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Handling GCSE results day: A guide for students, parents and teachers

GCSE results day is a significant milestone in every student's educational journey. It's a day filled with excitement, nerves, and anticipation as students, parents, and teachers eagerly await the outcome of years of hard work and dedication. To be ready for tomorrow, it's essential to be prepared emotionally and practically. In this guide, we will offer valuable advice for students, parents, and teachers to navigate GCSE results day with confidence and positivity.

For students:

Stay calm and positive:

As the day draws in, it's natural to feel a mix of emotions. Remember that your worth is not solely determined by your grades. Stay positive and remind yourself that you've put in your best effort. There may be feelings of anxiety, which is a healthy and natural response in a high-pressure environment. Remember to take some deep breaths, and remember you have done the best you can.

Support system:

Reach out to friends, family, or your teachers who can provide emotional support before picking up your results, and after. Share your feelings with them and remember that they are there to celebrate your achievements, no matter the outcome. You might feel stressed tonight in the lead up to results, so make sure you are talking to your support system about your feelings. They are there to help.

Consider next steps:

Regardless of the results, have a rough idea of what your next steps might be. Whether it's continuing to A-levels, vocational courses, or apprenticeships, having a plan can ease post-results uncertainty and any anxiety you may have.

Appeals and advice:

If you're disappointed with your results, remember that there are options. You can discuss your options with teachers tomorrow, who can provide guidance on re-sits or appeals if necessary.

For parents:

Be supportive:

On results day, your child might be experiencing a whirlwind of emotions. Offer a listening ear and a comforting presence, regardless of the outcome. Remember they have spent years studying for these exams and they will most likely be anxious and nervous.

Manage expectations:

Every student's journey is unique. Encourage your child that you know they tried their best, but also emphasise that their worth is not solely tied to their grades. Some of the most successful business people didn’t get good grades. Grades do not determine success in life.

Explore options:

If the results are not as expected, research alternative pathways such as vocational courses, apprenticeships, or re-sits. Discuss these options with your child and help them make informed decisions. A-levels don’t suit everyone, and it’s okay for you to guide your child into making the right decision for themselves.

Celebrate the day:

Whether the results are outstanding or not, acknowledge the hard work and effort your child put in during their GCSE studies. Celebrate their dedication. Treat them to a meal out after, or an activity. They might want to celebrate with their friends. Celebrate with them how they wish to.

For teachers:

Be prepared and supportive:

On results day, be available to offer support to your students. Have information ready about post-results services, re-sits, and any available guidance. For students disappointed with their results, offer advice on potential next steps. Discuss their options and help them see the possibilities beyond their current situation.

Celebrate achievements:

Congratulate your students on their successes. Share in their joy and highlight the progress they've made throughout their studies. These results have been a long time coming, and they will appreciate you congratulating them as you were part of their journey.

Emotional support:

Some students might be struggling with their emotions on results day. Be understanding and provide a safe space for them to express their feelings. For students that may be anxious, remind them that this feeling won’t last. If you can see a distressed and upset student, check on whether they need a quiet space.

Remember that GCSEs are just one part of a larger educational journey, and there are numerous pathways to success. Support, understanding, and planning are key to making the most out of this important day. We wish everyone the best of luck.

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