The Biggest Triggers Of School Student Anxiety Revealed
A new study has revealed exactly what's making children stressed at school, and tests like NAPLAN are topping the list.
Some 32 percent of Australian school students say the annual nationwide literacy and numeracy test is the most stressful part of school, according to the report by Cluey Learning.
Alarmingly kids are tending to keep their anxiety to themselves, with less than one in 10 seeking support from their teachers.
And the endless worrying starts weeks before a big test, with 40 percent of students confessing they start to stress months ahead of the assessment.
NAPLAN has long been at the centre of debate among parents and teachers, with many suggesting it is unnecessary, while others praise the annual test.
Chief learning officer at Cluey Learning, Dr Selina Samuels, is now urging parents to talk to their children about their concerns.
“Some parents actively avoid mentioning NAPLAN in the lead up to the test in the hope that it will ease the pressure," she said.
Many, including Dr Samuels, argue that NAPLAN offers an opportunity to show children how to prepare for and face situations that might make them nervous.
She added that the test for school children (in years three, five, seven and nine) is a good place to start.
"When students take on something that challenges them and come out the other end, they’ll be more resilient,” Dr Samuels explained.
A staggering 20 percent of students claim their teachers aren't helping them prepare via practice tests or homework.
Many are so stressed out they're welling to fake an illness on exam day (17 percent), and 11 percent confessed to have already 'pulled a sickie'.
And the ones that do take the test believe they should get pocket money from their parents or rewarded (49 percent).
A quarter said they would cheat in a test if they could be guaranteed no one would ever find out.
The news comes are parents are being slammed for letting their kids have too many days off school for vacations, birthdays, and even haircuts.
Some schools have even warned parents that by taking their kids out of classes they risk sabotaging their education.
According to The Daily Telegraph, one school has introduced an honour roll for students with a 95 percent attendance rate, while another is rewarding its Year 7s with pizza if they manage 100 per cent attendance at the school swimming carnival.
A newsletter sent to parents at Fig Tree Primary School in Illawarra stated: "All children have a right to an education and through regular attendance at school, they can make the most of educational opportunities."
"The law in NSW states that all children between six and seventeen years of age are required to attend school regularly."
President of the Primary Principals’ Association Australia Malcolm Elliott told the Daily Telegraph that this is a bigger issue than people realise.
“Interruption to the (learning) program is something hard to put right,” Elliott said.
“Children may lose confidence because they don’t know what’s going on, they have to try to catch up.”
Figures from the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority show attendance dropped from 92.7 percent in 2014 to 91.4 last year.