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10 August 2023

GCSE Retake Success - Evan's Journey

Retaking GCSEs Evans Journey

Ealing Independent College has a great deal of experience in enacting ‘the turnaround’ for students. 

Many students come to us having found school life difficult for a variety of reasons - perhaps it is because they’ve struggled with strict rules, maybe trouble with friendship groups or anxieties related to that or it could be that they’ve found it challenging to learn in a large class - becoming lost in the process.

With small class sizes come numerous opportunities. Teachers can really get to know students, how best to meet their needs and the methods to employ in order to get the very best from them.

Students who have felt that education didn’t work for them previously, become empowered - they can build stronger, closer relationships with teachers who can offer guidance in more depth, more readily. 

There is no great shame in having underperformed the first time around - everyone faces challenges which can be difficult to overcome at certain points in their life. The most important aspect to consider is the response, and how one picks oneself up again.

Evan's Journey To Success After Resitting GCSEs

Evan’s is a typical story of a student who made the best of his second chance. He joined the College having only managed to get 4 C grades in the 10 GCSEs he attempted. He then took on an intensive GCSE course, scoring 6 GCSEs at B or better one year later, and moved on to A Levels, securing a place at Manchester Metropolitan University to study History and Politics.

Overcoming disappointment and ‘growing up’

"I was at a very low point in my life. I was very childish and ended up underachieving at GCSE. I didn’t really have any patience or care for learning. EIC was my second chance. My grades were so much better than expected, but there was much more. I became happy to take responsibility, and became a far more mature student.”

Realising what had gone wrong and making changes

"When you fail something, you grow up quite a lot. I had the realisation of letting down my family members. I realised that you can’t mess around all the time, and you have to take things seriously. I was able to grow up so much at the College.”

Making the best of the extra help on offer

"One of the reasons I struggled was my dyslexia, but EIC was able to help with some specific learning for me. The small classes made such a difference. Whenever I wanted extra help I could go and see someone."

Learning how to learn

"Before I came to the College, I didn’t actually know how to revise, which is one of those things you are just sort of expected to know. I didn’t though. At the College, I realised a lot about the importance of repetition. Now, whenever I have an important presentation, I still use the methods I learned at College now."

Developing a sense of urgency

“I also learned that doing things in advance, and then drafting things several times - it dawned on me that you will get there in the end. You might just have to start a bit earlier.”

Knowing and understanding yourself

“I came to see that you have to mould situations to how you can do them - that you have to become comfortable in the way you intend to succeed. You have to learn this about yourself. The reason I could do that was because I was in a class with a small number of people - not 30.”

Find out more about Evan’s involvement with the College football team, as well as his transformation in maturity and character by listening to the full podcast here.

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