Friendship and support lead to success for Pocklington School GCSE students



Students at Pocklington School are today celebrating receiving their GCSE results.

After such a turbulent and uncertain year, it was a rewarding moment to be able to celebrate the Fifth Year (Year 11) and their achievements.

With students and staff adapting so well to online learning during the first lockdown, the school was set up and ready for the return to this format. Online lessons were a huge success with excellent attendance and strong interaction throughout. Although everyone would have preferred to be in school, it was reassuring to see learning continue at such a strong level.

Upon return to physical school, this year’s Fifth Year were faced with numerous assessments across all their subjects in order to help facilitate their final grade, this year a Teacher Assessed Grade instead of the end of course exams.

Gareth Hughes, Head of Middle School at Pocklington School said: “I have said this many times in the last few months: I am so very proud of the Fifth Year. Their approach throughout the last few weeks of school, and the daunting number of assessments that they have had to prepare for and complete, has been exemplary. The way that they have adapted and overcome what has been an unbelievably uncertain and challenging time reflects so well on their mindset, character, courage and capabilities. They deserve high praise along with these excellent results. Given the resilience that they have displayed, I am certain they have a bright future in Sixth Form and beyond.”

The students, despite the challenges faced, have risen to the occasion and have been reflecting thoughtfully on the experiences they have been through. Emily Phillips spoke for many of her peers when she said: “Lockdown learning was an unexpected change for everyone in school. However, the support from our teachers never failed and appeared even stronger than ever! That continuous support from our friends and teachers made the experience easier. The community and the spirit of the school atmosphere continued throughout our remote learning and upon our return to school.”

Anna Wraith spoke of a similar experience: “When we went into lockdown, school became very difficult for many reasons, one of them, of course, being that I couldn’t see my friends. Coming back to school was great as I had my friends there to support me, especially when trying to deal with the stress and worry of GCSEs and the uncertainty of how they were going to be assessed this year. I think I would have found the assessments impossible if I didn’t have my friends, family and teachers there to motivate me. This year has definitely brought us together as a year group, and a school, because we have all contributed to keeping each other going through such difficult times.”

GCSE Student Tom McDowell reflected: “Lockdown learning brought many downs with it, mainly the difficulty of seeing friends and being in school like normal, but it also brought a sense of community, together with strong resilience to get through it all together. Everyone was in the same boat and the help and support the teachers provided to help get through it all was a major encouragement to us – to keep pushing on up until we returned to school when the Pock atmosphere could thrive again.”

Isobel Stones said: “Lockdown made me realise how grateful I am for the friends I have made at Pocklington. The mutual support we gave each other lessened the feelings of isolation. I also appreciated the online teaching! Knowing that we had a fully timetabled week stopped the days merging into one and made our time apart pass more quickly.”

Innayat Hashim, Wilberforce Middle School Housemaster commented: “After such a difficult year, and the intensity of the assessment period, it was so heart-warming to hear so many of our Fifth Year talk about the importance of friendship, the support from their teachers and that the togetherness of Pocklington School helped them to get through. They have been a remarkable group to help guide through this year.”

Toby Seth, Headmaster at Pocklington school commented: “Our Fifth Year students have worked tirelessly throughout the whole of their GCSEs. They have coped with the normal challenges associated with these courses and, on top of that, have had to work through the most recent period of pandemic upheaval. Their last six weeks in school were spent working with incredible diligence and determination and they deserve every success in this most unusual of years. Their teachers and I are so very pleased to celebrate with them and we look ahead with great positivity to the next steps in their educational journey.”

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