PODCAST

The Study Sessions: from The Study Buddy

Pineapple Audio Production

Hosted by Nathan McGurl, the Founder of the Study Buddy. Studying at home can be a trying time for students - and their parents. How do they reach their potential? Am I helping or hindering? Should I be doing more or doing less? This podcast talks to a range of experts, parents and students about studying, with practical tips on surviving and thriving in study and revision at home. Produced by Pineapple Audio Production.

S3 Ep28: On good advice during the exam period
Jun 1 2022
S3 Ep28: On good advice during the exam period
If there’s one thing more stressful than revision for students – and us parents – then it’s the actual exam period. Many of us will feel like life is on a knife edge not knowing what to do for the best. Just how can we move past the fluctuating moods and bouts of anxiety, to try and make this a productive period?  The exam season has started in earnest – or should that be in anger?!  It’s an important and tricky time to navigate. All three seasons of our podcast have been hopefully building to this moment. With episodes ranging from coping with stress, through to the importance of a good diet. In response to some of the common questions The Study Buddy gets asked, I've cherry-picked a few gems from the last 87 episodes to help.  In this episode we cover:  My child doesn't seem to care at all.My teen wants only 8s and 9s Where is the pressure coming from and should we tackle that?How can I help my child when it gets too much? Should we be preparing our child for the worst, just in case?Is it too late now to be doing anything?It’s exam day, what should they eat? In this third season of the podcast, Nathan - founder of The Study Buddy - will be talking to parents, students and teachers about GCSE and A Level exams in 2022. Sharing these real-life experiences will confirm we're not alone and should also provide plenty of advice and tips when it comes to supporting our own teens. If you would like to take part in a future episode please drop us a line: hello@thestudybuddy.com The Study Buddy is an innovative method for managing GCSE and A-Level revision in the run-up to exams. For more information about The Study Buddy's approach to organising study, time management and revision skills visit thestudybuddy.com Produced by Pineapple Audio Productions.
S3 Ep27: On apprenticeships as an alternative to university- "Get The Jump"
May 9 2022
S3 Ep27: On apprenticeships as an alternative to university- "Get The Jump"
There’s a broad presumption that after school there’s A levels and then onto university for a degree. A lot of young people just seem to get swept along on this fast-flowing river of higher education. But with increasing options and alternatives, are we doing enough to make sure that our teens know what else is out there for them? This week Nathan, founder of The Study Buddy, is chatting with Faith. Faith has taken the decision not to go off to university and instead has taken up an apprenticeship. In fact a financial crime apprentice at Lloyds Bank. Faith is also featured in the Government’s ‘Get the Jump’ Skills for Life campaign.  Get The Jump" Skills For Life is an initiative aimed at helping 14-19 year olds understand the choices available to them as they take their next step in education and training, and inspiring them by highlighting some of the future jobs these could lead to. Visit gov.uk/get-the-jump for more information on the different routes that are available – after the episode, of course! In this episode, we hear Faith explain her reasoning for following the apprenticeship route, despite an expectation that Uni is the next step for teens after college. Faith talks openly and enthusiastically about her chosen path - and it's really refreshing to listen to! In this third season of the podcast, Nathan - founder of The Study Buddy - will be talking to parents, students and teachers about GCSE and A Level exams in 2022. Sharing these real-life experiences will confirm we're not alone and should also provide plenty of advice and tips when it comes to supporting our own teens. If you would like to take part in a future episode please drop us a line: hello@thestudybuddy.com The Study Buddy is an innovative method for managing GCSE and A-Level revision in the run-up to exams. For more information about The Study Buddy's approach to organising study, time management and revision skills visit thestudybuddy.com Produced by Pineapple Audio Productions.
