Category Archives: Education

Cultivating a Positive Body Image

Hello,

Yes, I’m back! I’m not regular with these blog posts, but I finally finished my undergraduate degree at the end of last month. I’m just waiting to see what my results are now – how exciting and scary! It was a pretty tough semester, doing three modules and writing my dissertation, plus I organised a mental health awareness and fundraising event at University during Mental Health Awareness Week in May. Some people will say ‘Did you not have enough to do?’, but when I’m passionate about something I tend to go after it, even if it challenges my organisation (unless I just have way too much on, then I know when to say ‘no’, even if I really want to do it), ha ha.

Today, I thought I would do a little post on body image. It’s something that can affect all of us, any age and gender, and so I thought to write a little post on it. It is a sensitive issue, and if you particularly struggle with yours you might want to talk to someone you trust about it, for example, a family member, a friend, your doctor or a counsellor (I know those latter two might sound scary, but they’re there to help you if you’re struggling, and are qualified). But I’m going to write this like I would to a friend: I’m going to try my best to remind you to appreciate your body. When I was a kid I hated the way I looked, and it took a long time, years, to actually think, ‘Yeah, okay, this is how I look’, and eventually, ‘I’m happy with how I look today’. I’ll admit I still have my self-conscious moments, but I just try to remind myself that I’m me and that’s good enough, and focus on feeling happy.

__________________________________

The summer has arrived, and some people will be feeling pressure to look a certain way (more so than at other times of the year, except for special occasions where self-consciousness can often crop up). They might want to lose weight, or have a tan, etc., and what I wish I could tell them (and you) is that it’s okay to aim for these goals, but please don’t push yourself to dangerous extremes in order to accomplish them. For example: You want to be a healthier weight (this may be an increase or decrease in weight), so you start dieting and exercising. These are good activities, as long as you don’t over-do them, and it’s important that you don’t berate yourself in the process. Thinking thoughts such as, ‘Ugh, I’m so ugly, I can’t wait till I look like this, then I’ll be fine, etc.’ are negative. Instead, try to think, ‘Okay, I have this goal, but this is a process. I’m going to enjoy the activity more than the goal: experience the fun of exercising, and finding new, tasty recipes. I’m not defined by how I look- beauty is subjective anyway’, etc. Do you see the change in thinking?

Some more examples:

  • You want to wear a t-shirt because it makes you feel good, though you momentarily think, ‘Will people look at me? At my arms? etc.’? Put it on anyway, then look at yourself and think, ‘Hey, this makes me feel good, so I’m going to wear it.’ It’s about focussing on how you feel, and not what others may think. You don’t even know if they’re thinking, ‘Wow, they look good! I like their t-shirt!’ (Unless they tell you.)

 

  • You want to change your hairstyle? Do it!  (Some workplaces and schools have policies on hairstyles though, so be aware of them.)

 

  • You want to try that activity, though you think, ‘Will I look a mess/ strange whilst I’m doing it?’ Do it, you might enjoy the experience and find a new hobby!

 

Just make sure you enjoy being you – how you look is nothing compared to how you feel.

__________________________________

Thank you for reading that! I’d love to hear what you think of it, please, and if there is anything you would add?

Have a great day!

Jess

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under PSHE

A Reminder

Hi!

I felt compelled to write this post, because if I can help somebody through a tough time, or remind at least one person that what I’m about to write is true, it is worth it:

You matter. You deserve respect, and so do others. Your struggles do not define you. Please don’t give up, as even if things are bad right now, there will be better times ahead. It is okay to ask for help. Some people might dismiss your struggle(s), as they don’t understand, or know how to help, but there will always be people who try to understand and help you in whatever way they can. You are not a burden, or just an arrangement of atoms – you are a person with dreams, hopes, fears, likes, and dislikes. You can achieve. The world might not be the nicest place, but you can make your world great by finding things that nourish you, and being kind to yourself and others. You matter.

Go through the paragraph above again, and change the word ‘You’ to ‘I’, or ‘me’, where appropriate, and ‘your’ to ‘my’. Repeat as much as you need, and even say it out loud – you might feel silly at first, but it could help you to realise the weight of these words, and how true they are.

