NOTE: This content is old - Published: Thursday, Aug 22nd, 2013.
TEENAGERS getting their GCSE results today should ignore adults criticising modern exam standards and instead simply celebrate their success, says education specialist Sharon Hughes.
“As a nation we have got out of the habit of celebrating on results day, as criticism or comparisons take over,” said Sharon, who runs out-of-school GCSE sessions.
“Our young people have no control over the education system, they are merely the latest to experience the whims of politicians.
They will all have done their very best, given their own set of circumstances and whatever their results, should be congratulated.
“Now they need to consider their next steps carefully regardless of their results – rarely do learners achieve exactly what they were predicted, so with a slightly different set of results their options may well change.
There is lots of advice available and everyone should be encouraged to access it and consider the various options – ultimately they need to be happy with the decision they come to themselves about their next steps.”
“Whether they decide to pursue A levels at school or 6th form college, a vocational course at college or an Apprenticeship , if learners haven’t managed to achieve a grade C in maths and English, they will be required to continue with their study of these subjects in their next steps, such is their importance. We will be holding resit classes at Broughton Park should anyone need any extra help,” said Sharon.
Today she will among those waiting for the results of students whom she’s helped through her company Tutors4GCSE.
Youngsters from junior school up to GCSE level study Maths and/or English in small groups with a maximum of six learners, or on a one-to-one basis, and with the emphasis always on fun.
Courses run at easy-to-reach community venues across North Wales and Chester, during term time and continue throughout school breaks.
“There has been lots of discussion about the future of GCSEs this year and there will, inevitably be comment about how the exams are easier now than back in O level days or maybe the grade boundaries will rise and learners will miss out. Whatever the results, controversy will inevitably follow,” added Sharon.
“I would urge this year’s GCSE learners not to listen to any of it. Their results will still have a value going forward, regardless of any changes made and, despite what happens to the grade boundaries, young people can only pass the exams they are presented with. Success should be celebrated.
“They shouldn’t feel pressured into staying on at school if they feel the college environment would suit them better. Apprenticeships are increasingly popular too, as they offer the opportunity to continue with education alongside learning a skill and earning – they are available at Levels 2, 3 and 4.
“It might be that an Apprenticeship was always the plan but learners may need to reassess which level is appropriate depending on their results. The next few days offer the perfect opportunity to go back through the decision making process given actual rather than predicted results.”
Now living in Penymynydd, Sharon studied Maths and Statistics with the Open University, before teaching at Chester’s West Cheshire College, where she was programme leader for Maths and Numeracy, and taught up to GCSE level and subsequently at Macclesfield College before deciding to launch her own company.
Tutors4GCSE will be introducing new subject areas in the coming months, including Science and ICT, and Sharon plans to roll-out new programmes in schools.
Details of classes at www.tutors4gcse.co.uk