S3 Ep26: On common questions in the run up to exams
May 4 2022
S3 Ep26: On common questions in the run up to exams
It’s not long now until the exams. It’s a time when nerves can get frayed, and tensions run high. This is the stage of revision that is most marked by the rhetorical questions like my personal favourite: Shouldn’t you be revising? Wouldn’t it be great if there were answers out there for the issues that plague us… In this week's episode, The Study Buddy founder, Nathan McGurl, is answering some of the most common questions we get asked about revision and the run-up to exams. He is joined by his GCSE-facing daughter, Emily, who shares the student perspective too. We cover:  How much revision teens should be doingLack of care and concern about the examsTeens saying they're revising, but not actually doing muchStudents putting things off until the last minuteFocusing on one subject (or ignoring a subject) In this third season of the podcast, Nathan - founder of The Study Buddy - will be talking to parents, students and teachers about GCSE and A Level exams in 2022. Sharing these real-life experiences will confirm we're not alone and should also provide plenty of advice and tips when it comes to supporting our own teens. If you would like to take part in a future episode please drop us a line: hello@thestudybuddy.com The Study Buddy is an innovative method for managing GCSE and A-Level revision in the run-up to exams. For more information about The Study Buddy's approach to organising study, time management and revision skills visit thestudybuddy.com  Produced by Pineapple Audio Productions.
S3 Ep25: On revision techniques that work with Kate Jones
Apr 12 2022
S3 Ep25: On revision techniques that work with Kate Jones
“I’ve been revising for ages” is often something that battle weary parents will have heard when asking how it’s going. As if lapsed time, spent near an open book or with a YouTube video playing a good use of time. But to be fair, it’s not just the procrastinators and the avoiders that struggle with the actual how of revising, even conscientious students can get lured into spending hours prettifying notes or highlighting textbooks, without knowing what value it does or doesn’t add. So, just what are the dos and don’ts when it comes to making the most of that precious revision time? In this episode Nathan is joined by Kate Jones - in her second Study Sessions appearance. A History teacher by trade, Kate is the author of several education books, with a focus on cognitive science and in particular retrieval practice. This week we are taking a practical look at some of the revision techniques that will help your teen's performance in the exams. Including flashcards, blurting and brain dumps, elaboration and past papers. In this third season of the podcast, Nathan - founder of The Study Buddy - will be talking to parents, students and teachers about GCSE and A Level exams in 2022. Sharing these real-life experiences will confirm we're not alone and should also provide plenty of advice and tips when it comes to supporting our own teens. If you would like to take part in a future episode please drop us a line: hello@thestudybuddy.com The Study Buddy is an innovative method for managing GCSE and A-Level revision in the run-up to exams. For more information about The Study Buddy's approach to organising study, time management and revision skills visit thestudybuddy.com  Produced by Pineapple Audio Productions.
S3 Ep24: On finding a sense of normality – when things are anything but
Apr 5 2022
S3 Ep24: On finding a sense of normality – when things are anything but
Keeping up with the Jones’ was always used as an expression about consumerism, upgrading the washing machine, getting a fancier car, holidaying to the Costa Del Sol – if my Essex childhood was ever in any doubt, this is proof positive! At some point it seemed that parenting fell into this way of thinking, peering over the fence to compare grades or revision effort. But that’s not what it’s about – is it? In this episode hear from mum of two Zoe talk about how things are going. Her eldest is in his first year at college while her daughter is preparing for GCSEs this summer. As a general rule, these episodes tend to focus on helping to improve something, or fixing something. Here though we refreshingly hear about a sense of calm. That's not to say there's any smugness or even insta-whitewashing, just normal life! And very refreshing it is too! In this third season of the podcast, Nathan - founder of The Study Buddy - will be talking to parents, students and teachers about GCSE and A Level exams in 2022. Sharing these real-life experiences will confirm we're not alone and should also provide plenty of advice and tips when it comes to supporting our own teens. If you would like to take part in a future episode please drop us a line: hello@thestudybuddy.com The Study Buddy is an innovative method for managing GCSE and A-Level revision in the run-up to exams. For more information about The Study Buddy's approach to organising study, time management and revision skills visit thestudybuddy.com  Produced by Pineapple Audio Productions.
