Normally at this time of year I would be typing a cheery, congratulatory sort of a post which is supposed to remind my students of all their hard work and how it has now paid off. We all know that this year is different and I don't think it's too controversial to say that the grading of A-Levels this year has been less than ideal.
For those of you who have received the grades you need to move forward - congratulations! For those of you who haven't - please understand that we ALL KNOW that it is not a reflection on you or your hard work. Universities are being encouraged to be flexible and I suspect that for some years to come we will be remembering this year group with sympathy and understanding.
I am raging on your behalf though I and I totally understand if you are feeling that the system has let you down: it has. Once the rage has settled though, there are positives that we must take from this. The most important is that, regardless of your grade, you have learned skills and ideas that you didn't have two years ago. Your writing has become more fluid and coherent; your analysis is more pointed and detailed; your knowledge is widened. These are the things that the exams are supposed to measure but you can display them in other ways every time you write a report or you carry out research you are using the skills you developed. We can finally stop thinking that success is purely about a clutch of letters in the middle of August and instead remember the REAL point of all this.
You are a better person that you were two years ago. You have knowledge and experience that you didn't have before. This generation of students has been through more than any other in the past eighty years and yet still seems to spend most of its time trying to make the world a better place. You work harder than previous generations and you know more. And we are all incredibly proud of you.