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A Level results

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Friday, 21 August 2015
Dear Patricia Marie,

I am reasonably intelligent, and have worked really hard at school, but somehow have managed to achieve dreadfully low grades in my exams. I have so far managed to avoid revealing my results to my parents, by staying at a friend's for the last few days, but I know I have to tell them, and they are going to be so disappointed in me. I am writing to you as some time ago my mum told me that you had really helped her through a difficult problem she had (she won't tell me what that was, though).

Would they know if I made up my results? Is there any way they could find out?

Patricia Marie says...

It can be difficult to predict the outcome of examinations. Whether a student is confident in their chosen subjects or not, exams can often be so stressful that students are not able to perform at their best. If this happens, and grades are therefore lower than expected, it can be a very upsetting experience.

Your disappointing results have come as a shock, and you are understandably unsure how to deal with telling your parents. However, fabricating your grades, isn't the answer, and could cause severe complications in the future. Nevertheless, I am concerned about your fear of approaching your parents, and wondering if you could share your anxieties with someone you trust who could offer support when you speak to them.

Try to look at this situation from their point of view. Surely far more than the importance of their daughter receiving top grades, would be for them to know that you will make the best of what you did achieve. I expect they would be devastated if they knew how much torment you are suffering.

If you haven't done so already, contact the Exam Results Helpline, which is open every day until 24th August. Their dedicated team can offer advice and guidance, as well as information on potential options that may suit you, such as embarking on a college course, enrolling in a Modern Apprenticeship, or gaining some work experience. The National Careers Service also offer invaluable ongoing support. Instead of dwelling on so much uncertainty, pick up the phone and use these services to help explore plans for your future, which will enable you to feel more in control of your life, and better equipped to speak to your parents.

I need you to know that not making your desired grades may mean looking at alternative options, but it will certainly not make you any less able to achieve what you want. Be proud of yourself for working so hard to obtain the grades you did receive. Life is full of uncertainties, but what you can be sure of is there is a new exciting future ahead. Go ahead and embrace it!

The Exam Results Helpline: 0808 100 8000
The National Careers Service 0800 100 900 www.nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk

Half term half baked

Posted by Mum About Town
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on Thursday, 20 February 2014
One of my Smalls (aged 9) is half way through her half term break. I say ‘break’ because that’s what I thought it was. But, as far as I can work out, she’s mixing any relaxation with some hard core work. Yes, WORK. Science exam revision, a Beethoven written project, a poem to be learnt, music theory papers to be completed and some good old fashioned piano practice. And I’m left wondered if the 9 year old (one of life’s true grafters) deserves a REAL break?

Which leads me to my question: which skills do these kids actually need? I mean, what do they really need to know under the age of 10? How to speak Mandarin? Which materials make effective thermal insulators? How many flats B flat minor has? I suspect not.

While I’m mildly interested in the temperature of the hottest part of the sun (16,000,000 degrees Celsius, if you’re wondering), I’d rather give this traditional curriculum learning a miss. At least for the week. Instead, I’m fantasizing about teaching her the following:

1. how to read a map of London
2. how to draw happy, quirkily-dressed people
3. a little Brit history – maybe a king or queen from years gone by
4. a mean bolognaise which includes more than 4 vegetables
5. how to change a plug

It would certainly feel a whole lot more fun, less pressurized and might leave her better refreshed for next week’s exams. But I fear that by doing so, I will let her down. And so we dive back into electrical conductors…


You can read more musings from Emma at www.lifeofyablon.com.


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