S3 Ep23: On supporting anxious and overworking teens with Dr Dominique Thompson
Mar 29 2022
S3 Ep23: On supporting anxious and overworking teens with Dr Dominique Thompson
The run-up to exams is an anxious time for all teens – and their parents. A certain amount of stress is not only normal, it can also be a good thing. It shows that the outcome is important. However, some young people feel that pressure to perform much more than others. Sometimes to a worrying extent. But just what can parents do if their child finds themselves struggling under the weight of it all? This week sees the return of Dr Dominique Thompson to the show. Dom is a former University GP, TEDx speaker and author of the utterly indispensable “How To Grow A Grown Up”. In this episode, Dom explains the dangers of perfectionism and setting unsustainable targets. We explore how to alleviate the pressure that many teens face with some great practical tips. In this third season of the podcast, Nathan - founder of The Study Buddy - will be talking to parents, students and teachers about GCSE and A Level exams in 2022. Sharing these real-life experiences will confirm we're not alone and should also provide plenty of advice and tips when it comes to supporting our own teens. If you would like to take part in a future episode please drop us a line: hello@thestudybuddy.com The Study Buddy is an innovative method for managing GCSE and A-Level revision in the run-up to exams. For more information about The Study Buddy's approach to organising study, time management and revision skills visit thestudybuddy.com  Produced by Pineapple Audio Productions.
S3 Ep22: On creating a revision revolution at home with Helen Howell
Mar 23 2022
S3 Ep22: On creating a revision revolution at home with Helen Howell
There’s a widely recognised link between how well teens do in their exams – and in school generally – and the kind of interest and support they get at home over around their education. At least that’s how I justify any fleeting moments of overbearing nagging to my children – and to be honest, to myself. But not all support is created equal, so just how can we be more deliberate a focused in our attempts to help our young people prepare for their exams? This week Nathan is chatting with Helen Howell. Helen is the Director of English in a Greater Manchester secondary school. Helen has recently authored the fantastic – The Revision Revolution – How to build a culture of effective study in your school. In this episode Helen explains why school's approach to revision needs to change. We also explore how parents can support their exam facing teens, with practical tips and advice. In this third season of the podcast, Nathan - founder of The Study Buddy - will be talking to parents, students and teachers about GCSE and A Level exams in 2022. Sharing these real-life experiences will confirm we're not alone and should also provide plenty of advice and tips when it comes to supporting our own teens. If you would like to take part in a future episode please drop us a line: hello@thestudybuddy.com The Study Buddy is an innovative method for managing GCSE and A-Level revision in the run-up to exams. For more information about The Study Buddy's approach to organising study, time management and revision skills visit thestudybuddy.com  Produced by Pineapple Audio Productions.
S3 Ep21: On getting started with a plan
Mar 14 2022
S3 Ep21: On getting started with a plan
If you ask any exam facing student whether they want to fail, they will tell you they don’t. Of course. And invariably they’ll know that to not fail (but especially to do well) they have to revise a bit. But strangely this acceptance doesn’t always translate into action. So just what is it that causes the “does not compute” error that’s preventing our teens from getting on with revision? This week Nathan - founder of The Study Buddy - is taking you step by step through the process of creating a winning revision schedule. From how to approach that awkward initial conversation with your teen, through to celebrating the successes this episode will have you up and running in no time! For those wanting to take advantage of the free product that Nathan mentions in the episode, the code is PODCAST In this third season of the podcast, Nathan - founder of The Study Buddy - will be talking to parents, students and teachers about GCSE and A Level exams in 2022. Sharing these real-life experiences will confirm we're not alone and should also provide plenty of advice and tips when it comes to supporting our own teens. If you would like to take part in a future episode please drop us a line: hello@thestudybuddy.com The Study Buddy is an innovative method for managing GCSE and A-Level revision in the run-up to exams. For more information about The Study Buddy's approach to organising study, time management and revision skills visit thestudybuddy.com  Produced by Pineapple Audio Productions.
