On Monday, Year 11 received their trial examination results. Presented to them in brown envelopes – in an effort to replicate the results process as accurately as we do the examinations that precede them – the students learned their grades. As one would expect, some were delighted, some disappointed. Year 11 were also presented with some key messages: that it was not too late to make a difference to the outcome of the ‘real’ exams, that we are there to support them, and that parents and their peers were a source of support also.
I shared with them that every August I recall the story from Greek mythology of Cassandra. Her punishment for turning down the advances of Apollo, according to legend, was to be cursed – with the gift of true prophecy that no one would believe. She foresaw death, destruction, and even the fall of Troy. Her words fell on deaf ears, however – and the citizens of Greece declared her to be insane. This, ironically, drove her mad. In the painting here, Cassandra can be seen in front of a burning Troy literally tearing her hair out.
The relevance of all this to my blog? And to Year 11? Well, every year my advice to listen to teachers, revise hard, eat and sleep well, call time on some aspects of socialising is heeded by many – but not all our students. In August, I feel as though I have been cursed with the gift of true prophecy (that they will be disappointed on results day) that they don’t believe.
The signs are incredibly positive for our Year 11s. They are an amazing year group, full of commitment and energy. They are even more full of potential to succeed. I hope that every single one of them fulfils it.