Ashfield School, Sutton-in-Ashfield

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everyone in some way but for GCSE students the affect on their learning and last years of school has been particularly hard.

Academically, many students argue they have been disadvantaged by their disrupted learning with many months spent home learning through a computer or tablet screen.

Kerry Shawcroft, Year 11 Achievement Leader at Ashfield School in Sutton-in-Ashfield, says the year has been a tough experience for both teachers and students.

“Covid hugely disrupted them as a year group, and disrupted their routines. Although they received online learning, it’s not as good as what it would be face-to-face.”

“It’s been crammed trying to get my revision in.”
Owen, Year 11 student from Nottinghamshire

Owen, a year 11 student from Nottinghamshire, states how assessments have been changed for his year group.

“You’re off school for so long then told you need to revise for assessments at the end of your school year after being told it would only be teacher grades. It’s been crammed trying to get my revision in.”

As well as being affected academically, students have been isolated from their friends for months and missed out on all the social aspects of being a student.

Sports days, leavers ceremonies, reward trips and international trips have all been cancelled making the last year at secondary school very different.

“Some of them are so desperate for social interaction,” says Kerry Shawcroft, “with some students returning to school and forgetting about Covid restrictions because they are craving being around their friends so much.”

“Some students don’t want to leave school because they’re terrified of the world out there.”
Kerry Shawcroft, Year 11 Achievement Leader, Ashfield School

The aftermath and lasting impact of this disrupted learning is also a worry for parents and teachers.

As school comes to an end students are moving into sixth form, college or apprenticeships but worried about how prepared they are after the disrupted and challenging past year.

If you’re a student or parent of a student who is worried about leaving school, you can advice and support here.

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