There is a lot of uncertainty at the moment with Lu’s exams – which in normal times can be pretty stressful for the average 16 year old. Lu is due to sit exams next year. This year’s UK Year 11’s didn’t sit GCSEs at all of course, because of the pandemic. Students were given final marks based on their teachers’ predictions.
For InterHigh this became a huge turnaround. Usually their IGCSEs are a 100% exam-based mark. This year they were an 100% teacher’s mark.
We had a parent-teacher’s meeting today. It was an informative thing for the school to do. They briefed us on last year’s exam experience. I didn’t realise how strict it had been. For the majority of kids couldn’t submit any work for consideration – after March. Every piece of their work was not knowing this pre-Covid homework would contribute to their final mark. Finally the bad karma for the kid who didn’t do their homework.
We feel fortunate Lulu wasn’t in that boat. She’s in a different boat instead. Right now it seems all bets are off whether exams will go ahead. The school want them to, but whether they will or not – or if they’ll be delayed – is anyone’s guess.
The main objective for Lu in the short term, the school said today, is to try and do well with the upcoming mock exams. They’ll use this mark if exams are cancelled – to help give a final grade. Turns out that mocks may not be mocks anymore, in the strictest sense. Right now, the mocks are potentially two things. They are just for practice if final exams go ahead. If exams are cancelled again, they’re real exams.
For InterHigh, this means doing mocks at home in exam room-style conditions. Last year’s end-of-year exams were the same. Closed book. We are set to have an intense week on Quest beginning the 16th of November.
Exam-wise, I’d been hoping we could register in a back-up exam centre in the UK in case Bermuda doesn’t work out. I was told today that an exam candidate can’t do that. We have to go with one exam centre or with another. Which of course is fine, until there’s a problem with Bermuda. We couldn’t fly home then and let Lu do her exams in the UK. According to the exam board, she’d be registered in Bermuda.
What if Bermuda’s borders do close again, or if they delay the exams, as the Government is considering? This exam delay makes sense for the majority of kids in mainstream school who need to catch up on curriculum content. It puts Quest however, square in a hurricane zone during hurricane season. Anything later than mid-June exam-wise and we’ve lost our wriggle room.
I came out of the meeting befuddled. Right now I think we’ll be lucky if we can pull this off at all. Maybe I should have known better to mix adventure with real life.