As we approach the day your teenager has been working towards their entire school career, the message from experts is simple: don’t panic.
The colour-coded revision time table has long since been ripped off the wall and the seemingly endless exams have all been sat. As an all-too-brief summer draws to a close, breath is baited as your teen waits to open their GSCE result envelopes on 24 August.
It can be hard to gauge how your teenager is feeling at the best of times, let alone when they are stressed. Donna Taylor, applications team leader at Kirklees College, has offered us an insight into common emotions students feel as they await their results – and how to respond supportively.
How can I support my teen in the run up to results day?
“Your son or daughter is probably starting to get anxious and stressed waiting for their results and hoping they get what they expected. You may need to support and reassure them prior to results day.
“Not getting the perfect marks is not the end of the world. They will still have many opportunities to succeed even if they don’t get their first choice of college.”
What if they don’t get the grades?
“Don’t panic. At that age, sometimes they can’t see any further than right now, but there will always be a way of getting to where they want to be, even if they didn’t get the grades they were hoping for. They just might need to take a different route to get the career they wanted.
“Most schools will have career advisors there on results day. Make sure your son or daughter uses them to discuss all their options.
“Talk through all the options with them. Don’t let them get disheartened: whether they have received the grades they wanted or not there is something out there that is right for them.
“If they have an admissions appointment to enrol at college, they should still attend this. Expert staff will be on hand to talk through all the options available and support them in making the right choice for them.
“If they didn’t achieve GCSE at grade 4 or above in English and maths, these can be re-taken alongside their chosen qualification and their college will support them to pass.”
What if I don’t agree with what they want to do next?
“I know it can be tough if your son or daughter wants to take a route you don’t necessarily agree with. Parents can have an image of what their child should be doing, but it’s important to be a little bit open minded and let them follow their own road.
“Consider what might suit your son or daughter best. ‘A’ Levels are one option but there are many vocational qualifications and apprenticeship options on offer which may lead directly to the career they are interested in and can still lead onto higher education, if that’s what they want.
“Try not to let your vision for their success cloud your judgment. They need to make the right choice for them.”
What should I avoid saying?
“Don’t dwell on the past and what your son or daughter could or should have done, like more revision or less going out. It will only frustrate you both and leave your son or daughter feeling like they have failed. Focus on the future and making the right choices now.”
Kirklees College will be open for enrolment from Tuesday, August 29, 9 am to noon.
For more information, visit https://www.kirkleescollege.ac.uk