Students up and down the country are unsure of what lies ahead as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
Many in the country are adjusting to a new lifestyle which does not involve a full school day, while some have waved goodbye to their schools months earlier than anticipated.
Students have been describing how the current lockdown is affecting their day-to-day life.
One is Mariam Sorour, who is concerned about having to do set work electronically at home. She said: “I don’t know how I’m meant to learn weeks of A-level content on my own.”
As with many educational institutions, the learning has been shifted to online, and students can only communicate and receive their set work from their teachers via platforms such as email.
Mariam is a year 12 student, studying her A-levels at the Priory Academy LSST in Lincoln. She should currently be undertaking mock examinations in order to determine her predicted grades – which will affect her applications to university.
Mariam is doing work for three subjects, biology, mathematics and business studies.
The issue, however, is that much of the content is new and can be difficult to understand without direct help in the classroom from a teacher and with the mock examinations likely to be held when schools reopen. However, with there being uncertainty around the reopening of schools, it can make it harder to prepare the mocks. Mariam said: “I’m expected to have mocks when I get back, that are important.”
Year 12 student Mariam Sorour speaks about her A-levels
Daniel Fergus is a Year 11 student who attends Cheslyn Hay Academy in Wolverhampton. In normal circumstances, he would currently be spending his time preparing for his GCSE exams. However, with no school and no exams to revise for, he has been finding other ways to spend his time at home.
Daniel has been spending more time with his older brother, where they have been training and working out together. He said: “This has helped the days go by faster and keep me fit and healthy during the lockdown.”
Another burden of the lockdown is the inability to meet and socialise with friends. To get around this, Daniel has been using video calling services such as Facetime and Zoom to keep in touch with his friends.
Year 11 student Daniel Fergus giving his opinion on how grades will be allocated
The government has made no decision on when schools will reopen, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has said.
He also mentioned what efforts the government is making to help students and in particular those who are disadvantaged.
The government is promoting 180 online lessons per week, which are designed by teachers and educational organisations and are aimed at pupils from reception to year 10.
Some disadvantaged students will be allowed to borrow laptops in order to do their work and 4G routers were promised to help families stay connected to the internet.
On April 29th, 2020 Mr. Williamson said that the reopening of schools would take place in a “phased manner”. However, he gave no details as to which pupils may return first.