GCSE Life at Croxley Danes School by a Year 10 Student

Our Year 10 cohort of students are half way through their first year of the GCSE curriculum. Below is an article from Yousuf, who is now fully immersed in this period of ‘GCSE Life’ and reflecting upon his experience so far along with his hopes for the near future. 

By Yousuf S 10S

The current Year 10 students are the first ever cohort of students to experience ‘GCSE Life’ at Croxley Danes School. The students, as well as the teachers, are thoroughly enjoying working through the various GCSE courses.

Towards the end of Year 9 we had to decide which four GCSE options we wanted to do along with Maths, English and Science. In total, we will be able to choose 9 GCSEs; 1 for Maths, 2 for English, 2 for Science and 1 for each of the optional subjects. However, some students have been offered the chance to obtain a tenth GCSE: Further Maths. Further Maths is a combination of higher level questions from the standard GCSE Maths paper, together with questions from Maths A Level papers. I have decided to take part in the Further Maths course which would normally happen after school fortnightly, but due to the second lockdown, it has currently been postponed. The Year 10 Maths teachers include Further Maths questions in our normal Maths lessons to challenge us and help prepare us for the GCSE, despite the current circumstances.

The creative arts subjects, which include Drama, Music and Art were some of the options available. Drama students, Jake W and Emily W said that they “enjoyed going through the set script and since we are now doing subjects we enjoy, people really want to be there and take part.” The same can be said about the other subjects, and this corroborates how high the morale in Year 10 is at the moment. Business Studies is a new subject which has been introduced as a GCSE and it has proved immensely popular, with many students opting for this option. The overarching response received from the Business Studies students was that “it is fun.”

Initially, almost all of us were worried about how hard school would be moving into the GCSE period, but most of us are enjoying our courses, and as mentioned before since we all received our chosen option subjects, school is considerably more exciting. The teachers are doing all they can to help us thrive in preparation for our 2022 GCSE Exams and hopefully after this lockdown is over many more opportunities will arise, allowing us to reach our maximum potential.

Virtual Learning Update...

­It can be agreed that things have taken a drastic turn, as a result of the recent measures due to the spike in Coronavirus infections. Now, almost all of us are doing online classes via Microsoft Teams. It has been a hectic couple of months, adjusting to this new way of working, but the majority of us have gotten used to it now.

Some of the teachers are utilising the capabilities provided by Microsoft Teams in order to enhance our virtual learning experience. In English, we are using the Class Notebook as a location to complete group tasks and contribute our ideas. This is extremely beneficial as we are able to work together, while being apart from each other. Some subjects are also using the Breakout Rooms function which essentially creates multiple call channels so we can do tasks in smaller groups through discussion. All we can do is stay optimistic and now look forward to things improving so everything can go back to normal.

Let’s all try to stay positive!