We often talk about September being a fresh start and a chance to start things anew. For students going into Year 10, September really does offer this opportunity as they embark on their own more focused and personalised journey of education. For many, it’s the first turning into their own educational path, which will lead to them pursuing a dream career, job or University destination. Having selected their own option subjects, students have the space and time to follow the subjects that truly inspire and motivate them, which is an exciting prospect.
However, with greater educational freedom comes a demand for our students to take increased responsibility over their learning and progress. In most subjects, topics studied at the start of the GCSE course are equally important to those encountered at the end. This, therefore, means that consistency of effort and application are key to ensuring success at the end of Year 11. One of our key points of focus for the year, therefore, is to equip students with efficient study skills, ensuring organisation, time management, revision strategies and academic resilience emerge. As students mature across the year, it is also important to target their critical thinking abilities so that they are confident to question sources of information and where their opinions and attitudes might be influenced.
We’re also aware the Year 10 marks a move away from the familiarity of teaching groups that have been the bedrock of friendships in Years 7 – 9, as classes change. Again, it’s positive to see this in the context of a new start.
Finally, our last focus for the year is going to be on a seemingly random number: 86,400. Imagine you that you have a bank account that is credited with £86,400 every day, but every evening anything that isn’t used is lost, only to be topped up again with the same amount the next morning. In actual fact, we all have this ‘account’ as every new day we receive 86,400 seconds and the time we don’t use is lost forever. This analogy, by French writer Marc Levy, is one which we will be well-quoted and discussed with our Year 10 students: they need to make the most of every lesson and every day, not only to ensure their success in the classroom but also to make the most of all the fantastic opportunities, trips and experiences on offer, week in and week out at Westholme.