As I approach my second Easter as head teacher of Anthony Gell School, I am once again bowled over by the amount of work being done by staff and students as they spend time preparing for the examinations and for the submission of the last few pieces of course work.
My walks around the school at various times of the day enable me to see so much of what may often be missed.
The sheer volume of additional support that’s offered by a group of adults who want to do everything they can to help the students in their care can be quite humbling.
I also can’t help but be impressed by the way in which the students respond to the additional pressures that are all too evident in the world around them.
Each day, the school bulletin is full of reminders about what’s available.
Everywhere you look you see young people working with others and being helped by skilled practitioners as they focus on the tasks in hand as well as those which lie ahead.
I am confident that with the support of their teachers, their parents or guardians and their peers, the students at AGS will achieve wonderful examination results this summer – results that indicate just how hard they have worked. I will however take time to remind students that they have learned so much more than that shown in an examination grade.
The GCSE and A level grades will not show all the other positive contributions that the young person in question has made to their school. They won’t show the number of times the student went out of their way to help someone else, or the times when the young person represented the school in all sorts of activities. The certificates from the exam board will not reference the other skills that the recipient has learned in the last few years.
Examination grades are important, but students should not put themselves under an inordinate amount of pressure. They will hopefully be reminded by all who care for them.