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Exams, exams and more….exams! Countryside Carer

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Our house feels quite intense at the minute. Our middle young person has just finished her SATs and our eldest has just started her GCSEs. The build up, in particular to the GCSEs has been intense, with months of extra revision sessions, revision guides being purchased and weekends spent working out revision schedules. It feels a lot. It feels so much more when dealing with these exams with a child who has been through significant trauma. 


In regards to the SATs, our little Blondie flew through them. She is bright and takes most things in her stride. I actually think she was disappointed when they were over as she wouldn’t be getting a sausage and bacon bap every morning like she was doing at SATs breakfast club. But even the logistics of the school run doubled in difficulty as we had to leave half an hour early to make she sure she got to her breakfast mornings on time. When you have two children in the house who thrive on routine, who struggle to break it and who fall apart a little when they do, this was a challenge. And while Blondie skipped into school waving at the rest of us in the car, meltdowns were being had, homework was forgotten and the morning routine went, flying with speed, out of the window. It made me realise the sacrifices all of us made, on a daily basis, to put the needs of other members of the family first. And not just in this case, every day, one of us, bends our own rules or amends our daily plan to benefit someone else. The definition of ‘team’ I guess. 


The GCSEs, although not logistically difficult, emotionally and psychologically they have taken a much bigger toll on our eldest. Our sweet, quite, shy girl who worries endlessly and has less self confidence than a dormouse has had to contend with going into exams she knows full well she won’t pass. Sitting for hours revising topics she knows she will constantly struggle with. I am not sure I could ever have asked for more when it comes to her revision schedule and the dedication with which she applies herself. I’ve watched, over the last few months her grow more tired, struggle more with day to day activities because her brain is so overwhelmed with extra information. We have fallen into a sweet little routine, where she completes her exam and then messages me to tell me how she thinks she has done. She knows when she hasn’t done well and she has, on more than one occasion referred to herself as ‘stupid’ and it breaks my heart. How can you explain to her that the life she once lead has caused her brain to work differently. It hasn’t developed how it should have and it’s just not something you can say to a nearly 16 year old girl. Instead, I tell her she isn’t stupid, she is kind and thoughtful and a good friend and no matter what grades she achieves this will never change. It’s not for the first time since leaving this education system that I have looked in at it with disdain and frustration. All we can do is be there to pick up the pieces, provide the sweets and chocolate brownies to give her a sugar rush, make sure she knows she is more than the piece of paper she will receive in August and to let her know that she has a future ahead of her, a future she will be proud of one day. 


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Date published

05 June 2023

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