Organisations like Young Minds and The Mix offer great advice and insight based on the experiences of other young people about exam stress. Childline, Saneline and Samaritans are ready to provide support when things get too much. Remember that you can also contact your GP for an appointment with a doctor.

2. Stay connected 

When times get tough, it’s tempting to hunker down until it’s all over – but that can be lonely. It’s important to remain connected to family and friends as they’re often the best people to distract you when you need to unwind.

If you have friends or classmates who are also in the thick of it, take a moment to check in on each other. Your peers will be able to empathise and sometimes a chat about a shared experience is the best way to air your worries. You may even want to buddy up and study together. Some studies show that revising with others helps you absorb information effectively, and then of course there’s the added benefit of feeling connected and supported.

If you’re anxious about one aspect of your exams in particular, find a teacher, friend or family member whose advice you value and talk it through with them. It’ll help to get it off your chest, and they may be able to offer useful suggestions to help you tackle it.

It’s not always easy to start a conversation about what you’re experiencing. You may find it useful to try out these sentences:

  • Can we talk for a bit? I’m finding things difficult and my exams are getting on top of me.
  • I’ve been struggling with my exams and I’m feeling overwhelmed. Can I talk to you about it?
  • I’m finding my exams stressful.3. I don’t think I need solutions, but I’d like to talk and get some things off my chest.
  • I’m really feeling the pressure of these exams and just need to talk to someone about it. Can I vent in your direction for a bit?

3. Eat, sleep, breathe and move.

This should be your exam-season mantra. Eat, sleep, breathe and well. 

Eat (and drink)

What you eat can affect how you feel in exam season, and eating certain foods may even improve your exam performance.

  • Don’t skip meals as this can cause your blood sugar levels to drop, which negatively affects your ability to focus
  • Stock up on slow-release carbs such as oats, whole-grain bread, brown rice and pulses
  • Boost your brain power by upping your intake of Omega-3 by eating oily fish and seafood
  • The fibre in fruit and vegetables helps your body to release energy more consistently so embrace your favourite fresh produce. Think about getting in some leafy greens for iron and boost your vitamin C with oranges or kiwis
  • Drink less caffeine and more water. Water helps maximise focus so hydrate your brain!

Sleep

Lack of sleep affects your memory and slows your ability to respond quickly to things. That said, getting your 8 hours can be tricky when you’re stressed.

  • Heavy evening meals can interfere with your sleep so eat at least 3 hours before bedtime
  • Steer clear of caffeine at least 4 hours before bed (or longer if you know you’re sensitive to its effects)
  • Put your devices away at least an hour before you go to bed
  • Try to get 8-9 hours of sleep a night

Breathe

We take it for granted so often, but something as simple as taking a breath can be incredibly effective in managing stress. 

  • Our breath changes when we’re stressed and anxious, often becoming shallow, fast and irregular
  • You can find your breath in yoga, through mindfulness activities such as meditation, or simple breathing exercises
  • Recalibrating the rhythm of your breath can bring down your heart rate and stimulate the vagus nerve, enabling you to calm your nervous system
  • Doing regular breathing exercises trains your nervous system and helps build long-term resilience against stress

Move

Regular physical movement is known to have a positive effect on mental health and well-being – so much so that it’s the main theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week.

Sitting at a desk or in front of a screen for long periods of time can make you feel lethargic, so combat that by moving your body.

  • Aim to do 30 minutes of movement each day
  • Get outside if you can – your brain and body will benefit from a change of scene
  • If you can’t hit the gym or your usual sports club, try something different – a walk to the shops, a run around the park, a yoga video, a 15-minute kitchen dance party – whatever you can manage will be worth it

4. Take breaks and plan treats

Revising non-stop is not the most effective way to get through it all. Plan out your revision timetable and make sure that your working day has a start and end point. Be sure to factor in breaks every hour or so to give yourself a mental and physical rest. Use your breaks to do something you actively enjoy – go for a walk with your favourite podcast or playlist, create something, kick a ball around the garden, chat to a friend or make yourself something delicious to eat.

Having something to look forward to is also highly motivating, and treats don’t need to be expensive. You can reward yourself with your favourite snack, a refreshing shower or a relaxing bath – whatever feels like a treat for you. Although it can be tempting to go online to play or scroll, try to destimulate your brain by doing something that moves you away from your study area or screens and gives your eyes a rest.

5. Be kind to yourself

Exam season is the time when we’re most likely to compare ourselves to others, whether it’s asking how much someone else has revised or finding out which essay question they went for. If you find post-exam talk stressful, then be kind to yourself. Let your classmates know that dissecting the paper after the exam is not something you want to do.

Finally, think about how far you’ve come and what you’ve already achieved. Remain proud of your efforts and nudge out negative self-talk with more positive truths. If you find yourself thinking “I’m going to fail this exam,” replace that thought with “I’ve worked hard in this area and now have a better understanding of X. I can be proud of that.”

Exams are stressful – there’s no denying that. But they’re also good preparation for the stresses of life after your studies. Finding effective ways to manage stress is an ongoing investment in your mental health, not just for exam season, but for life.

If you’re a CCCG student struggling with exam stress, contact the Support and Wellbeing team at your college. It’s what they’re there for.

Alternatively, you can reach out to Young Minds, The Mix, Childline, Saneline and Samaritans for support and guidance.

We wish all Capital City College Group students the best as we enter exam season! We want you to do your best but, more importantly, we want you to stay healthy.

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