S3 Ep19: On encouraging self-sufficiency in our teens
Feb 21 2022
S3 Ep19: On encouraging self-sufficiency in our teens
Having children is exhausting. I’m not daft I guess I would have realised that would be the case when they were babies, toddlers and even growing up. But no one warned me that this was a perpetual thing right up until they fly the nest – and in some cases beyond. A child can be a handful, two or more - an Olympic event. Wouldn’t it be great if we could leave them to do more for themselves... This week's episode is with mum of SIX, Julia.  Julie shares thoughts from four children who've been through exams, and as child number five approaches GCSEs in the summer. It makes for a great listen. While the majority of us have one or two children to contend with, we can learn a lot from Julia's experiences. Including notes on perhaps how her children are more self-directed than your typical teen. In this third season of the podcast, Nathan - founder of The Study Buddy - will be talking to parents, students and teachers about GCSE and A Level exams in 2022. Sharing these real-life experiences will confirm we're not alone and should also provide plenty of advice and tips when it comes to supporting our own teens. If you would like to take part in a future episode please drop us a line: hello@thestudybuddy.com The Study Buddy is an innovative method for managing GCSE and A-Level revision in the run-up to exams. For more information about The Study Buddy's approach to organising study, time management and revision skills visit thestudybuddy.com  Produced by Pineapple Audio Productions.
S3 Ep18: On Advance Information and the impact on GCSE and A Level revision
Feb 14 2022
S3 Ep18: On Advance Information and the impact on GCSE and A Level revision
It’s been a whole two episodes since we mentioned the impact of COVID on our teen’s education.  That was never going to last! In recognition of the fact that those sitting exams this year – being year 11 and year 13 students – have had two years of interrupted teaching and learning, the exam boards have now released what is called Advance Information for the exams. In brief, this is a list of the topics that will be the focus of the big mark questions. On the face of it, that sounds great. But is it actually going to be useful as useful to our teens in the long run – and the short term? This week I’m delighted to be joined by Dawn Cox – in her second Study Sessions appearance. Dawn is Head of Religious Studies in an Essex secondary school. Dawn is also a prolific blogger and tweeter covering not just RE topics, but teaching and learning in general. She has a particular interest in effective exam preparation. Just like Dawn's last episode from Dec 2020, this is jam-packed with great advice for parents and teens. Given the release of Advance Information for GCSE, A Levels and other qualifications, we consider the impact of proving a "heads up" on exam content for students. The Study Buddy is an innovative method for managing GCSE and A-Level revision in the run-up to exams. For more information about The Study Buddy's approach to organising study, time management and revision skills visit thestudybuddy.com  Produced by Pineapple Audio Productions.
S3 Ep17: On nutrition and the impact on revision and exam performance
Feb 7 2022
S3 Ep17: On nutrition and the impact on revision and exam performance
There’s something about sugary, or creamy, or fried that screams 'treat'. Well, it does to my mind. There are those for whom a crunchy carrot baton and organic hummus are a reward. For most of us, though, I suspect we’d walk blinkered past a quinoa and courgette tray bake in favour of a doughnut any day of the week. But are we missing a trick by being slaves to our tastebuds rather than paying attention to what our bodies might actually need? This week we welcome Nutritional Therapist Louise Mercieca to the show. In the show, Louise tackles some of the time-honoured traditions around our eating habits, especially snacks, and explains why they do not serve us - and our teens - well. We cover eating habits as well as some of the key nutrients we should be looking for to help our children be at their best for revision and exams. In this third season of the podcast, Nathan - founder of The Study Buddy - will be talking to parents, students and teachers about GCSE and A Level exams in 2022. Sharing these real-life experiences will confirm we're not alone and should also provide plenty of advice and tips when it comes to supporting our own teens. If you would like to take part in a future episode please drop us a line: hello@thestudybuddy.com The Study Buddy is an innovative method for managing GCSE and A-Level revision in the run-up to exams. For more information about The Study Buddy's approach to organising study, time management and revision skills visit thestudybuddy.com  Produced by Pineapple Audio Productions.
