This past week has been an intense one here at The Moat, GCSE’s are in full affect and, as summer looms ahead of us with the promise of ice cream and mediocre weather…people are starting to get itchy feet. As the saying goes the night is always darkest before the dawn, and that is true of examinations. With many of year 10 and 11 sitting exams a few times a week it is important to remember a key part of growing up, and that is not doing it too quickly, the stress of exams and their impending results would serve to make the best of us hot under the collar. I myself sat in on a GCSE Chemistry paper the other day and was met with a nostalgic sense of doom…especially when the invigilator looked at me for more than a millisecond.
The pressure felt during this time of year is in such stark juxtaposition to what many of us associate the coming summer with, carefree frolics in parks and skipping through fields come to mind, but the reality of it is that often this time for a few is spent in silent sterility with no more than the scratch of pens and jaded tapping of calculators.
This may seem like a post about how the exam system is flawed, and a disagreement with how pupils across the country are indoctrinated into the testing culture. This is not completely the case, I believe the system is important to teach pupils techniques for how to study, working towards a goal that will benefit them in the future, is a key component to finding success and contentment in any pupil’s future.
You always have to take the good with the bad, in more or less every situation you will encounter during your lifetime, maybe the pressure of exams and their results are getting the best of you? Maybe you’re worried about how your child’s results will affect their future? Perhaps you are worried you haven’t picked the right GCSE subjects? The key to remember through all of this is, that often the key to success is how one defines their own success. Creating goals for yourself, is often overlooked in the traditional education system. Instead the main focus is on aiming for goals set by others, and these ‘others’ are often those who have never met with those whose success they are attempting to define. This lack of perceived academic empathy, is no more than a result of the system which has been in place for generations, and is still in need of reform to clearly reflect what is an image of ‘intelligence’ in contemporary education.
The key to remember throughout all of this period is that there are millions of successful people, in all walks of life, many of whom do not hold GCSE’s or any other sort of qualification. It is important to learn how to take on and reuse information for your own benefit, and these exams should be taken as an opportunity to teach yourself to learn for yourself.
That being said, I wish all of our pupils the very best of luck in their exams, and I’m sure everything will be alright in the end. The multiple U-turns in this post are testament to the complex nature of the testing system. However it turns out on August 24th, I’m sure all of The Moat pupils have given it their all and we are proud of the time they have spent here and the progress they have made.