A group of Horncastle students are taking time out from study to take part in regular exercise sessions, as research shows the benefits of keeping fit during the exam season.
Teenagers from Queen Elizabeth Grammar School’s Sixth Form are offered time free from academic work weekly – with one of the options being to attend Horncastle’s Pool and Fitness Suite, which is operated by the Magna Vitae Trust for Leisure and Culture.
Becca Garner, Annie Ross and Chelsie Lilley are among the weekly attendees at the gym and will continue to take advantage of the afternoon workouts in the run-up to exams.
Becca, who is hoping to study Business Management at university, said: “This is a good idea. It gives us time out in the week to exercise.
“The pressure of knowing you want to do well in your exams can present a lot of stress and this is a way of forgetting some of that.”
Hattie Needham was a keen sports player before sixth form, playing netball for a leading county team. She also appreciates the Wednesday sport afternoons.
She said: “This definitely helps to relieve any stress during what can be a stressful time.”
Recent research, carried out at the University of Edinburgh Sports Union, recommended that even short bursts – 10 minutes – of exercise can increase a student’s mental alertness, energy and positive mood.
It went on to add how physical activity can have both immediate and long-term benefits on academic performance.
Head of Sixth Form at QEGS Tim Randman explained: “This is not standard practice at all sixth forms but we do insist that PE is continued here. However, we do recognise that our older students should be given freedom and choice to either take part in a school-based activity or attend the pool and gym, while others will go running.
“We recently had a visit from a professional in the study of mental health, who highlighted the importance of exercise and health.”