How to manage disappointing results

Support your students to see failure as an opportunity for growth by reflecting on their feelings and taking practical steps forward when faced with disappointing results from assessments or exams.

Year Level




60 minutes


  • In class activity

SEL Competencies

  • Self-awareness
  • Self-management

Learning Intention

Students recognise how disappointing marks can affect their emotional state and select proactive strategies to help them learn from the experience and improve future outcomes.

Key Outcomes

By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • identify the range of emotions they feel when receiving results and, after, reflect on improvement strategies
  • identify two positives of their performance in a task and at least one point for improvement
  • identify strategies for succeeding in future tasks.
Activity 01

Emotions check-in 10 mins

  1. Prior to this lesson, provide students with their results and feedback on an allocated task or exam.
  2. Ask students to identify an emotion from a list or emotions wheel that they are feeling upon reading their results.
  3. Ask for volunteers to share with the class.

Debrief: This is an example of emotional co-regulation – i.e. the act of two or more people (e.g. a teacher and a student) taking time to help each other identify feelings and come to a place of calm or emotional regulation together. This will support students to identify and use emotional self-regulation practices when experiencing disappointment in future. Other co-regulation activities include: