Last year it was a boy who was predicted a U for his English GCSE, now it’s a girl who is frightened about her SATs tests.
Exam results are such a badge of honour for schools and those who manage them that children are made to feel that failure of any sort is inexcusable. Fortunately for me things were very different when O-levels loomed over the horizon. During my two weeks study leave I read the entire James Bond canon and was so relaxed that I passed seven out of eight subjects; I had been expected to fail five of them. The one subject I did fail, English lit, I re-sat ten years later. Soon I had a 2/1 degree from London and a post as an examiner for that subject.
The boy worked through the first six chapters of a new text book I have written, a book that focuses on good English rather than the minutiae of examinations. He passed with a C. The girl likes the look of the book and is already overcoming her fear.