One or More Directions

I can’t say how Year 11 students in the UK are doing overall. But from what I do hear right now – from our own reporter on the ground, it’s pretty grim.

Lockdown conditions are hard – but particularly difficult for kids who are in their exam years. They should be studying. A lot of them stay up late at night. Real late. Lulu herself who is four hours behind – she talks to some of her friends at 10pm her time.

‘Why are you stopping them from sleeping?’ I say, annoyed with her.

I get the eye roll back. ‘Because they don’t start school until 2pm.’

Really? They aren’t starting school until almost the end of the school day? That is grim. And when you think about the kids who might have slid off the ends of the educational spectrum if it wasn’t for the consistency of attending school. Those kids got to be sliding right now?

It’ll be interesting to see what happens when the pandemic is over. Although I’m starting to believe those memes which say the end of the pandemic will be the same as when One Direction get back together. They won’t get back together. At the same time, it’s heartening to read a recent publicised letter by a UK headteacher. “We know our pupils are safe, loved and cared for and that is the most important thing at the moment.”

We’ve been waiting a week to hear whether Lu can start her A Levels back in mainstream school in September without first sitting her IGCSE exams. Normally, the answer would be a straight no. Because Lu’s exam board is the only one I know of still not cancelling exams in the early summer though, and we’ve decided to concentrate on getting home then as safely as possible, Lu won’t be sitting her exams until November.

I wrote to our local school last week to ask.

‘Have they written yet?’ Lu kept asking. Then yesterday, she became fed up. Not with that specifically, but it seemed a coincidence. I.e. not a coincidence. She needed to know.

I wrote to our school to ask again this morning. Can she start in September without taking her exams until November? The answer came back in minutes this time. Yes, they said. In fact, pupils are choosing their options for A Levels this week. If we’d like to also choose, they’d add her name to the list.

We did choose her A Level options – and sent them. Although Lu didn’t say much, she cheered up loads. And she studied tonight on her own volition. I had to blink to believe it. Indeed, it reminded me that kids and perhaps adults do well with direction. Even if we never see One Direction again. We got direction.

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