Sunday, 26 June 2016

And relax .........

Well, E's A2 exams are now all over - HURRAH! It all seems a bit unreal at the moment; I keep thinking that I should tell her to go and do some work and then realizing that I don't have to. She feels the same and it is taking her a while to remember how to switch off.

I don't know how many of you have children old enough to do important exams but L and E never believe me when I say that I think it's worse for the parents - I'd far rather sit the exam myself than watch my child suffer through them. One of the worst parts, I find, is waiting in the car to pick them up afterwards. They walk slowly to the car and you sit there, desperately trying to interpret their body language - is there a spring in their step? Does their expression look relieved, disappointed or tearful? Usually, E just looks exhausted and ink stained!

As far as I could tell this year, they weren't too bad apart from one particular biology paper. A2s are now modular with AS levels being taken at the end of the first year, before you move onto the second year's syllabus. Well, Edexel decided, in its wisdom, to make the first A2 paper practically all AS stuff. It was so bad that pupils were checking the front of the paper to make sure that they had been given the right one. Pupils who ,sadly, hadn't fared well in last year's AS and had had to resit that this month, were at a huge advantage. The others floundered. As E wasn't resitting the AS, she had had to return her AS textbook last summer, so didn't have a clue for most of it. To top it all, the paper was full of grammatical errors and some diagrams were unclear. Complaints have been made, a petition started and there was an article in The Times about it. It even made the news on TV.
It just seems so unfair that pupils who worked so hard last year were penalized in this way. Edexel's only comment was that some AS knowledge is assumed for the A2. Note some, not solely AS. These exams are vital to the pupils' future as their university places depend on them. So, all in all, I'm not looking forward to results day; we can only hope that grade boundaries will be very low!

Anyway, sorry; rant over. Moving swiftly on, here are some happy photos from the last week or two:

Hamish and E snuggled up in onesie and blanket. One revising, the other napping:
My lovely poppy. When L finished at Oxford last year, I sneaked a poppy seed head from the college garden and, to my delight, it grew.
I feel some lavender shortbread coming on:
More perfectly imperfect strawberries - just look at that one at the front!
Trying out a circular needle for my Owl socks. Usually I use DPNs but thought I'd give a circular one a whirl. So far, I'm not too impressed. It turns out that I'm a 'pusher', that is, I tend to use the tips of my index fingers to push the needles in and out of stitches. I hadn't realized this until I swapped to the much sharper circular needle and it became uncomfortable after a while. I also don't like having to push the stitches around the circle. I may get used to it but, at the moment, I'm favouring my DPNs.
We enjoyed a nice pub lunch to celebrate E's final exam. It was a bit drizzly but we sat outside under cover, relaxed and watched the ducks and geese with their goslings float by on the canal.

L made a quick, last minute lemon cake for her sister. As you can see, the icing was a little runny but it tastes delicious.
Now that the exams are over, I find I'm beginning to notice the little things again - shadows on the wall:
My sweet peas:
....... and hand feeding pheasants by the back door. This one, 'Carlos' (don't ask!), taps his beak on the glass to alert us to his presence. The first time he did it, I jumped, as it is so loud that it sounds just like a person knocking.
Anyway, that's all for this week. Next week, L is off to Oxford to tutor law at the summer school and E and I are off to Devon for a few days as a post exam treat. Poor old R will be holding the fort. The weather forecast doesn't look brilliant but there will be cream teas, cycling, walking on the beach and, more importantly, not a textbook in sight!

Enjoy the rest of the weekend.
Toodle Pip for now. xx


  1. Oh my goodness! I totally agree with you about the exams. I couldn't focus the day my son did his recent big maths exam. Was a wreck all day. We're now exam-free too but awaiting results. I'll be a wreck again then too, lol!

  2. I can still remember that post-exam feeling, all these years later. I hope your daughter manages to relax and enjoy her well-earned summer break. Enjoy Devon and do make sure you have a cream tea!! xxx

  3. So many lovely things! I think Hamish is my favourite. Glad the exams are over for you guys. L starts his week after next. GCSE mocks xx

  4. The whole exam system sounds horrendous I am not looking forward to the day.....but I do hope E has done well despite the mess the exams sound like they are in. Enjoy your holiday in Devon!

  5. Hurrah for the end of exams! We're in the throws of end of year 9 exams at the moment; I'm grinding my teeth with all the stress! Enjoy your holiday in Devon.
    Leanne xx

  6. Yep, been through exams with eldest 2, youngest has just finished AS levels, the physics exam was abominable... Enjoy your trip to Devon, sounds lovely! And good luck to your daughter for results day.
    Caz xx

  7. I couldn't agree more re parents suffering more than their children during exams.....I would have preferred to sit daughter's for he! So glad E has finished, and sorry to hear of the confusion, I do hope the petition helps and that E does well. Ahhhh just look at her and Hamish, what a cute photo. Love your pics....lavender shortbread eh? sounds does that lunch! How sweet of L to bake E a cake, bless!
    Please do tell re Carlos and dispatch him to me immediately! Enjoy

  8. I hope that your daughter gets great results in her exams. Enjoy your break time away! xx

  9. Well done on surviving exam season. It is tough. My oldest sat 5 Highers in May, and results are due in August. It took him a while to come down (or up, depending on how you look at it) from all the studying. Lunch out sounds like a very nice way to say 'it's over, relax!' X