When choosing a school you will hear a lot about exams, which is as it should be. At Sidcot our approach to exams is informed by our Quaker values: we look at them in the context of a student’s life and well being.
It matters to us that exam choices come from a love of learning and a consideration of individual values, not from anxiety about competitiveness.
We don’t ask our students to make exam decisions before they are ready to do so. We give them time and space to find out who they are and what kind of future they want. We encourage them to explore their interests and consider where their strengths lie and what truly motivates them. They reflect and discuss their observations with their tutor, in an atmosphere that isn’t pressurised or judgemental.
When our students do make their choices about which exams to take - whether GCSE, A Levels or IB - they are motivated and engaged, and that, we believe is the key to their success at Sidcot: our exams speak for themselves.
Coffee and calculus
Our ‘Maths Gym’ is just a small example of our approach to exams. Run by a member of the maths department, this pre-exam ‘workout’ gives students a chance to limber up mentally with a few maths puzzles over a croissant on the morning of the exam. It’s lighthearted with a serious aim; a way for students to calm themselves and feel supported by friends and staff in the period directly before a test. It’s very popular with the students and has a transformative effect on the atmosphere in the subsequent exam.