Feel free to share this with the people you care about, and remind them, too.

_______________

Jessica

Leave a comment

Filed under PSHE

Understanding and Helping the ‘Quiet’ Students

Hi!

Yes, I’ve been a bad blogger again and haven’t posted in two months. So, happy New Year, everyone (it looks strange to write that in February)! I hope 2017 is going well for you so far.

I’ve started my second, and final, semester of University. It’s going to be my busiest semester, as I went against advice last year and chose to do four modules this semester and two modules last semester (I have to do a total of six). Why? Because I found there were more interesting and helpful (the latter in terms of teaching) modules in this second semester, and since the two modules I were interested in in the first semester were both quite heavy in terms of reading (Shakespeare and Jane Austen), I thought it might balance out okay. The modules are fascinating, and I’m really excited to complete my dissertation (I’m going to enjoy the process along the way).

What am I writing about today? Well, I’ve had a few ideas for posts which aren’t fully developed yet, but it struck me that I could write about engaging the ‘quiet’ students. I’m not trained in teaching yet, so you might want to take this post with a grain of salt, but I am writing conjecturally, and from my own experiences and observations. If you do teach, and if you don’t, please feel free to comment and let me know what you think – you might agree or disagree with me, and I like hearing (or, rather, reading, in this case!) different perspectives, as it helps me to learn.

Without further ado, let’s consider the engagement of ‘quiet’ students.

_____________________________________________________

What is going on in the minds of quiet students?

They could be thinking any of the following (or similar):

  • ‘Okay. This is okay, I’m content with what we’re doing, and I don’t really feel the need to say much.’

 

  • ‘I don’t know what I’m doing. Everybody else seems to be getting on okay, maybe I just need to think a bit more, look back at my notes.’

 

  • ‘Ooh, I have an idea/ response to the question the teacher just asked! But what if it’s wrong? What if I raise my hand, and then everybody turns around, and then I mess it up, and turn out to be wrong anyway? Even if I’m right, why would I draw attention to myself? I’m just going to write it down, and when the teacher marks it I’ll get to find out what they think – that’s okay, isn’t it? I’m still engaging, just not verbally… I wish I could be more confident.’

 

  • ‘I’m just going to try to get through the work, never mind saying anything.’

 

  • ‘What does it matter? It’s not like anything I say matters.’

 

Why might students think like this?

  • They might just be naturally quiet people. This doesn’t mean they won’t have numerous thoughts whizzing around their head.

 

  • Something, e.g. bullying, their home-life, their mental health, hormonal fluctuations (in teenagers), their previous experiences in class(es), has affected them, their self-esteem, and/ or their ability to engage in class.

 

What could we do about this, to make sure students are coping okay with their work, and progressing?

  • Keep a check  on how they’re doing – both academically and personally. Liaising with support staff, other teachers, personal tutors, and family/ carers (if possible) should help in this respect.

 

  • Remind your students that there is no such thing as a stupid question. No matter if a student asks the most basic question, they deserve your patience and encouragement. If you’ve just told them the answer to their question five or ten minutes ago, it can be frustrating, but instead of giving in to the frustration, you may want to consider their concentration level, or the possibility that they may like to ‘double-check’ something, for fear they’ll do their work wrong.

 

  • Create a culture of positivity and acceptance within the classroom, and around the school. This can help their confidence to flourish. In class, some students will think ‘I really hope the teacher doesn’t ask me a question’, and squirm when you do, but by encouraging their self-esteem, and working on easing them into class discussions, they may eventually become a student who volunteers to give an answer/ answers.

 

  • Potentially run, or encourage students to join, an after-school club. For example, if a student shies away from reading aloud in class, running a reading club, which might not be attended by many, and encouraging them to read a section aloud, even for a little bit, and even if it’s just to you at first, might eventually help them to feel more comfortable reading aloud in front of multiple people.

