Debate Opinion School and exam experiences Tia, who is doing work experience with Children England, writes that a change in how schools support young people to learn is well overdue. Every young person is expected to sit their GCSEs when school comes to an end in their final year of schooling. Some students excel in their exams and some don’t. Unfortunately, I am one of the students that didn’t do the best in my exams. I studied so hard and turned up to my revision lessons and put in all the work I could possibly do – and I believe it was the lack of support my school was giving me that let me down and I know I’m not the only one. In my lessons I was performing well, expected to pass all my exams with flying colours. But I only passed two which were sociology and English literature. When we had mocks coming up I would freeze and all the knowledge that I learnt suddenly vanished, leaving me with low grades at the end. While these events were happening I thought I was just a student who was struggling a little more than others - but my teachers should have picked up that I was doing well in class but not so well in exams. At the start of year 11, I had a mentor who I would see every Friday for a meeting. But the mentor stopped seeing me in January – right at the start of the most crucial 5 months leading up to my exams, when time goes really quickly and you need to revise. Schools need to change the way they help their students because every student is different and comes from a different background with different circumstances. Students can get anxious during exam season, feel depressed or stressed. Yet a teacher will just throw knowledge at a student and think that will be enough. We need to change the education system as it isn’t working for all students: we’re evolving as humans and other factors of the world around us are evolving - so why aren’t schools? They’ve stayed the same for hundreds of years. Some people might argue and say that schools have the ‘Hidden Curriculum’ which, yes they do, but that only covers so much to a certain degree. The Hidden Curriculum is what teachers teach you beside their subject, for example making sure students show up on time to their lessons, teaching them manners and how to act in a formal surrounding. This helps students later in life when they’re getting a job but doesn’t help them while they’re young and still trying to figure out who they are as an individual and what they want to do with their lives. Schools are too exam based and put a lot of pressure on young people. I am now at college doing my first year studying business administration; for my course there are no exams, just all coursework which I personally find a lot better and don’t feel stressed when I enter college. College is a lot more relaxed and less stressful than school but you still get disciplined if you do something wrong. Here is a powerful video about how schools need to change and how they’re impacting students as a whole and how it makes them feel. The point I found captivating was that schools today are the same as schools were a century ago but nothing else was the same a century ago. The video puts in to perspective how blinded we have been by schools as we think they are the best way to help our students go further in life.