Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar, and each year Muslims fast over the duration of the month from sunrise to sunset. This year it falls in and around the GCSE examination period and began on 16th May.
As well as fasting, Muslims also stay up late for prayers at the mosque and this, along with a long day of fasting, can affect memory, focus, concentration and academic performance. However, knowing how to manage the period of fasting can make for a rewarding experience (even during exams season).
If fasting, your food intake should be simple and not differ too much from your normal diet. It should contain foods from all the major food groups:
- fruit and vegetables
- bread, cereals and potatoes
- meat, fish or alternatives
- milk and dairy foods
- foods containing fat and sugar.
It is important to remember:
- Islam gives allowances for you to break the fast and make it up later if you feel fasting will in any way jeopardise academic performance;
- If you experience any symptoms of dehydration, such as a headache or drowsiness, Islamic rulings allow you to break the fast and make it up later.
For more information about how to manage your fasting you can visit the NHS advice page:
All learners should be aware and considerate of the impact and importance of Ramadan on Muslim classmates and their families.