Students in 2021 collecting A Level results
Students from across Wokingham Borough are set to collect their A Level results on Thursday (18 August) after more than two years working through the challenges that the pandemic caused in education.
In March 2020, six months into their GCSE year, the country went into lockdown and teaching was done remotely to protect students and staff from the global pandemic.
When schools reopened in 2020, students and staff faced the challenge of working in “bubbles”, which limited who they could mix with. Then there were fresh closures in early 2021 and further disruption over the winter of 2021/22 as cases spiked once again. A recent report by the Sutton Trust showed that one in five A Level students missed more than 20 days of schooling because of illness and self-isolations.
In the face of this, students have shown remarkable resilience and determination, balancing their learning and emotional wellbeing despite missing out on important time spent with their friends and families.
Although life is cautiously returning to normal, most students who took A Levels this year would not even have sat a formal exam before as their GCSEs in 2020 were assessed by teachers. The last time they had a full “normal” school year would have been in Year 10 when they started their GCSE courses.
The council is extraordinarily proud of all its young people picking up their results this week and would like to wish them luck as they take their next steps in life.
“This has been a most challenging time for everybody, but students picking up their A Level results this week have shown real determination,” said Councillor Prue Bray, executive member for children’s services.
“They have really risen to the challenge and should be immensely proud of themselves, whatever result they get. I would also like to thank teachers, parents and everyone else who has helped the students to get to this point, and we hope for smoother years ahead.”
Help with the next steps
Elevate Wokingham is the council’s advice and support service for 16 to 18 year olds (or 24 for adults with special educational needs and disabilities) on employment, career planning, training, education, work experience and volunteering.
The team are ready to help people decide their next steps after their exam results and can be contacted on 07710 117 650 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking after yourself at an emotional time
Students should remind themselves that, whatever their A Level results, this week marks the end of an incredibly tough two and a half years.
It’s normal to feel anxious or worried about an unexpectedly low result, but it’s useful to know that it isn’t the end - this happens to a lot of people and for many different reasons.
It can be difficult to stay calm, but there are still lots of options available and people and organisations which can provide support.
The council’s emotional wellbeing hub for young people has provided these five top tips:
- Breathe – don’t panic, take time to refocus.
- Speak to someone – find someone who can help you focus and listen to how you are feeling.
- Explore your options – your school should have someone who can help but Elevate also can.
- Take your time – you don’t have to rush or make a snap decision. Wait until you’re less stressed.
- Get support – if you need someone to talk to anonymously, you can contact:
- The online counselling and support service KOOTH
- Samaritans on 116 123 or Childline on 0800 11 11
- The Mix, which has lots of information and online support available
- The council’s emotional and mental health support for children and young people page
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