Maths is hard. Well, it is for most people. I used to have a distinct feeling of dread before every maths lesson. The kind that lay low in the belly and made you feel like you were constantly on the verge of vomiting.
Every year, in the middle of August, we congratulate young people across the UK for their A-level results. That day's media is packed with stories of success and failure. There is the usual debate about whether the exams are getting easier or harder, coupled with mountains of footage of students opening envelopes and photos of despair and elation. The following day we all go back to normal. Until next year.
A level and GCSE results have now been released and the nerve-wracking wait is finally over for thousands of students around the country. As we hear ...
Once teachers are free from the pressure of preparing students for exams, they will be able to put time and energy into providing the much needed feedback to each individual student so that real learning will take place in schools.
At a critical point in the learning life of young people, GCSEs and A-levels should be about breadth and wider skills, not ticking boxes. The one-size-fits-all approach is not working; it is failing our young people.
When I received my exam results I hit a real low. My dreams of becoming an international swimmer were in tatters and now I was facing an uncertain future with a lack of qualifications. My confidence was crushed.
somehow, teachers seem to get blamed for disappointing results with the credit for the best results going entirely to their students. The thought of photographers taking shots of delighted teachers leaping in the air outside their schools, reading glasses and sensible cardigans flying in all directions, is so ridiculous that it's utterly delightful.
I grew up in a tough area in Newcastle. I saw drug and alcohol abuse, crime and poverty. I also saw how the lack of role models meant that many of my friends felt they had nowhere to turn. It's easy to see why so many people I knew didn't do well at school and ended up mixing with the wrong crowd and heading down the wrong path to a life of unemployment and sometimes even drugs. It's scary to see that this is still happening... In the middle of all the headlines announcing 'record results', we mustn't forget those who are waking up today, who didn't get the results they so desperately wanted.
There needs to be a reconnect between higher education and the jobs economy. We need to make sure that people moving into higher education will actually be exiting the system with qualifications which are relevant and aligned with the jobs that businesses and the like are creating.
What seemed like the most terrible scenario in the world ended up being the biggest godsend as I was forced to look at alternative options. Within a month I'd had a lucky meeting with someone and managed to secure some work experience. It was this year after school when I realised how IMPORTANT work experience was.