Make predicted grades optional for the class of 2021

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Current sixth years,

So much has happened over the past seven months since the closure of schools. The leaving cert class of 2020 received predicted grades which really was the only option at the time. It is us, the leaving cert class of 2021 that have also been greatly impacted by the closure of schools on March 12th. The closure was difficult on all of us and impacted each and every one of us in some way. Now that we have returned, a number of us feel even more stressed then we initially were due to all of the changes made to the school as well as our timetables etc. these changes have been extremely difficult to adapt to and although it’s great to be back in the classroom with our teachers, it isn’t the same. We are still extremely behind in our coursework for some subjects. Many students have expressed there concerns with me over orals, practicals and projects. As I’ve said many times before we have lost out on three months of face to face teaching time and our grades will be affected by this. Furthermore since our return to schools we are unable to communicate directly with our teachers to do oral work one on one, we are unable to do experiments for our science subjects, we are unable to do practical work and we are unable to visit suitable places for our projects for example in geography, most schools won’t use buses so we are left to do our geography projects on something local. A few weeks back we have received an update to the leaving cert which saw a number of changes take place to the majority of our papers. Some subjects have little or no changes whatsoever. Students are concerned for their mental health and anxiety levels are rising since our return. The changes made to the leaving cert paper next year are not good enough when taking into account the three months of missed time and now the different school environment. The majority of us are happy with being back, aside from the fact that cases are rising rapidly each day but I won’t get into that in this post. Anyways the main thing im trying to communicate here is we deserve the same treatment as the class of 2020. Make predicted grades optional. That way those who don’t want them or feel disadvantaged by them can still sit an altered exam. For these students i can keep pursuing further changes. To the rest it you, the majority, I will fight for predicted grades for the class of 2021. It is only fair that we get the same option seeming as we are actually in a worse position then the class of 2020. The majority of them were doing revision whilst we were doing coursework. Seeming as we don’t know what the future holds and we could potentially be looking at another closure, The class of 2021 should be given the option of predicted grades or sitting an altered exam if they feel capable to do so.