Touch of class

MAY I, through your pages, congratulate the Year 13 students at St. Ivo School on their A-level results. I have been retired for five years but worked at the school for 39 years and this particular group were the last year group for which I was responsibl

MAY I, through your pages, congratulate the Year 13 students at St. Ivo School on their A-level results.

I have been retired for five years but worked at the school for 39 years and this particular group were the last year group for which I was responsible as head of year.

They were always a challenge, as my colleague Caryl Lambert, who continued with them for the next three years, would confirm, but there was always something special about them.

Many people complain that the present exam system was easier than in their days, but I would contend that examinations now are different and require different skills to succeed in them. No longer are they just a test of memory but require a student to display sustained effort and high degrees of analytical skill. As a senior examiner for one of the big exam boards I am constantly amazed by the efforts and talents displayed by the candidates I mark.

I remember how little work I did for my exams because my teachers spoon-fed me with the answers and I had only to memorise and regurgitate them. I also know how many hours of hard work go into the coursework and how much time is spent on preparation for the examinations. Also the skill levels displayed in many of the artistic subjects are way beyond anything I experienced even in my college days.

So well done my last lot and good luck in your future careers

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DAVID CHAMBERS, Former St Ivo teacher