Reflections on Results 2015- (so far !)

Reflections on Results 2015- (so far !)

‘Well Claire I always tell you not to worry on results day because you’re a great teacher! Got an A in mechanics and I didn’t even think it went very well. I got 90 out of 90 in the chemistry exam !!!!!’

A text like this, received from a student, is so very special. On results day, even the tutors at The Community Schools have a nail biting wait and we hope that the students will get the good results that they have worked hard for and so deserve. It was a relief, but not a surprise, when we learned that all our students did well and achieved the necessary grades for their next stages.

The student who thoughtfully sent that text started learning with The Community Schools towards the end of his year 11, having been told by his high school that he wouldn’t get grade B in GCSE Maths and was therefore “not good enough”to start A Level Maths. After tutoring him for part of the year, we were delighted when he achieved a grade A in his GCSE and even more so this year with his grade B in Maths A2. In October he will take up a place on a Chemical Engineering Degree course at Nottingham University.

Another of our students came to The Community Schools for just 5 sessions this year, for support with A level English Language. Unfortunately, he had missed his university place by one grade last year and has spent the year working in a restaurant whilst studying on his own to improve his English grade. He found that just a little extra support from us improved his English Language grade and this will enable him to start a History Degree course at UEA in October.

Despite beginning with a U grade in AS Maths, another of our students has successfully gained the A level grades he needs for his first choice of Computing Science at Nottingham University.

Another of our students, who unfortunately failed to get the grades she needed last year, joined The Community Schools for just 2 A level revision sessions to help her improve her Maths A Level grade. She missed grade A by just 1 mark out of 600. Does that make her a grade B Mathematician? In theory, yes, but in her understanding and confidence I saw a top class Mathematician who has the skills to achieve much in the future. Fortunately, she also improved her Chemistry grade and is now starting the next stage ofa Biomedical Sciences Degree course at the University of York in October.

Good grades are always satisfying news, but we’re also thrilled by the progress made by each student at The Community Schools. It is satisfying for tutors to see them gain a sound understanding of the core skills, improving theirresilience and confidence, and applying that knowledge to exam questions. Students can choose either one-to-one study or working in small groups (no more than three per class) and it has been delightful to see the students in class make new friendships with students from different schools and to be able to support each other,learning to work as part of a team.

Great exam results are not the whole picture, however important they are. Results are simply a snap shot of how that student has achieved under exam conditions in that moment in time. They do not always give a true indication of ability or potential to succeed. It may be that you have been disappointed in your results this year but you may like to take comfort from the following: Richard Branson (Chairman of Virgin) left school at 16.

Winston Churchill (former Prime Minister during WW2) failed at school and failed his entrance exams to Royal Military College.

Bill Gates (Microsoft co-founder) dropped out of university.

Many of today’s most successful people have experienced disappointing exam results after traditional school classes. It did not deter them from their career goals and was merely the starting point on a different path to learning which, ultimately, worked better for them. The main thing is to never give up on your ability to learn. You just need to find the right tutors who understand how you learn best.

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