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The Balancing Act: Student stress and future progression in the 2021 exam series with Jill Duffy

In ‘normal times’, exams can be a cause of stress and anxiety for students. Even those students who have studied and you’d think are well prepared are subjected to the mounting pressure. In fact, these abnormal times are no different.

Exams have been replaced with Teacher Assessment; a process that for some feels uncertain and perhaps even out of their control. However, a significant number of schools have finished gathering evidence and many students have been released. But given the interruption to education over the last 12 months and more; have we got the balance right between downtime and catching up?

This week we’re looking at the 2021 exam series and anxiety in the face of assessments.

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Nathan McGurl, Founder of The Study Buddy, is joined by Jill Duffy. Jill is the Chief Exec of OCR. OCR is a leading UK exam awarding body. It provides GCSEs and A Levels in over 40 subjects and offer over 450 vocational qualifications. Jill joined OCR as CEO in November 2018 and has over 25 years of experience in education in various roles across teaching and publishing. 

In this episode we recap the 2021 GCSE and A Level assessment position. We hear about OCR’s driving principles in their approach. Jill discusses the focus on student wellbeing while being mindful of the opportunities to progress to the next FE and HE stages in our teens’ education. We also consider Results Day and how, as parents, we can best support our children in what, for some, might be an anxious event.


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