Students at Pocklington School are today celebrating receiving their GCSE results.
Following the closure of schools in March due to the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing uncertainty regarding GCSE examinations, the school's Fifth Year (Year 11) students continued to engage with their studies and received extensive academic and pastoral support from the staff at Pocklington School. Live online lessons and directed tasks were provided and the overwhelming majority of students progressed their studies in this way.
In the summer term our students accessed reading lists, podcasts and lecture-style presentations compiled by subject departments in preparation for A level study. These transition resources, many of which were made available to the wider community, are designed to help Fifth Year students bridge the gap between their current studies and those they will commence in September, building a greater confidence and a firm foundation for their new choice of study.
Gareth Hughes, Head of Middle School at Pocklington School said: “I have said this on more than one occasion in the last few months but it is important to state it again: we are so proud of the way our Fifth Year have adapted and overcome what has been an unbelievably uncertain and challenging time for them. After the initial shock of the cancellation of the exams subsided, their positivity, energy, enthusiasm to learn, develop and embrace and make the most of this situation has been a great credit to them all. The resilience, character and courage of the group has shone through and I really do believe they will thrive in Sixth Form come September.”
For many of our students the last few months have had a profound impact upon them and yet it is enlightening to hear how so many have made the best of it. Isabelle Scanlon spoke for many of her peers when she said: “For me a positive element of lockdown has been spending more time with my family and my animals. It also has been a nice change to not have been rushing around and thus reflect on a quieter way of life. I was obviously devastated not to have been doing my exams but I have had lots of support and encouragement from teachers. I have really enjoyed the Fifth Year to Sixth Form transition work we have been set and I am looking forward to studying my chosen subjects in more detail next year. I have certainly missed the interaction with my friends, but I feel I have learnt to be more resilient in this difficult time.”
Billy Spruyt also reflected: “I think I’ve adapted well to home learning due to the help and support we’ve had from school. I have learnt that teacher interaction is a key part of my education. Also, the transition work gave me something to do and to focus positively on. I’m now really looking forward to doing my chosen subjects at A level at Pocklington.”
Dylan McLane said: “Lockdown has been very testing, but with the support from the teachers and keeping busy, I’ve managed to stay sane, as well as exercising twice a day, I’ve really managed to reflect”.
Alexis Jagger thought: “Lockdown has given me the perfect chance to focus on my hobbies such as singing and my own personal development. Support from school and friends in this hard time has been much appreciated and has definitely helped everyone! I’ve been very grateful during this time for the work school has been setting in order to prepare for my A level subjects.”
Finally, George Langworthy summarised our recent experiences in this way: “When the GCSEs were cancelled, to be honest I was gutted at how all the time and effort I had put in during the past 2/3 years seemed to have been wasted. However, after talking to friends and my teachers I grew more positive and learnt that everyone was in the same boat and it was best to stay cheerful. I really enjoyed the A level transition work that was set. It kept us all focussed on subjects we all wanted to study and it made me even more excited for Sixth Form knowing I'll be studying really interesting subjects and that I will see my friends again and get back into group sports and activities."
Toby Seth, Headmaster at Pocklington School commented: “Over these past few months we have witnessed the incredible strength of character present amongst all members of our Pocklington School community. Our Fifth Year pupils have shown great personality and determination in embodying our values of Courage, Truth and Trust and their commitment and achievements deserve great praise and celebration. This is doubly true for this year’s GCSE cohort who have had to cope with an extraordinary range of emotions and challenges, not least over the last few days. We are very proud of them and wish them the very best of luck as they look to the future and the next step in their educational journey.”