In=person exams made a welcome return this year, now for the Proms...

Pupils sitting exams

In-person exams return this year - Credit: Getty Images

Exmouth author Emma Richardson writes for the Journal.

Exmouth author Emma Richardson.

Exmouth author Emma Richardson. - Credit: Emma Richardson

Sometimes you aren’t conscious of how much you miss a thing until you get it back and it all makes sense again.

The last couple of weeks in our household has very much had this feeling as one of our children completed her GCSE exams…yes, actual in-person, sitting at a desk exam papers.

Exams are a bit of a mixed blessing depending on the paper you get, how much work you’ve done and if you’re the kind of learner that performs well in those circumstances.

However, along with the pain of the paper comes the pleasure of the last exam, the shirt signing, the last-day photos and the marking of that passage of time.

If anything, the last two years has robbed our young people of those rituals and that sense of closure; it’s all very well being handed a mark without having sat the paper, but it has led to disenfranchised young people feeling that there had been little point to their school career thus far.

I find this such an interesting issue- most adults would assume that young people would be happy to have an awarded grade and no exam, but contrary to popular belief, the majority of teenagers really do want to show the world how well they can do something or at the very least approach the papers with their own agency.

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This particular cohort at Exmouth Community College have, by all accounts been exemplary in their attitude to sitting their GCSE’s this year: on time, well organised, respectful and above all keen to do their best.

I really hope for all young people who’ve gone through the return to exams this summer, the results you get are what you’re hoping for. I think it’s also worth saying though that even if they aren’t what you’d like, it’s never the end of the world.

There are always choices- something else to try or a different direction to be taken.

Of course to cap the exam season off and in true Exmouth tradition, the Prom returns this week. If you’ve never been to watch the procession of cars and other vehicles dropping the students off, you really need to watch this year.

Fingers crossed for some sunny weather because with the blue sky out it’s like watching the West Country Oscars. Well done to all GCSE and A Level / BTEC students this summer, it’s a pleasure to watch you all go out into the world.