‘Do not panic’: Advice for Northampton GSCE students ahead of coronavirus-affected results day

Thousands of students across Northampton will be facing an anxious night’s sleep ahead of receiving their coronavirus-affected GCSE results tomorrow (Thursday, August 20).

Grades have been decided by teachers after exams were cancelled because of the pandemic and the government’s U-turn over its controversial statistical modelling.

Guilsborough Academy principal Julie Swales told the Chron: “It has been a long process for our students since March 20, as they have been wondering what was going to happen with their results.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Northampton Academy students celebrate their GCSE results last year. Photo by Lou Smith

“They should be applauded for their maturity and understanding in how they have coped with what has been a very difficult time for so many people.

“They have handled the situation brilliantly and we are very proud of them.”

Instead of the usual mix of congratulations and commiserations of GSCE results day at schools across the country, students will be finding out what two years of work has earned them virtually due to Covid-19.

Mrs Swales said they are sad their pupils will not get the feeling of celebrating as a group but that should not detract from how proud of themselves they should be.

Guilsborough Academy in West Haddon Road, Guilsborough. Photo: Google

The fiasco over the A-levels results released last week may add to nerves, with a modelling system based on school’s exams history marking down many grades.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson then scrapped the system a few days later with results reverting to what teachers had estimated, meaning higher grades and an increase in prospective university students.

Many year 11 pupils will be looking to go on to sixth form or college to study A-levels or an apprenticeship but may be uncertain about what the future holds with coronavirus and the issues around their results.

Moulton College director of student services Andrew Bailey said: “Throughout the lockdown, we have continued to accept applications and support students with their next steps after GCSEs.

Moulton College in West Street, Moulton

“Our advice to anyone receiving their GCSE grades tomorrow is not to panic, and to contact their next destination be that sixth form, or college if they have any concerns at all.

“At Moulton College we are determined that no student will be disadvantaged due to not being able to take their exams this summer.

“All of our staff will be available tomorrow to discuss options either for existing applicants or those looking to apply for the first time.”

Northampton College principal Pat Brennan-Barrett said she recognises the stress and uncertainty this year’s exam results process has caused students but none will be put at a disadvantage as a result.

“We are looking forward to welcoming new and progressing students over the next few weeks and will continue to ensure all young people have a place on a course that suits them,” she said.

“We will do all we can to make the transition to their next step as smooth and stress-free as possible after an incredibly difficult six months for everyone.”

Mrs Swales said they will continue to provide support for all students as they prepare for their full return to education in September.

“For students staying with us to complete their A-levels, for example, we have been able to build in an additional hour per week of lesson time for every subject to ensure our students catch up as quickly as possible on content missed during the closure,” she said.

“In addition to this, we have a dedicated academic mentoring programme and increased access to online resources to do everything we can to make the transition between year 11 and year 12 as smooth as possible.”

Northampton Chronicle and Echo