As covid begins to resurface, and rumours of schools closing down circle, will exams be cancelled yet again? What exactly do the students think about this potentially happening and what effects does it have on them if they will have to miss school.

Winter is approaching. More people are getting ill, spreading germs and leaving more bacteria in indoor places. A new variant, the Omicron variant from South Africa, has arrived in the UK, and yet again the government is trying to enforce measures that people thought were far in the past. It feels as if we are going backwards again, where people are remembering a similar situation this time last year, where schools were really struggling and were forced to shut down. Then a few months later, the 2021 exams were cancelled. I was in year 11 during this time and from first hand experience, I would say there was not nearly enough clarification from anyone until the last minute, causing unnecessary stress built up on us. I fear this may also be happening again with the current years who are hopeful to do their exams in 2022.

So far, the government has issued some extra help for those doing exams in the summer of 2022 and have made a contingency plan in the case of the exams being cancelled due to the pandemic; however, is this really enough to give students full clarification on what’s going on? Is there any change from the two previous years in which exams were cancelled?

Here, Hannah Williams (The Holy Cross School year 11), gives her opinion on the situation: “I’d hope that by now the department of education would realise how hard it has been for students never knowing what is going to be thrown at them next. I have struggled to keep up with school at home and yet we are still given mountains of work. It isn’t just an academic problem, it’s an emotional problem too. Cancelling exams just makes it harder to fight for the grades we deserve.”

And here another view from a student at The Holy Cross School (year 11): “Exams are not all about stress and cramming an entire year’s work into an hour behind a desk. It is an opportunity to display our understanding and comprehension without the interruption of the classroom. By potentially cancelling our year 11 exams, students are forced to stray from what we have been preparing for for the last four academic years (GCSEs that we have been getting ready to take since we can remember), which can only ultimately cause stress. A different kind of stress: the fear of the unknown.”