Three years in the past, on the peak of the Covid pandemic and with colleges in England closed to all however essentially the most susceptible pupils, Daniel, 18, obtained up at 3am every morning to finish the distant studying despatched by his college in Leicester. “It was the one time I might get sufficient quiet to do my work,” he mentioned.
“Throughout Covid every morning the varsity would ship out emails with duties to finish. I needed to remain on high of the work, however at house I had no place to check.
“I used to be waking up at 3am, or at the least attempting to, to get some work achieved earlier than everybody else would get up. In any other case I used to be having to do my college work scattered all through the day.”
Again then, Daniel was finding out for GCSEs that by no means occurred, after the exams have been scrapped in 2021. However this 12 months Daniel is ready to search out out his A-level outcomes, alongside a whole bunch of 1000’s of different sixth-formers for whom this was their first expertise of high-stakes public exams.
“I believe it wasn’t good, not having the expertise of GCSEs to attract on. I didn’t know learn how to react going into my A-levels exams; I used to be feeling very anxious and burdened. In order that’s a technique that taking A-levels this 12 months was undoubtedly harder,” he mentioned.
One other problem was the quantity of studying that was missed throughout the early levels of the pandemic, as colleges opted to skip giant chunks of the curriculum.
For college students like Daniel, that meant lacking out on foundational elements of programs. Issues improved final 12 months, when Daniel enrolled at Wyggeston and Queen Elizabeth I state sixth-form school in Leicester, taking French, historical past and maths.
Daniel hopes to check regulation on the College of Warwick if he can meet the entry necessities. Like most of these taking A-levels, Daniel is conscious that high grades are going to be tougher to come back by this 12 months, because of the authorities’s insistence that grades return to the degrees final seen in 2019.
“To me, it’s tough to say how truthful it feels. It’s simply what occurred, that I’m within the cohort the place grades must go all the way down to regular pre-pandemic ranges. I’ve simply obtained to be real looking about that,” he mentioned.
Like most of the college students supported by the Social Mobility Basis, Daniel would be the first in his household to attend college. As a migrant underneath the federal government’s EU resettlement scheme, Daniel doesn’t qualify for upkeep loans, so he must reside at house when his course begins in autumn. A spot at Warwick will imply a one-and-a-half hour journey every approach, altering buses in Coventry – however Daniel says he can’t wait to begin.
“I really feel assured that I’ve obtained the grades that I want. I’m very excited to go to college and to get on to the following step,” Daniel mentioned.