We are now deep into exam season. The Year 7s have nearly completed their first set of exams while the Year 11 and 13 are facing the rigours of GCSEs and A Levels. At school there is always a delicate balancing act about the message to be sent out about the importance of exams. On the one hand they need to be taken seriously and should be prepared for properly. On the other, they do not matter that much in the grand scheme of things and should not be causing sleepless nights.
Perhaps the main thing, as with many other areas of life, is to maintain a sense of perspective. Exams are useful in telling you what you can do (and sometimes what you can’t). They can validate effort made during the year and most importantly for the public exams, they can allow access to the next stage of education.
What exams don’t do is to provide any kind of judgement on the character of those taking them. Some students will have worked very hard, others seem to breeze through on minimal effort. In addition, exams will not measure kindness, generosity, loyalty, compassion, empathy or a host of other attributes which in the end will be far more important.
So, by all means see exams as significant and worthy of effort but don’t let them become the consuming focus of life to the detriment of all else. Help your children to see that putting exams in context will be the best thing for everyone in the long run.
Wishing you a very good half term break,
Mrs K Brice
Hasmonean High School for Girls