 

A little anecdote: When I was ten years old, I remember my Year 6 teacher talking about a Maths and Literacy class she was going to run after school. I suffered from low self-esteem through primary school, and though I loved Literacy, I hated Maths, and I remember thinking something like, ‘Well it’s optional, I don’t have to go, and so I don’t have to do extra Maths!’ As I worked alongside my classmates in an IT room, the teacher was in a corner going through who she was going to send letters home with, to let their parents know about the after-school class. I thought, ‘Aha, she’s not going to say me’, and then she eventually called down to me, ‘Jessica’. I thought ‘Oh no,’ and went up to her, and we talked about how it was my confidence with Maths that was affecting me. So I started going to the after-school classes, and you know what? I started getting more comfortable with Maths, and I eventually started feeling a bit more excited to answer Maths questions during the school day. If my teacher hadn’t encouraged me to go to those after-school classes, what would my confidence with Maths have been like by the end of primary school? During secondary school? I only wish I could tell her I chose to do Maths at A-Level – the primary school me would never have dreamed of doing Maths post-compulsory! It just goes to show the effect you can have on people.

________________________________

What do you think? Is there anything I’ve missed? I’d love to hear from you.

Thank you for reading!

Jessica

Leave a comment

Filed under Education

One Year

Hi there!

A year ago today, I started this blog. I’ve written fifteen posts (with multiple planned and draft posts – I really need to finish those!) since then, on a variety of topics related to education in some way. This isn’t a lot, compared to what some fantastic bloggers  do, but I’m proud that I managed to write them anyways. It’s been an interesting year:

  • I made a Twitter account for my blog, which allowed me to connect with some interesting bloggers and educators. It always surprises and excites me when somebody comments on my blog, or keeps up-to-date with me via my blog/ Twitter/ Facebook page, or replies to or re-tweets one of my tweets. I appreciate it. Tweets and Twitter chats always prove thought-provoking, and help me to consider what I might do as a teacher.

 

  • I started to consider postgraduate options other than going straight to do a PGCE after I finish final year. I still want to complete teacher training, but I have been thinking about whether I want to do an MA in English or an MA in TESOL before, or after, I’ve gained QTS. It doesn’t help that I get enthusiastic about a lot of different things, and a conversation at a Postgraduate Open Day I attended (there will be a blog about Open Days to come!) left me wondering about doing a PhD, for the second time in my life.

 

So what’s coming up? Well, apart from blog posts, I turn twenty next month, and in two months’ time I will finish my second year of University!  I’ll also be choosing my modules (classes) for third year, discussing my dissertation idea(s), and writing my personal statement for post-graduate courses. Exciting and nerve-wracking times.

Have a great day!

Jessica

___________________________

Are you celebrating a milestone in blogging, or a milestone in education? I’d love to hear from you!

2 Comments

Filed under Career Planning, Education, Personal

Mental Health Awareness

Hello!

I’m very sorry for my protracted absence.  ‘What have you been doing?’ you ask? Well I have been working away at University (I just received official confirmation of my semester one results yesterday, which make me happy), keeping up with family and friends, reading, learning a bit more Turkish (though I must confess I learn more how to sing Turkish songs than I do my basic words, but I did recently learn how to say ‘great’ (‘harika’) and ‘congratulations’ (‘tebrikler’)) and more! I’ve also recently signed up to a short online course, which excites me. I have essays due in the not-so distant future, and revision to do for an exam in the Summer, so I’m going to be very busy. That won’t completely stop me from blogging though! I just need to manage my time well.

Without further ado, I shall now give you a short blog post:

_____________________________________________

Did you know that today, the 3rd of March, is University Mental Health Awareness Day in the UK? This post will not just be directed at  University students though – it’s directed at anybody and everybody. Your mental health is extremely important, and should be treated as such.

If you’re having worrying thoughts or changes in mood, I highly recommend that you talk to at least one of the following people:

  • A family member/ carer
  • A friend
  • Your doctor
  • Support staff at your school/ sixth form/ college/ University/ workplace
  • A colleague/ manager
  • Your personal tutor at school/ sixth form/ college/ University
  • Your Programme Leader (at University)
  • Your Student Representative (at University, though a similar thing exists in schools as a school buddy).
  • The Samaritans

There is such a wealth of support, and these people should be willing to help you, even if it’s to direct you onto a more suitable person. You have nothing to feel ashamed or embarrassed about, although I understand it is easy to feel that way. If one of these people dismisses your issue, please don’t be disheartened. They just might not know how to respond correctly. Instead, talk to somebody else.

