To Year 11
This week would have been the start of your GCSEs and it is, no doubt, a strange time for you. It’s very strange for your teachers and support staff too. For most of us, for the last 10? 20? 30? (depends on your age) years, May and June have meant booster classes, hours of exam papers and worrying about our students and how they’ll cope.
Of course, it’s different this year. This year there will be no exams and we are all reeling with the change, the familiar has been replaced with the unfamiliar and it is easy to start to feel a little lost in the strangeness of it all.
For some of you it will, no doubt, be a relief to not have to sit exams but this won’t be the case for everyone.
You may feel cheated out of your final months in school and think it’s unfair that you have not had the chance to demonstrate what you know.
GCSEs are a rite of passage – leaving school is a significant event in your life and, due to circumstances no-one could ever have known, the end of school is not what you imagined and planned for.
You probably miss your friends, your school and your old routine (although maybe not the getting up early bit).
All the staff at Merit miss you, even though we ring and teach remotely it’s just not the same. We miss the laughter and the joking, the football games, hearing your stories and seeing you grow stronger and more resilient every day.
Exams only ever told part of the story; they only ever captured academic achievement. You are so much more than an exam grade. They never reflected how far you have come – how you overcame your fear and came into Merit on your first day.
Tests do not measure how you learned to trust your teachers so you could start learning again.
We’ve watched you building shelters and toasting marshmallows on a fire you built yourself, seen you singing and dancing, cooking amazing meals at Feast with Friends and critiquing modern art.
We’ve seen you making new friends and becoming more confident, caring and compassionate young adults.
There is no qualification for courage, although there should be. We have seen your bravery, how you’ve taken steps to leave your comfort zone and move forward to the future you deserve.
We will make sure there is a final farewell celebration and are already looking at how we can plan this safely to commemorate your time with us.
Year 11 – we are so proud of you and all you have become. You continue to amaze us. You’ve got this!
Merit Staff Team