COLUMN: Results day is looming for anxious students

Head of Anthony Gell School Wirksworth Malcolm Kelly
Head of Anthony Gell School Wirksworth Malcolm Kelly

Results days! Love them or loathe them, they’ve been around for a long time and are likely to remain for some years to come.

The summer holidays are in full swing for all children of school age, but a few will be keeping a careful eye on the calendar, as the long-awaited results days creep ever closer.

Students who sat A level exams this year will get their results on Thursday 18 August. This will be followed by the results day for GCSE students on Thursday, August 25.

With so much depending on these results, schools like Anthony Gell will have carefully planned the results mornings to make them as stress-free and supportive as possible.

How schools respond to days like these can sometimes be the difference between a day to remember and a day you are unable to forget.

Staff will be on-hand to congratulate and celebrate but will also be there to offer expert advice and counselling for the small number of students for whom the results aren’t as good as hoped. For some students a carefully thought through, well executed ‘plan B’ will be the key to an equally successful future.

As a student, or indeed as a parent of a student, the feelings you experience on the day of ‘the results’ are a strange mix of some of the strongest emotions. Most students now arrive in school with their mobile clutched tightly in one hand and a classmate or two by their side.

Their parents? Usually at home or in the school carpark, having provided the usual taxi service, left waiting for that promised text or phone call (which seems to take an eternity to arrive).

The look on a young person’s face and their emotional reaction to receiving the news they have been waiting for, as they scan the piece of paper which summarises their results, is a sight to behold. It is yet another highlight in the life of a teacher.

You know how hard that young person has worked and how much has been invested in getting to that point.

In that moment you experience a true sense of empathy – a shared understanding when often no words are necessary.

These two days in amongst the many of the long summer holiday are special.

They herald the next stage in a young person’s life and will undoubtedly prove memorable.