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Minister wishes exam students well 25 May 2012

THE Minister for Education and Children is wishing the Island’s students well as they sit the exams that will shape their futures.

Peter Karran MHK says his thoughts are with students who are at this pivotal point in their lives. Empty exam hall

Nine hundred Year 11 students across the Island’s five secondary schools are sitting GCSE (and equivalent) examinations, with nearly 50 subjects covered. A further 800 Year 12 and 13 (sixth form) students have started AS and A2 exams, which together make up GCE A levels, in approximately 40 subjects.

In addition, more than 900 full-time and 4,000 part-time students at the Isle of Man College of Further and Higher Education are settling down to exams or completing their courses in subjects ranging from Level 1 through to MBA.

In the schools, exams continue until late June, although exam boards have factored in a break for half term in the UK, which coincides with schools in the Island being closed for TT. In addition to GCSEs and A levels, many students have been working towards equivalent qualifications such as BTECs or Diplomas and these may have no final exam component. Coursework assignments have already been submitted or are due in.

Minister Karran said:

‘There is one sense in which exam results are not the key outcome of the education system. Producing rounded, well-balanced young people with a positive attitude to learning, resilience and strong self-management, as well as the ability to work with others and reflect on their own learning, is as important for our schools as exam results.
‘But no-one in the education system doubts the significance of success in external qualifications as a means of opening gateways and affording choices for our young people.’

Last year 54 per cent of 16-year-olds stayed on in school sixth forms. A further 32 per cent joined the Isle of Man College of Further and Higher Education.

Sixth forms predominantly offer A level courses and only those students who do well at GCSE can be expected to cope with more demanding A levels.

Many further education courses at the Isle of Man College of Further and Higher Education have a minimum entry requirement. Jobs available at 16 may also impose qualification requirements.

Any 16-year-old who gains five GCSEs at higher grades (A*-C), including English and maths, has every choice open: A levels in the sixth form, a full choice of courses at the College or an excellent chance of employment.

Students with more modest results will find some doors closed to them at this time, although they may study further and gain better qualifications.

Minister Karran said:

‘This is a busy time of the year for students and school staff alike and we shouldn’t forget parents, who are providing valuable support to their children at this crucial time and are probably assisting with the revision.
‘I wish our young people and our adult learners every success at this important time for them. I would urge them all to prepare themselves thoroughly, maintain their focus and do their best. The better their results, the more choices they have and the more control they have over their futures.’

A level and equivalent results will be released on 16th August and GCSE and equivalent results on 23rd August.

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