GCSE results day brings along a great deal of mixed emotions- a huge amount of nervousness, but I’m sure also a lot of happiness and excitement! It is a day where parents, teacher and students reflect on the positives and negatives. The educational changes that have already and continue to come in to place, affect schools differently. Those differences are proven by the results that have been achieved this year and we will continue to see the impact and improvement that further changes bring in the years to follow.
It is fantastic to hear that the amount of GCSE passes has risen this year again, especially in students receiving at least a grade C in English. Last year it was a concern that this figure had dropped by the largest amount since GCSE’s began, this increase is therefore very much welcomed. Performance in maths has also improved in comparison to last year- such positive news!
GCSEs are the first important set of exam results that students collect, so it is not surprising the worry that comes with that. The pressure that is put upon schools and teachers to achieve is another reason why this day is undoubtedly one of the most stressful of the year. It’s the end to the first big stage in student’s education, but it definitely doesn’t end there for teachers.
Today, success or failure will be the result students and teachers throughout the country receive. The feeling of success or failure however is personal to each individual. In relation to students, it is not necessarily to do with what grades that they have received, but if they are pleased with them. I think it is important to help young students put things in to perspective. Students beat themselves up if they didn’t get those straight A’s that they were hoping for, but it isn’t the end of the world- they must realise this! Many students receive results that are good enough to lead them on to their next step, however they are still left feeling dissatisfied with their achievement.
The futures of students collecting their GCSE results today are not determined merely by what results they see written in front of them. That fact however will not have stopped the nerves, disappointment and concern associated with receiving grades lower than anticipated.
It is very clear that not everything suits everyone. There are therefore cases where further education is not necessarily the correct next step. That may be because a student doesn’t currently hold the grades they need or because another route may be more beneficial for them.
Whatever the case is, I believe enjoying what you do is ultimately what leads you to success. The key is to help guide students today into their next step in life. To ensure that they make the right decision based on them as an individual, not on what they think is expected. Young people have to make big decisions so early in life- providing the support that they need today is essential.
Despite much criticism over exams, they are there to monitor achievement as well as progress. Without exams what is there for students and teachers to work towards? Exams and results aren’t everything, but without them we would live in a very different country, i believe one that would lack mind set and motivation.
I regularly question whether results are to do with intelligence or hard work. The two undoubtedly are linked in a huge way, however intelligence and hard work are each successes in their own right. Recognising and encouraging hard work irrespective of intelligence proven by results is so essential. I believe that this should very much be remembered on a day like today. For those students that missed out on that C grade and for that student who completely failed- it isn’t the end. Unfortunately we aren’t all gifted with natural academic intelligence. We do all however have the ability to work very hard. All achievement should be recognised!