But how should one respond, ideally? This is something we need to learn how to do, if we don’t already naturally do it. We need to be patient, attentive, and unassuming. This means listening to the person, not rushing them, and not putting words in their mouths. In fact, talking might not be the method somebody wants to use to initially communicate a problem to you. They may want to write it down, or even draw a picture instead. What should then happen, is that you direct the person onto somebody more suitable e.g. a support staff member or a doctor. If you don’t know who to direct them to, it’s okay to ask somebody, ‘If you’re having a personal issue, who do you go to?’

Always remember this: personal issues do not define you, or any person. There are many inspiring, good people with fantastic aspirations who struggle – they just need some extra support to help them.

__________________

Jessica

P.S. – The end of this month will mark one year since I set up this blog, so you can expect a post on the one-year date too, and maybe another post for good measure!

2 Comments

Filed under Education, PSHE

Equality and Diversity

Hello!

I have finished my first semester of second year studying BA English at University, and how fascinating a time it was. It is quite astounding that I am halfway through my degree now… I have three essays to write over Christmas, and I am going to read ahead for next semester, in addition to numerous other things, but you will also be seeing me here more, hopefully!

Tonight, I wanted to write a short post on an issue I hold strong beliefs about: equality and diversity.

I have always had an interest in learning about, or observing, the way other people lead their lives. Not in a pesky or overbearing way, but just a simple curiosity, because I like to understand people. For example, in my secondary school they created a multi-faith room (whilst I was doing my A-Levels in their Sixth Form) and it was, to me, the most beautiful room in the whole place. It was wonderful to know that those who were religious could practice their religion there, as well as any other place they ordinarily attended. The room was also open to those who were not religious. This room of respect was, and is, rather inspirational.

Another source of inspiration was my holiday this summer, where I found hearing calls to prayer and the Turkish language beautiful. Once I returned from my holiday, I started to research CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) and TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) courses. Why? I researched these courses because I am sure it can be overwhelming, and alienating, for people who go to a country where the primary language used is English and they do not know it well. I want to be one of the people who help stop the alienation. (I might even try to learn some words and/ or phrases of some of the other languages I am sure to come across in my future career, because why should I not try? I will create an atmosphere of positivity, of acceptance, in whatever way I can.)

This aspiration applies to so many other areas too, areas that should not cause us to make assumptions about other people:

  • race
  • age
  • sexuality
  • religion
  • language
  • social status
  • culture
  • education
  • disability
  • family history, etc.

Such a statement is very optimistic, given how many opinions and assumptions we hear/ read every day, but I believe in it. Everybody is an individual, and deserve to be treated as such. We need to try to discover somebody for themselves, and not who we think they may be.

These values of equality and toleration are just two values I hope to promote when I become a teacher, amongst my students, my colleagues, and other people I know (though I already do it).

We need to care for each other, because we are all human.

______________________________

Jessica

Leave a comment

Filed under Career Planning, Education, Languages, Personal, PSHE, Religious Education

Can/ Should Holidays be Learning Opportunities?

Hello,

I have finally returned to blogging – hooray! I’m sorry for the absence, it’s been a busy few months, but as things are starting to wind down this term now, I should hopefully be able to blog more.

Today, I thought I would blog on a debate that has often raged in education: can, or should, holidays be opportunities to learn? In my opinion, I agree that yes, holidays can be opportunities to learn, though whether they should be depends upon what sort of learning is being advocated.

Of course, revising for exams and reading material to keep up-to-speed with classes is important if you’re a student; and learning about new mark schemes, syllabi, and methods of teaching is important if you’re a teacher. What isn’t constructive though is when you ‘breeze’ through these tasks, i.e. you do them to get them done, not really caring if you can only recall bits of information here and there. That sort of approach is likely to make you feel disaffected, and maybe even stress you out when it comes to the time where you have to draw on your knowledge, because you tell yourself (consciously or sub-consciously) your task is going to be boring. You might ‘breeze’ because you want to relax, which is perfectly understandable, but it won’t help your learning or relaxation in the long-run.

