GOING SOLO: Arwen Jenkins had wanted to open her results envelope with friends
GOING SOLO: Arwen Jenkins had wanted to open her results envelope with friends

GETTING GCSE results is a nerve-wracking time for any student. But receiving your results in the middle of a pandemic, when you haven’t even taken the exams, is an even more confusing and stressful time.
When the government first announced that exams were cancelled and schools were shut down, I cried. It’s weird to think that I was upset about not doing my exams.
But to me, it felt like all the work that I had put in over the last two years was gone. The government didn’t specifically tell us what they were going to do to determine our grades, which led me, someone who over-thinks and stresses about everything, to jump immediately to a worst-case scenario. The next few months, instead of being fuelled by revision and past papers, were filled instead with online shopping and social distancing.
Having put my impending results to the back of my mind, in the time leading up to our results, the news was filled with confusion on the government’s approach to grading and the infamous algorithm. It didn’t feel fair that our results and our future were in the hands of a system that didn’t reflect our individual performances.
A Level results came out first and gave a clear indication of the disparity between teacher recommendations and the calculations of the algorithm. Thanks to the protests of these students, the government abandoned their chaotic approach and allowed the teachers’ grades to stand. Opening the email which contained my grades, alone in my bedroom, was not exactly how I had pictured results day. I would have hoped to be at school with my friends so we could have supported each other and celebrated together. I’m grateful that we all tried our best to connect online. GCSEs were finally over.
I hope that all Year 11s got the results they wanted and look forward to whatever their next step is.
Arwen Jenkins Barnard Castle School student