As you will be aware, our focus with our students facing final examinations has been “don’t count the days…make the days count”. Indeed over the half term, whether it is through private study at home or via the several revision sessions we have run in school, students have been working hard. They know that the reward for their effort can last a lifetime, and that there is no substitute for hard work. Many will be using on-line resources (past examination papers, GCSEPod, BiteSize etc.) available on our website, and others will have taken heed of the advice in the examination section of the website and constructed a revision timetable.
When discussing with Year 11 students their next steps beyond the summer, it was clear that the trial examinations before Christmas had been a really valuable experience. For some, it was a validation that they were on track. For others, it was a wake-up call that more effort is needed. Whether they are in the former or latter group, we emphasise to all students that it is not too late, and that this is the time for activity, not complacency or despondency.
This reminded me of the fable of two frogs. The pair had fallen in a milk churn. After an initial struggle to get out, one gave up and promptly drowned. The other was resilient enough to keep kicking and kicking, turning the milk eventually to a butter pat upon which the frog could stand in order to escape the churn. Unfortunately, experience tells me that a small minority of students will not have the personal fortitude or motivation from their family to work hard at this crucial time. However, I am always heartened by the character and commitment shown by students of all abilities to ‘keep kicking’ until their final examination has elapsed. They receive all the support we can give them in school, and deserve all the plaudits when they achieve their success.
We know how important, and challenging, examinations are for our young people. But they know as well as we do that “it isn’t falling into water staying submerged in it that drowns you.” Keep kicking!