On the other hand, what if you do the work straight away/ quickly, because you’re excited by it? That’s great, you’re more likely to learn something, but maybe take some time to review it later. If you leave it for six weeks, you might forget some things, and it might make it harder to get back into the ‘flow’ of term-time. I remember how, after the summer holidays, me and some of my classmates (in primary and secondary school) would comment on how our handwriting felt a lot slower than it did before the holidays, because we didn’t write at speed in the holidays as we did in class. It would take some time to get used to it again!

The above concerns what I call formal learning. Now, I’m going to relate a personal experience of formal and informal learning on holiday. As you may know, I visited Turkey in the Summer for a holiday, and I took fiction and poetry books for University with me. Now, I’m not advocating that you take work on holiday with you for formal learning, but I did because:

1). It would be near the end of August when I came home, and I didn’t want to be stressing about trying to get lots of reading done in advance for University starting in mid-September.

2). I’m a Literature student, and I love reading! So, my reading would be both entertainment, and helpful preparation (how very reminiscent of a Horatian phrase…).

I ‘relaxed’ too though: I went swimming in the pool, I went out into the town, etc. What really captivated my attention though was the Turkish language and culture. This was cue for me to start informally learning Turkish, which I found gloriously different to English, my first language.

I arrived home missing Turkey, and anticipating the next time I could visit. What have I done since then? Well…

1). I bought a Turkish language textbook with CD in order to learn the language to an intermediate level (it was the highest level I could find, though I would like to become fluent).

2). I started listening to Turkish music. I love it, and try to listen to some every day. I even sang a bit of a song to my friends in the library one time, which rather amused them.

3). I have researched a little bit into Turkish culture and history.

4). Looked up how to make lavash (balloon bread). One of my friends also told me there’s a Turkish restaurant not far from where I live either – I cannot explain how much I want to go. Perhaps I can practice my Turkish there?!

5). Became extremely excited when I found out that, in one of my modules at University, I would be studying Lady Mary Wortley Montagu’s Turkish Embassy Letters from the 18th century. We only looked at two of the letters, but I intend to read them all over the Christmas holiday for fun. Yes, really – fun. I started looking for other Turkish literature too.

6). Researched TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) courses. I was so inspired by learning Turkish on holiday, that I thought, ‘Hey, wouldn’t it be great if you could help people speak English, in addition to teaching literature?’

Basically, my holiday kick-started a complete fascination with a country’s customs, culture, language, food, and history. I didn’t set out to learn, and I never expected my holiday to ignite such curiosity (though I am an inquisitive person, so perhaps I should have expected this of myself).

Therefore, I conclude that holidays can be learning opportunities, opening your mind up to things you never previously considered. Learning should always be encouraged, though in what form, how much, and when it takes place, all depends on the needs and desires of the individual concerned.

____________

Now I want to hear from you, please: where do you stand on the debate? Do you have any experiences where you have learnt inadvertently?

I look forward to reading your responses!

Jessica

3 Comments

Filed under Career Planning, Education, Languages, Personal

A Friendship Between the Sciences and the Arts?

Hello,

As you may know, I study English at University. I study it because it is one of my favourite subjects, but when I was originally looking for University courses I looked for Physics courses, because I love that subject too. This has struck people as rather unusual in the past, and it might strike you the same, but I love those subjects (I was so happy to find a book about Science and Literature a few weeks ago), and I find they cross over in some respects. Now some of you that just read that last clause may think, ‘Nope, you can’t mix Science and Art. They’re too different. At school I hated Science, but I loved Art as I got to be creative, etc.’ Well I want to explain to you my view: Science is as much of an Art, as Art is as much of a Science.

