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During this week, students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will be receiving their exam results. Just arriving at this stage in their education is a huge landmark and one that should be celebrated – especially following two years of disruption at the hands of the Covid pandemic.
However, there is bound to be some trepidation about receiving results. What happens if your students don’t get the grades they were hoping for? Or what can they do if they’ve changed their minds about their next step? This is where your tireless work preparing them by developing their essential skills alongside their academic and technical knowledge comes into play.
A lot of students will be considering their results in the context of their predicted grades, expecting to see the same level of achievement. However, for many students this may not be the case. The last time exams were sat, in 2019, only 21% of accepted university applicants achieved or exceeded their predicted grades.
But could the essential skill of self-belief, which you have supported them in developing, be the key to them seeing any adversity as an opportunity?
For many, receiving their exam grades and thinking about what happens next will be their biggest challenge so far; weighing up their options of higher education, apprenticeships or employment can be daunting.
For students who have completed one of our Leadership Qualifications or Programmes alongside their academic studies, the essential skills they will have developed could be more helpful to them now than ever before. Any students feeling anxious or overwhelmed could benefit from the resilience and confidence built through the leadership skill programmes.
At the heart of all of our leadership programmes is our Skills Framework, which identifies the most in-demand skills according to employers: Teamwork, Communication, Problem Solving, Self-Management and Self-Belief.
On their own, each of these skills will have helped students to prepare for their exams and feel ready for their assessment. During your teaching of developing leadership skills students learn to assess the options available to them and choose a path of action, The ability to weigh up the positives and negatives of any alternatives will be a skill that will be used throughout their future.
The self belief and problem solving skills developed will be essential when receiving their results and taking stock of their future choices. If they do not achieve the grades they may have hoped for or needed to secure their first-choice university place, this can feel like a huge setback. However, with confidence in their abilities and the resolve to choose a new direction, their future path doesn’t need to be scary – it could even be a fresh chance to assess the options available and choose a new, better route.
It's a good time to remind ourselves that university admission isn’t always about grades alone. Despite only a fifth of 2019 students achieving or exceeding their expected grades, 86% of 18-year-olds in the UK who applied to UCAS took up a higher education place. At the point where universities decide to make an offer or accept a student, they will generally consider all the information presented as part of a UCAS application, including the personal statement, references and additional learning.
Including leadership qualifications.
Essential Leadership skills play an important role in helping young people to realise their potential and demonstrate their abilities. They provide learners with the confidence to put their knowledge into practice in a variety of situations and to be effective in a team, whether they are leading or working collaboratively.
These kind of attributes are essential for young people, whatever their next step in life is. Having focused on developing these skills alongside their academic studies gives students not just the theoretical understanding of their subjects, but the practical ability to apply their learning in real life situations.
So, whether students receiving their grades this week have achieved their predicated grades or if they’ve not quite hit the levels they hoped, there is always opportunity.
With self-belief and confidence in their back pocket, they have every reason to celebrate their journey so far and feel optimistic about the future. We can’t wait to see where their journey takes them.
Students receiving their results this week should check out this open letter from the Department for Education, which outlines some options for learners and provides links to some valuable resources.
Qualifications and Awards from SLQ Sports Leaders help young people realise their potential by preparing them for the next step in their learning journey. Find out more about our most popular courses here.
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