If your student did not get the results they were hoping for, remind them that they have lots of options. Make sure to include their parent/carer, as this could be an anxious time for them. Parents can also help support them in making the right next step.
Things you can suggest for your student include:
- It’s worth getting them to phone their first choice of sixth form or college to check whether they can be flexible about their entry requirements. They may agree to the pupil retaking a GCSE while studying for their A levels or BTECs, especially if the grade they achieved was a near miss. If you can, make sure they call themselves, not their parent/carer, as this will demonstrate their initiative and maturity.
- If not, they could contact their second-option schools/colleges.
- They could retake one or more of their exams later in the year to try to improve their grades.
- They could look at other course options with lower entry requirements, or think about doing an alternative qualification or an apprenticeship.
- If they missed a grade very narrowly, or did much worse in a subject than predicted, you could review the grade yourself and make an enquiry to the exam board. A check could be made with the exam board to ascertain whether there has been an administrative error and to ensure the paper was marked correctly.
What to do next
Remind your students that their GCSE's and Level 2 qualifications are just the start of their education journey. With the right support at this stage, it will enable them to make informed choices going forward.
Make it clear to students that even if their exam results get checked by the exam board, there is no guarantee that this will improve their grade - this is okay too. Explain that they may still be able to go on and get strong results at their next stage in education, and that long-term, Level 2 results will not impact them too greatly.
If you find that your student still cannot grasp their results, encourage them methods of how to move forward with their next education step. Get them to unpick reasons why they did not do as well as expected, consider:
- Exam stress
- Not understanding questions on an exam paper
- Little revision or exam preparation