The Sciences are stereotypically seen as the logical, ‘cold’ subjects where you use lots of numbers, formulae and experiments, and the Arts are seen as free, imaginative and emotionally ‘warm’. I challenge these stereotypes. Yes, of course you use numbers and experiments in the Sciences, but does it not take imagination to come up with a scientific theory? Do you not need the ability to write concisely yet eloquently, a skill practiced in the subject of English? Alternatively, let us consider English and Art: indeed, both are very creative subjects, but do they not require planning, logicality and expertise? Can they not be reviewed with a critical, ‘cold’ eye?

I have come across both students and teachers who say they love one subject and hate the other, and that is perfectly okay, as it would be a shame if people did not express their opinions. What I find sad though is that maybe nobody said to them, ‘Why do we not look at this subject you “hate” in a way you understand or prefer, so that maybe you could enjoy it a little too?’

That being said, there is a secondary school Science teacher, Rob Wilkinson, who uses some of his original art in his work. You can check out his work over on the Facebook page, ‘Rob Wilkinson Art’.

He creates some pretty cool images, doesn’t he? I think they are very visually striking, and creations such as those in the ‘School worksheets, pen & ink.’ album might be fun aids to help students learn and recall information, and even inspire them (please do not use any images without the artist’s permission, otherwise it would be copyright infringement). What I also love about them is that they make a deliberate link between Art and Science – hopefully the students will be able to realise how wonderfully the two disciplines can work in co-operation, and start to make more links between them.

This hope is something I want to realise when I become a teacher, so that maybe students can learn to enjoy both, and as a result do better in both (even if they still prefer one over the other). We need to develop a friendship between the Sciences and the Arts for the love of learning. A friendship can exist, but nothing will come to fruition if we do not try to help it do so. ______________________________________________________

What do you think about the divide between the Arts and Sciences? Were/ Are you a student who greatly preferred one discipline over the other? Let me know what you think, I would love to hear from you.

Have a nice day,

Jessica

3 Comments

Filed under Art and Design, Education, English, Personal, Science

What Could I Do When I Have My Results? Advice for Further Education Students

Hello,

You may have seen my previous post ‘A Short Guide to Results Day and Clearing (a Video Blog)‘. This post is a second part to it, though it is not a video blog this time. Today, I thought I would give further education (examples: A Level, BTEC, Scottish Higher) students some advice on what they could do when they receive their results. The routes are organised into specific categories:

Results better than expected/ wanted/ needed

  • Adjustment (University). If you are already planning to go to University, and you receive results that are better than you expected (well done!), you will highly likely (unless something went wrong) receive an unconditional offer from your first choice University.  This means you will be able to attend it in the new academic year. If you want to though, you can look at Adjustment. Adjustment is the process provided by UCAS, through which students who achieve better results than expected can keep their unconditional offer, but also have a look at other courses or Universities they may want to attend instead.

If you find a course or a University that you are interested in, then like Clearing, you ring the University in the hopes that you could obtain a verbal offer. If you receive any verbal offers, you may want to consider your decision carefully, and if you want to change your chosen University or course, you request to be released from your unconditional offer (you should be able to do this, check UCAS), and select the course and University who gave you a new verbal offer.

If you decide that you do not want to change University or course, then everything is okay, as you still have your original unconditional offer.

Good luck at University!

Results as expected/ wanted/ needed

Well done! You can do anything listed under ‘Any of the above outcomes’.

Results lower than expected/ wanted/ needed

Ah, I understand this situation. I hope you know that as long as you tried your best that is all that matters, and you can still be successful after this. It is okay to cry (remember to bring tissues with you on Results Day, and also somebody supportive if you want to), but let me just repeat a part of my last clause, to make sure you read it: you can still be successful. So what can you do?

  • Re-sit. This probably sounds like a horrible idea, but if you are so disappointed with your results, or your teachers or family members advise you to, you may want to consider re-sitting. There is no shame in re-sitting, as long as you try to learn where you went wrong (ask your college or sixth form whether they can request your paper/s back on your behalf for you to learn from your mistakes – you, or the school, will have to pay for these though), and try your best in the next academic year. Trying your best does not mean overworking though, as I overworked in my last year of A Level and that had a negative effect on me and, I believe, my results. If you are worried about your employability prospects, as I was when I received my results, talk to a careers advisor (or a teacher/ family member/ friend who understands this area).
  • Ask for a re-mark. If your result is close to the next grade boundary, you may want to think about getting a re-mark of your paper/s. If you do get a re-mark, your result may go up, stay the same, or even go down afterwards. It can be a difficult decision, and you or your school will have to pay for the re-mark, so talk about this option with your teachers (and your family too if you want).