S3 Ep16: On making changes that stick with Shahroo Izadi
Jan 31 2022
S3 Ep16: On making changes that stick with Shahroo Izadi
They say that around 80% of new years resolutions will fail by mid-Feb. That’s an awful lot of promises to revise harder for students and “I’ll stay stress-free” for parents that will have fallen by the wayside. But these things are important to see through. So just how is it that we gear ourselves up for success and try to make new better habits stick? This week our returning guest is behavioural change expert Shahroo Izadi - author of The Kindness Method. Shahroo explains why resolutions tend to fail and importantly, she explains what we should do about it! It's an especially poignant episode given promises to study more will often be under pressure around this time. Shahroo offers practical advice and tips on how to help overcome the often felt barriers. We also hear how we can be kinder to ourselves when things of off track. This is vitally important for the teens in our life who could so easily start to become overwhelmed and anxious. In this third season of the podcast, Nathan - founder of The Study Buddy - will be talking to parents, students and teachers about GCSE and A Level exams in 2022. Sharing these real-life experiences will confirm we're not alone and should also provide plenty of advice and tips when it comes to supporting our own teens. If you would like to take part in a future episode please drop us a line: hello@thestudybuddy.com The Study Buddy is an innovative method for managing GCSE and A-Level revision in the run-up to exams. For more information about The Study Buddy's approach to organising study, time management and revision skills visit thestudybuddy.com  Produced by Pineapple Audio Productions.
S3 Ep15: On creating a productive parent-child relationship
Jan 25 2022
S3 Ep15: On creating a productive parent-child relationship
For most of us, a successful week of revision comes from us not having to nag or coerce our children – well not too much at least. The idea that there could be some symbiotic relationship, where parent and child actually grow and thrive throughout all of this might feel like a fiction too far. But is this holy grail of parenting really as far from our reach as we might think? In a Study Sessions first, this week Nathan is chatting with Mother and son duo, Claire and Tom. Tom took his GCSEs last year and is currently studying A Levels at college. They openly talk about Tom's educational needs and how they worked together to find ways to help Tom achieve his best in his courses. We explore some of their approaches and why both thought that it works. It is an inspiring attitude they have. This is a great, uplifting episode. All too often we can get caught up in the here and now and forget the "why" of what we're doing. In this third season of the podcast, Nathan - founder of The Study Buddy - will be talking to parents, students and teachers about GCSE and A Level exams in 2022. Sharing these real-life experiences will confirm we're not alone and should also provide plenty of advice and tips when it comes to supporting our own teens. If you would like to take part in a future episode please drop us a line: hello@thestudybuddy.com The Study Buddy is an innovative method for managing GCSE and A-Level revision in the run-up to exams. For more information about The Study Buddy's approach to organising study, time management and revision skills visit thestudybuddy.com  Produced by Pineapple Audio Productions.
S3 Ep14: On trying not to be that overbearing parent
Jan 17 2022
S3 Ep14: On trying not to be that overbearing parent
There’s not a parent amongst us who doesn’t want their child to do well. Them doing well gives them more options. It will raise their self-esteem and confidence. And often, from our point of view, it’s what we know they are truly capable of…. But is there a danger at some point do we become more invested in them reaching these arbitrary exam-driven goals on their behalf and lose sight of who they are actually for? Is there a risk that we begin to feel responsible for their achievements? This week's guest is Katie, mum to two teens, with her eldest taking his GCSEs in the summer. This is a fantastically honest and open episode. Katie shares her concerns about Liam's revision habits and her seeking counselling to understand her own responses. There is no holding back in explaining how she got caught up effectively believing that her son's results were a direct reflection on her.  In this third season of the podcast, Nathan - founder of The Study Buddy - will be talking to parents, students and teachers about GCSE and A Level exams in 2022. Sharing these real-life experiences will confirm we're not alone and should also provide plenty of advice and tips when it comes to supporting our own teens. If you would like to take part in a future episode please drop us a line: hello@thestudybuddy.com The Study Buddy is an innovative method for managing GCSE and A-Level revision in the run-up to exams. For more information about The Study Buddy's approach to organising study, time management and revision skills visit thestudybuddy.com  Produced by Pineapple Audio Productions. Update Description
S3 Ep13: On being more effective in supporting a studying teen
Jan 10 2022
S3 Ep13: On being more effective in supporting a studying teen
As we ring in the new year, we’re often symbolically determined to make a fresh start. For thousands of students, there’s renewed vigour – if not enthusiasm – to revise. And a correlated number of parents who are promising to make sure that they do. But you can’t expect a change by doing the same things, so what is it that’ll make this year’s study resolutions stick? This week's guest is Lee Elliot Major. Lee is the Professor of Social Mobility at the University of Exeter. He's also the author of "The Good Parent Educator". Lee discusses the ways in which parents can support their teens. Amongst other issues, we hear about the parenting dilemma around involvement and the importance of nurturing self-esteem. In this third season of the podcast, Nathan - founder of The Study Buddy - will be talking to parents, students and teachers about GCSE and A Level exams in 2022. Sharing these real-life experiences will confirm we're not alone and should also provide plenty of advice and tips when it comes to supporting our own teens. If you would like to take part in a future episode please drop us a line: hello@thestudybuddy.com The Study Buddy is an innovative method for managing GCSE and A-Level revision in the run-up to exams. For more information about The Study Buddy's approach to organising study, time management and revision skills visit thestudybuddy.com  Produced by Pineapple Audio Productions.
