Education in uncertain times

Since the easing of lockdown, although a semblance of normality has returned, our future still feels uncertain, write Elliot Hudson College Year 12 students Megan Dykes and Katie-Mae Wright.

Wednesday, 12th August 2020, 12:59 pm

With time to reflect over the summer it has only now become apparent the full impact of coronavirus pandemic for us.

Initially, and perhaps most importantly, continuing our A-level courses was the greatest challenge we faced.

Weekly set work and feedback provided by the school was vital in minimising the pressure of working from home and missing lessons.

Their frequent calls and welfare checks were reassuring and the resumption of face-to-face lessons in June was significant in keeping us engaged, challenged and connected.

We felt we were making progress but uncertainty still remains.

Before the pandemic began we had mock exams and work experience scheduled for June, both of which have had to be postponed. Both feel like essential stepping stones in ensuring we can prepare fully for career decisions such as university applications and in preparation for Year 13 and the inevitable academic challenges we will face.

An ongoing concern has been the obvious disruption to our A-Level exams, scheduled for Summer 2021.

In July we were interviewed for BBC Look North and asked our views about the challenges faced by students across the country as we were forced to adapt to the difficult times. The uncertainty is a concern.

We understand Ofqual have made suggestions for alterations to GCSE and A-level examinations but are awaiting confirmation of how that will affect our subjects.

With so much time at school missed we hope that although examinations will continue as planned, curriculum content and exam papers will be altered to reflect this.

The prospect of a ‘second wave’ or further lockdown is also a concern as it would inevitably mean further time away from school.

The summer holidays offer the chance for relaxation and to catch up on school work, including Year 12 revision which will help stabilize the transition into our final year, a vital period which plays a significant role in the paths we will take for the future.

Our head of year has urged us to take a prolonged break over summer which is really important as we need to recharge ready for September.

Going into Year 13 is both an exciting and scary thought as it will be our last year at school.

It will be a year of continuous hard work but we are sure that with the support of teachers, friends and parents we can all get through it and celebrate at the end.

One way or another, like everyone else in the country, we are both looking forward to a return normality and certainty sometime soon.