Any of the above outcomes

No matter what happens, you can do any of the below:

  • Gap year. You might have already planned to do this, but if you feel too overwhelmed and do not know whether you want to go to University or get a steady job, you may want to consider taking a gap year. A gap year is a perfect opportunity to travel, to build up work experience, and to work out what path you want to take (though you can always follow a different path later in life, you are never resigned to one path). Just remember you want to be able to tell future employers what you did (productively) in your gap year, if you choose to take one.
  • Clearing (University). I went through this route, so I just want to re-assure you that by no means are you a ‘failure’ if you go to University via this method. I say a bit more about it in the video blog I mentioned at the beginning of this post, but basically Clearing is where you can find courses with vacancies at Universities across the country. The major difference, from applying to University earlier in the year, is that you must receive a verbal offer/ offers first, and then only select one course when you login to UCAS. When your choice is confirmed, you can get ready for University!
  • Job/ Apprenticeship. You might already have something lined up, or you might just decide after getting your results that you would like to find a job or an apprenticeship. Try not to worry too much if you think you are too late for an application – have a look on websites and in newspaper listings as soon as you can, if not straight away, with an idea of what sort of area you would like to work in/ what would be helpful to your career goals. If there is a careers advisor at your college or sixth form, it might be a good idea to talk to them – they should be able to help you efficiently. Make sure your CV is up-to-date, and good luck!
  • Celebrate. After you leave your sixth form or college, you students who received the results they wanted, or who received results that exceeded your expectations, might start thinking about where and how you are going to celebrate. If your results were lower than expected/ wanted, you might just want to go home and think about your options, or let yourself feel upset for a bit, but it might be good to go out and ‘celebrate’ with your family or friends. You probably think I mean that sarcastically, but I do not mean it so. My parents took me out for a meal to celebrate, because even though I was upset with my results, and they were upset for me, they were still proud of me (we had a meal when I received my GCSE results too, and they were higher than I had expected). Getting through further education is a major accomplishment, so well done (even if you do not believe it now)!

You may feel surprised at the number of options listed under ‘Any of the above outcomes’, and that is because I do not want to suggest a certain route for a student to follow. For instance, those who achieve highly may not want to go to University (even if they showed a prior interest, or are expected to by others), and those who do not achieve as well as they wanted to can go to University if they so wish (dependent upon the entry requirements of the university/ universities they are interested in attending). I want students to realise that there are so many options open to them.

_____________________________________________

If you are a student, or a parent/ carer of a student, expecting their results, please feel free to share this post with other students. You may also want to make notes if you want to discuss the options with your family, your teachers or even your friends (I might have missed some options, but these are the ones I know of – please tell me if I am missing anything. A different website might take a different approach, and it is never bad to investigate other websites with something so important as results advice, as long as they are impartial).

Let me know if this post is helpful – I would love to hear from you. If you’re reading this before Results Day on Thursday 13th August in the UK, good luck!

Jessica

2 Comments

Filed under Education, Results

A Short Guide to Results Day and Clearing (a Video Blog)

Hello,

I thought I would try something a bit different today and post a video blog.

Let me know what you think please.

EDIT: I did not want to overwhelm you with too much information in the video, and I was awaiting permission to mention this (I have now gained permission), but I also used the Exam Results Helpline a day after Results Day, when I was still upset about my results and feeling unsure. They are a free service who offer impartial advice to students about their results. I messaged them via their Facebook page, but you can also ring them on 0808 100 8000. Additionally, they have a Twitter page, which is also helpful for keeping yourself up-to-date with them. I hope this information proves helpful to you, along with the video below.

Jessica

Disclaimer: I was not paid to mention the Exam Results Helpline, I just thought it might be helpful to mention it, because a student reading this could end up using it.

1 Comment

Filed under Education, Personal, Results