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!