TODAY young people across the North will find out their A-level results, but not everyone will have received the grades they wanted.
For some, it may be disappointing, with results not meeting university or college entry requirements. There will be tears of heartbreak as well as joy after two years of hard graft during a challenging Covid-19 pandemic.
Emotions will be running high, and the need for extra care and support for students will be at a premium, on what is sure to be a stressful occasion.
“Results day is always an emotional time which can bring both celebration and disappointment for students,” Elizabeth Armstrong, principal of Enniskillen Royal Grammar School said. “Given the impact of Covid-19, this year has been particularly highly charged for Year 14 students dealing with the return to a public examination timetable.
“Throughout the year we have been careful to acknowledge this distance travelled with our senior students and to look at ways to build their resilience, explicitly through our personal development programme where we were delighted to work with Action Mental Health in training some of our senior pupils as mental health ambassadors.
“Now as results arrive it is important to provide a listening ear to encourage pupils to articulate their disappointment if things don’t go as planned, to encourage them to hold true to what they know about themselves and to focus on what they have achieved to date.
“This builds on our approach throughout the year in encouraging our pupils to have a well-thought out Plan B should Plan A not work out.”
Above all, it will be down to educators to explain to students that disappointing grades are not the end of the world and there are plenty of other opportunities out there.
“It is important at this stage too, to be on hand to provide accurate and objective information about the options available to them [and there are always options!] and to then give them the space to think about what is the best way forward for them as an individual and not to make any rash decisions,” Ms Armstrong said.
Like other schools and colleges across Fermanagh, Ms Armstrong and her senior staff will available to help students if they receive disappointing results on the day.
“Our careers staff and senior staff will be on hand in school around the time of the results to provide this listening ear, to reassure our young people that setbacks can and will be overcome and to support them to make their own individual choices regarding their future pathway,” she said.
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