This is an uncertain time for students unable to sit their final exams but the consolation is that the whole cohort is in the same boat. If you’re not sure yet how grades will be awarded, here is a very clear summary of how grades will be awarded this year.
The Department for Education is doing it’s best to ensure that students are treated as fairly as possible. There has been much discussion about virtual exams etc but the professional thinking is right – many young people simply do not have the space and technology to study at home in the way they would in school. The plan for teachers to make an assessment about performance and for this to be benchmarked against national levels seems to offer a level playing field as many young people have a ‘final push’ before exams (the percentage of students having private tutoring is 25%, going up to 40% in London).
We all know a young person who needs some final ‘motivation’ or encouragement but we could also begin to ask ourselves how we’d like our children to be measured in terms of their education.
If we are really brave, this year may generate some interesting questions about what is important to ‘achieve’ after 12 or 14 years of education.
You may have an anxious child who now feels rather in limbo. Try and reassure them that every one of their peers is in exactly the same position and it will all work out!
Deciding on next steps
This may be a good time to reflect on decisions for September – there are exciting options for post 16 and for post 18 which suit different young people.
If your child is not coping well with independent working during the lock down then perhaps this indicates that heavily essay-based A level subjects or a degree course with 80% independent study might not suit them.
There are many pathways that include study and work combinations as well as more practical ways of learning; all are valid and success comes from finding a path that suits who we are.