S3 Ep12: On target grades and school reports with David Didau
Dec 20 2021
S3 Ep12: On target grades and school reports with David Didau
The end of term reports are in. In many households, this can hold more sway over Christmas harmony than Santa’s naughty and nice lists. But are we right to put so much store in them? By which I mean the predicted grades not Santa's lists, obviously. This week's guest is David Didau. David is Senior Lead Practitioner for English at Ormiston Academies Trust. As well as running his blog – The Learning Spy – which is widely recognised as one of the most influential education blogs in the UK, he turns his hand to training and consulting. But that’s not all! He’s also the author of a number of education and cognitive science books including, “Making Kids Cleverer”.  In the episode, David talks us through how target grades are determined at the end of key stage two. He explains why this is an imperfect system and lacks real meaning in terms of goal setting to students and parents. We also talk through the information that parents really do want when it comes to their students and how to find it out. For those of us outside the world of education, this could be quite an eye-opener. In this third season of the podcast, Nathan - founder of The Study Buddy - will be talking to parents, students and teachers about GCSE and A Level exams in 2022. Sharing these real-life experiences will confirm we're not alone and should also provide plenty of advice and tips when it comes to supporting our own teens. If you would like to take part in a future episode please drop us a line: hello@thestudybuddy.com The Study Buddy is an innovative method for managing GCSE and A-Level revision in the run-up to exams. For more information about The Study Buddy's approach to organising study, time management and revision skills visit thestudybuddy.com  Produced by Pineapple Audio Productions.
S3 Ep10: On approval, self worth and learning from our experiences with Sanjeev Bhaskar
Dec 6 2021
S3 Ep10: On approval, self worth and learning from our experiences with Sanjeev Bhaskar
We’ve all done that thing of saying or doing something to our children we promised our younger selves we would never say or do. It’s the gradual but undeniable transformation into our own parents. But is that such a bad thing? After all, doesn’t it come from a place of good intention and concern and brought to life with the benefit of our own experiences? This week our special guest is TV's Sanjeev Bhaskar.  As well as being instantly recognisable for his many roles on TV (Unforgotten, Kumars), in film (Paddington 2, Yesterday), and stage (Spamalot), he is also a writer, presenter and the Chancellor at Sussex University. Critically, Sanjeev is also the dad to a GCSE facing teen boy. In this episode, Sanjeev shares his own teenage experiences, studying subjects he didn't enjoy, and how that shapes his outlook and approach with his own son. In a wide-ranging chat, Sanjeev talks about finding his own path and giving and seeking parental approval. We also talk about how life can get in the way of our calm responses as well as how, as parents, we look for ways to support. It's an open and strikingly honest look back at his younger days right through to his parenting role today. In this third season of the podcast, Nathan - founder of The Study Buddy - will be talking to parents, students and teachers. Sharing these real-life experiences will confirm we're not alone and should also provide plenty of advice and tips when it comes to supporting our own teens. If you would like to take part in a future episode please drop us a line: hello@thestudybuddy.com The Study Buddy is an innovative method for managing revision in the run-up to GCSE and A-Level exams. For more information about The Study Buddy's approach to organising study, time management and revision skills visit thestudybuddy.com  Produced by Pineapple Audio Productions.