Summer exams are finished. You have celebrated to your heart’s content. Now it’s time for summer celebrations and holidays. The sun shines (relentlessly, of course), making your July and August days so, so bright. You are happy, you are relaxed, and all that is left to worry about is exam results day in late August. Summer is your own and you are free to have fun!
For many, the period following summer exams in Year 11 is a time of bliss. You don’t have to revise. You are no longer getting up at the crack of dawn to attend early morning catch-up classes. Time is your own. It’s great to relax, to meet friends, to spend hard-earned money on frappuccinos and to loll around all day, sleeping for as long as you want. But looming just around the corner is sixth form. Year 12. Lower sixth, or whatever else you want to call it. So what, you may think; I will deal with it when it comes, I’m not thinking about it until early September. Well, that’s fine, to an extent, but a little bit of forward thinking could make the next stage of your education all the more enjoyable (and hopefully, a bit easier to manage.)
You might have pre-reading to do. Find out when you go to an induction day. It is likely that you will have some tasks to do – things that will help to ease you into the rigours of A-Levels from GCSEs. So, do a bit, little and often. If you do a bit every day, it will seem like less of a tough mountain to climb and more like something that will support your learning. If you are studying a course like English Literature, get reading nice and early. After all, sitting under a tree in dappled sunlight reading Pride and Prejudice is likely to be much more enjoyable than skim-reading late at night just before term starts. Plan ahead – and remember, little and often.
Now, when it comes to reading, don’t forget you can read for pleasure – even if you aren’t taking your English Literature studies further than GCSE. Spend some time in your local library. See what’s on the best-seller lists, or the books that win countless awards. Reading is a perfect way to spend summer days.
The time between GCSEs and starting the next stage of your education is a time to relax, refresh and replenish. But it is also a time to get prepared – and we all know the aphorism that to fail to prepare is to prepare to fail. So, don’t let this apply to you!