A Level results day is always somewhat of an emotional rollercoaster; even the most resilient are a little nervous, and this applies to students, their parents and their teachers alike.
It’s such an important summative culmination of each student’s educational journey to date, and there is a lot riding on the three letters that greet you when the envelope is opened. This was amplified this year because, for the most part, exam modules are a thing of the past and, in the new linear world, students get just one chance to put their best foot forward. This is of course good preparation for the real world, but it does add to the unpredictability of the outcomes. Many students log onto UCAS Tracking first thing in the morning; this tells them whether or not they have been accepted onto their preferred university course, after which the actual results become less important. Others prefer to make the journey to school, walk into the sixth form common room one last time, and open the results letter for all to be revealed. It’s tense stuff!
With our sixth form team and heads of department on hand to deal with the exam queries that follow, I have the privilege of being there to observe proceedings and to talk to people, about their results, their summer holidays, their next steps, and so on. More and more I have come to appreciate the special nature of the relationships that have been forged between student and teacher, over the course of the sixth form. The genuine warmth and affection is a lovely thing to witness and is a real strength of our school. It’s born out of the huge amount of time spent together inside and outside the classroom and out of a mutual respect that has developed; a constant refrain from our school leavers is about the generosity of teachers who give so much of their time to support each individual.
The prayer of Oscar Romero called “Prophets of a future not our own” really resonates at this time; it includes these words which apply beautifully to the role of the teacher,
“We plant the seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities.”
On results day the teachers see all of that laid before them; the foundations they have helped to put in place, the students they have nurtured, academically and pastorally, and the huge potential that they have inspired. As we set these young people on their next phase of their lives it is wonderful to read the words of the Truronian, our alumni magazine, which contains exciting stories of our alumni’s next steps. The role that all at Truro School plays in these young people’s lives is plain to see and wonderfully affirming.
So often, when you ask a student about their abiding memories of school, they will talk about the blisters they got on DoE expedition, their nervousness on opening night of the play, their pride at representing school in sport, debating and other competitions, or the lessons they learnt about leadership. They will all talk about their friends. Education is about balance and our mission will always be to educate each dimension of the boys and girls in our care, mind, body and spirit, and to really ensure we “develop confident, tolerant and enthusiastic young people who enjoy working with others and are ready to influence the world”. I have no doubt whatsoever that the Class of 2018 are ready to do just that and I am very proud of all that they have achieved.
Good luck to you all in your future endeavours and please do keep in touch.