Thursday, 13 June 2013


My heart sank this week as I read details of the GCSE shake-up that has just been announced in the House of Commons. I didn't do too badly in school, but exams stressed me out massively. I found revision hard, as I just didn't know where to start, and being in the exam the anxiety would rise up and I'd spend most of the time concentrating on calming down, relaxing and not giving in to the panic attack that was imminent.

I did well at school largely because of coursework and modular exams. Knowing the exam I was sitting didn't really matter as it was only 10% of my overall mark made things easier, I could mostly hold off the anxiety and get through the exam with a basic pass mark. Coursework was my strength, I had time to make it excellent. 

My heart sank because of my children. Although their life experiences will be different, and I hope they wont be plagued by the same anxiety that rules my life, they are my children. They have inherited half of my genes and traits. Every person is different. Every person thinks differently, learns differently and remembers differently. This is accepted in the world of work, why isn't this accepted in our schools? Why are we taking away modular exams and coursework when, for people like me, it was the only reason I came away with decent grades. I'm not stupid, I'm quite an intelligent person, but exams are not one of my strengths. Putting someone like me in an exam situation is not the way to determine how much I've learnt!

I get so angry at the pressure placed on children to pass exams, it starts when they are just 7 year old. Most schools get it right, but others place so much pressure on these kids to pass and do well. Does it matter?  Is it crucial to the child's education? 

My mum home-schools Little Bro and will home-school Little Sis. Its something I have been thinking about for a while now and I have to say nothing that Gove has done is filling me with any sort of faith in the state schooling system. 

I don't know if I will home-school Big Girl and Baby Girl, its a decision the husband and I are still considering, but I know I do not want my children being put under immense pressure at such a young age. Home-schooling is looking more and more appealing each time Gove opens his mouth.


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