St Albans pupil shares his experience of changes to A-Levels due to lockdown

Jack Morse, a Year 13 student at Townsend School in St Albans, has shared his experiences of A-Level

Jack Morse, a Year 13 student at Townsend School in St Albans, has shared his experiences of A-Levels being cancelled this year. Picture: Townsend School - Credit: Archant

With A-Level results judged differently due to coronavirus, Year 13 Townsend student Jack Morse shared his experiences of the unusual exam season.

Back in March, COVID-19 was just beginning to threaten everyone’s lives. Prior to this, coronavirus was just another headline in an infinity of other media scares.

The prospect of exams being cancelled – a full blown lockdown of the world seemed utterly unlikely and completely off the table.

I remember going to school at the beginning of March, and coronavirus constantly being a topic of conversation, but it didn’t stop us preparing for our exams this summer – as far as we were concerned, they were still going ahead.

Yet on Wednesday, March 18 I remember coming home from school feeling somewhat different. That day at school had been strangely exciting: was the government really about to cancel our real exams?

I was adamant it could never happen, yet most of my peers were beginning to face the bitter reality I struggled to swallow.

It must have been 5 o’clock that evening, I stood in my living room and Boris Johnson approached his podium. What followed next was completely surreal; ‘This summer’s exams will be cancelled’ and ‘schools will close’ were the headlines bannered over our screens.

Most Read

Things always feel different when they actually happen, and when it sank in I was deeply disappointed. I want to make it clear:

I do not blame our government; I do not blame anyone.

But hindsight is the brightest torch, and to be honest, I think even Mr Johnson knows schools should have been handled differently. Leadership of a country must be insanely difficult, but this difficult situation has hopefully exposed weaknesses in strategies now, so that the same mistakes won’t be made again, you would hope!

Life shows us that ‘everything will be okay in the end, and if it’s not okay, then it’s not the end’. As tough as this situation has been, young people must not allow it to drag our generation down. We have experienced something that we hopefully will never see again, but that means that youngsters have got experiences that other generations don’t, and that is what we should take away from this pandemic. Let it strengthen us, because now, snowflakes have experienced hardship, and come out stronger for it.

For me A-Levels were like preparing to run my best ever mile, but being forced to stop at just 1,500m.