The Final Countdown

In less than 4 weeks time thousands of Year 11 pupils across the country will be starting their study leave. For many of those students they will already have sat quite a few of their exams as it all kicks off 2 weeks on Monday. Scary stuff!!

The kids are now starting to panic as it dawns on them that the past 5, no 11, years of schooling have been building up to these next few weeks.

I love this time of year. It’s hectic, it’s mad busy, but there’s a different kind of buzz about school. Suddenly the after school revision classes become a lot more popular, you start to get visitors at the staff room door asking if you can just help with a question they’re stuck on. You may also find an email pop in your inbox from the most unsuspecting of characters asking for help on a certain topic.

There’s such a huge change in pupils from the start of Year 10 to the time they leave. They first come into the classroom warily, eyeing you up, trying to figure out if they’re going to like you or not, and what they can get away with.

They spend most of Year 10 (and the first half of Year11) complaining the work is too easy/too hard/pointless/never going to be used in real-life (delete where applicable) and then something changes around February time in their final school year. Things become a lot more urgent, every lesson counts and I’m always amazed at how (almost) all of them step up to the challenge.

I wish I had had half of their maturity when I was their age. As they sit discussing their revision schedules and how many hours they spent working over the weekend I can’t help but feel proud of them.

After spending two years teaching, nagging, homework chasing, phone policing them I always feel a huge wave of sadness when it’s time for a class to leave. The next time I see them is usually just before they walk into their exam when they smile nervously at me as they clutch their see-through pencil case and calculator. All that is left for me to do is wish them the very best of luck, hope some nice questions come up and keep my fingers crossed they remember the area of a circle formula!


  1. April 27, 2014 / 8:59 pm

    Totally love this and you are right about the buzz that hits schools at this time of year. Especially relate to what you say about really unlikely characters getting all earnest about their “learning” and strange names popping up on the revision class registers. Good luck to all of yours!

  2. April 28, 2014 / 6:01 am

    Fab post. Makes me nervous reading it – remembering back and looking forward to my son being there in just three years’ time! Good to know they suddenly ‘get it’ and start taking things seriously and working.

  3. April 28, 2014 / 6:47 am

    I remember watching the nervous ones waiting to enter the exam hall and then seeing them afterwards, calm and relieved. It’s amazing how mature they become. A lovely post.

  4. Notmyyearoff
    April 28, 2014 / 7:58 am

    Gosh just seeing that front cover on the Maths paper brings back so many memories! Hope its a good few months for you all, best of luck to all your students. xx

  5. April 28, 2014 / 8:49 am

    Lovely post, it seems a long time ago for me but it’ll probably seem like no time till my kids are at this stage too. Hope you enjoy theSummer term and you and your class get everything they hope for on results day! #magicmoments

  6. Merlinda (@pixiedusk)
    April 28, 2014 / 8:50 am

    I remember my own exam before. I dont even know how i managed to pass =P #magicmoments

  7. mummytries
    April 28, 2014 / 9:49 am

    fab post! Good luck to your students #MagicMoments

  8. April 28, 2014 / 2:26 pm

    Yikes! I can’t believe it’s that time already! It seems like yesterday we were buying new school shoes and doing the stationery shop! Hope all your pupils do really well, Jo, and that we get some of that famous (elusive!) ‘exam weather’ in the next few weeks too! Xx

  9. Twice a mummy double the fun
    April 28, 2014 / 6:32 pm

    Already?! It doesn’t seem that long ago my daughter started in year 3. Time is going passed way too quickly x #MagicMoments

  10. Lauren
    April 28, 2014 / 9:14 pm

    This is really lovely to read and took me back to my exams. I completely forgot about study leave. So many others in my school year used this time to hang out and not actually do much studying. x

  11. Super Busy Mum {Debs}
    April 29, 2014 / 8:37 am

    Excellent post, good luck to all of the students!! I dread the time when my eldest daughter has to take this test. Only 2 more years to go and this will be her!!! AAAAHHH!!! #Magicmoments

  12. Abigail
    April 29, 2014 / 9:10 am

    Best of luck to your students!

  13. Jaime Oliver
    May 1, 2014 / 11:06 pm

    awww this brought me back to this time in my life .. there is something so special about making that journey ..

    thanks for linking up with #MagicMoments

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