08 August 2022

Options Open - GCSE Retakes

Options Open - GCSE Retakes

In the article last week, we explored the extensive powers of the College in turning lives around. This week, the theme is extended to GCSEs. 

At Ealing, several students have come to us at the age of sixteen or seventeen who have, for whatever reason, lost their way. Perhaps anxiety got the best of them in the run up to the exams; possibly they were befallen by misfortune like a family tragedy; or maybe it was down to the fact that they simply did not work hard enough during the academic year, condemning themselves to disappointment come results day.

The following week or so, which leads up to the start of the next academic year, many concerned students and parents visit the College for a consultation on the options open to them for moving forward in education.

Resitting the GCSE year carries with it a personal battle. The student first has to reconcile with the reality of where they are in terms of their career aspirations as opposed to the perception of where they should be. It can also be extremely difficult to accept failure and then adopt a solution based mindset aimed at getting themselves back on track.

Sometimes setbacks can make one stronger however.

The College provides the chance of a fresh start. Within it: 

  • Students experience a new approach to teaching and learning - with fewer students in classes, and so more teacher-student one to one time which accelerates progress.
  • Students enjoy an environment geared entirely towards academic development and self-empowerment in supportive surroundings. This can be truly transformative.
  • Parents are offered a far more inclusive partnership at Ealing - where any problems in the approach of their children can be identified more quickly, with strategies to overcome these difficulties employed more exhaustively to ensure success.

If such a change was offered within the same environment, it most likely wouldn’t take. 

Students simply may be given to complacency. At Ealing, it is very difficult not to get swept away in the rigorous culture of the College. The friendliness and openness at EIC is all encompassing. Students settle, grow and move forward with startling ease.

Most students who join at this age notice the difference immediately, and many have reported a complete mindset shift, a rebirth which can be elusive to explain.

However it happens, whatever the way they find renewed motivation, several of our students have undergone such a transformation.

Resitting GCSE Success Stories 

Evan is an excellent example of someone who completely turned their life around at Ealing Independent College. Having underperformed at a larger independent school, recording only a few GCSEs at a pass level, Evan admits that he was simply not mature enough to fulfil his great potential. Taking advantage of everything which the College offered, Evan emerged having not only accomplished a strong set of GCSE grades, but continued into A Levels and then onto university, but with far more self-confidence. His contribution to the College football team also retains legendary status.

Abdulaziz was a student with a passion for politics. A member of the youth parliament, and a local Labour Party activist, his underperformance at GCSE was largely down to simply not receiving the appropriate levels of support to get the best out of him. A year spent transforming his GCSE grades led to A Levels in Sociology, Arabic and Politics - and then a degree at Queen Mary, University of London. Now a freelance journalist with expertise in the Middle East, he acknowledges the support and care put in at EIC to help him get to where he is today.

Balgees is a former student who really struggled with confidence before coming to the College. Having the knowledge that her brothers prospered during their time with us, Balgees came to the College seeking guidance on how to reach her ambitions. With a tremendously dedicated approach, she made some huge improvements in her GCSEs, before studying Sociology, Business Studies and Psychology at A Level. Leaving EIC as a confident and go-getting student, she completed a degree in Criminology at the University of Kent, before moving into the financial sector.

Riyal was a superb student at EIC, though not a conventional retake or resit candidate. Having had to help support her family abroad, her studies had to be curtailed. When the time came for her to re engage, she chose Ealing, largely due to the fact that the College offered an intensive year, opening up the possibility of attaining strong grades in half the time of a normal course, with the right application. Riyal supplied that, and then some. Being rewarded all A and A* grades, and then moving on to study A Levels in English Literature, Biology and Chemistry, she also proved herself adept at this level. An MPharm graduate from UCL, she is bound for great things. 

For some students, getting to where they want to be can sometimes be a complicated and convoluted process. There can be twists and turns, disappointments and setbacks. But such a process can be hugely character building.

Ealing Independent College helps to build that character - and can set students up not only to improve grades at GCSE, but to extend their studies further into areas they simply never thought possible.

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