2nd February 2021
Writing: Aayush Mukherjee (Year 11)
Editing: Ben Corby (Year 11)
After another U-turn, the exams for the 2021 GCSE and A-Level students have been cancelled and will be replaced by teacher assessed grades similar to last year. Despite the fact the Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, had stated with full confidence, he could "absolutely" give a cast-iron guarantee that exams in England would not be cancelled, a surge in the number of cases and deaths across the UK, forced us into a third lockdown.
As the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, explained on the night the new lockdown was announced, it would simply not, “be possible or fair” for exams to go ahead.
This announcement was a huge shock not only for me, but also for my peers and everyone else who was set to take their exams this year. It was almost unimaginable. The fact exams were cancelled for two years running was extremely surprising, however, given the circumstances, I knew a change of some sort was bound to happen considering how much time we have spent learning remotely. Although the announcement was a surprise, it also left us with significant uncertainty and many questions as to what this meant; whether our classwork would be taken into consideration, if we were going to have mocks online or whether it would simply be based on many assessments, nobody knew. I had mixed feelings about the announcement. On one hand, I was happy that I would not have to undergo 4-5 weeks of high pressure during the period of exams, on the other, however, I was worried about how my lack of exam experience would affect my A-Levels, making me feel anxious and nervous. Many of my peers felt the same way, with some saying how they were “relieved” and others were feeling “frustrated and disappointed”, showing the real diversity of emotions felt by everyone.