For many secondary school students and pupils in primary schools, up and down the county, exams and tests are now in full swing.
One of the great things about school is that we all remember our great teachers – both as adults with our memories of our own school days, or as parents listening to how children describe their teachers.
There are lots of important aspects to being a great teacher. But having the relationship in the classroom that fosters children to engage with the material being taught and give the effort needed to get better in that particular subject is one of the most important.
For young people coming up to their exams, they will get lots of help from their teachers but to be successful they need also to get the bit between their teeth to have the self-discipline to work on their own or sit for an hour without stopping as they go through their revision material.
As students get to the upper end of secondary school, the pressure rises as they move towards doing well in GCSEs.
It’s great to see the students across our Year 11 classes now really applying themselves and you can see the determination to succeed as much as possible.
More subjects this year are moving on from the grading system we have known in recent years – from A* to G to now grades 9 to 1, with a 4 being equivalent to an old C and a 7 being equivalent to an old A. This system came in for English and maths in 2017 and across most subjects this summer.
The recent bad weather led to some schools closing for two or three days, longer than many staff can ever remember. Whilst the first day was a bit exciting and many children will have had a pretty enjoyable alternative day, the following days were frustrating.
However, this was mitigated by delightful photographs circulating of the fun children were having, the books they were reading in lieu of being at home on World Book Day, and of the amazingly fun way headteachers were communicating with parents about school closures and work children could be getting on with.
Because of the snow, some schools rescheduled their World Book Day – I had the pleasure of an important meeting with a headteacher in her penguin outfit.
World Book Day is one day a year. The importance of reading is of course every day of the year, school or no school.
Teachers and parents together give children the gift of learning to read, and so having the independence to follow your own interests. We must never stint on ensuring children have a great stock of books to work their way through.