From education to employment

Twinkl supporting students beyond A-Level results

With A-Level results returning to what they were pre-pandemic, more students could be missing the mark, Twinkl is exploring the options students have moving forward, whilst encouraging personal and professional development through an extensive range of post-18 resources to support students with subject routes for employment and careers guidance.

The impact of the pandemic 

On August 17, students across the country received their A-Level and Level 3 results, and many students will be facing a choice over what to do next if they haven’t received their required results. Furthermore, with grades now returning to their pre-pandemic standard, it could lead to a higher number of students missing the mark.

A recent report from the COVID Social Mobility and Opportunities Study (COSMO) , which has been following the experiences of students from this academic year and beyond, explored the impact of remote learning during the pandemic and the comparisons between state and private schools.

Their findings showed that 46% of students from comprehensive schools said they couldn’t catch up with the missed learning from the pandemic. This figure was a significant increase from independent schools, with only 27% of their students stating they had struggled to catch up.

245,100 18-year-olds were accepted to university in 2022 across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, an increase on both the last few years and on numbers pre-pandemic. The entry rate last year was 32.2%, lower than in 2021 (34.1%), but higher than 2020 (30.1%) and pre-pandemic in 2019 (28.1%).

In comparison, 2023 results have shown 26.5% of A-level entries in England were awarded top grades, compared with 25.2% in 2019, and down from 35.9% in 2022. It is expected that universities and employers will remain mindful of the grading approaches taken over recent years, along with the ongoing discussions of whether it is too soon to be returning to the pre-pandemic grading system in England.

What happens next? 

The exam period and receiving results is a difficult time for both educators and their students. Students today are facing challenges and disruptions to their studies at a rate that has not been seen before. 

It is important for students to understand their options and how to achieve their desired outcomes.

From continuing their studies, gap-years or careers, there’s an opportunity for every student to develop their skills and build better futures.

Rebecca Stott, Schools’ Thought Leadership Partner at Twinkl, is a qualified Head Teacher with an MA-Ed in SEND & Digital Learning, who has worked in the education sector for over 15 years, said:

“The disrupted journey to the 2023 exams has created additional challenges for educators and students alike; students and teachers receiving results this year should be extremely proud of what they have achieved.”   

“As educators, we know that examinations and results day can have a very real impact on the desires for the future of students; for many students they face potentially tough decisions over what they can do next if they don’t achieve their desired outcomes.”

“At Twinkl we also understand that it is often the most disadvantaged who are most impacted by unexpected changes in the education landscape, this is why our team of education specialists

aim to provide everything educators need to be genuinely inclusive.”

How can Twinkl support students?

Twinkl’s dedication to support all educators and their students throughout their education journey and beyond is evident through an extensive range of resources and methods:

Exploring Alternative Pathways: Twinkl recognises that university isn’t the only path to success. Through its resources, students will discover diverse options such as vocational courses, apprenticeships, gap years, and traineeships. These pathways can provide practical skills and hands-on experience that can lead to rewarding careers.

Tailored Career Guidance: Understanding one’s strengths, interests, and skills is pivotal in making informed decisions. Twinkl’s resources guide students through self-assessment exercises and career quizzes to help them uncover potential career paths that align with their passions and aptitudes. Twinkl also offers career guidance to support creating a CV and more.

Resilience and Mindset:
Not achieving desired grades can be disheartening, but it’s important for students to realise that setbacks can be turned into opportunities. Twinkl’s resources emphasise resilience, growth mindset, and coping strategies to help students navigate challenges and build a positive outlook.

Soft Skills Development: Beyond academic qualifications, employers value soft skills such as communication, teamwork, and problem-solving. Twinkl’s resources offer guidance on honing these skills, which are essential for success in any field.

Wellness and Mental Health: The post-exam period can be stressful. Twinkl’s resources offer practical advice for maintaining mental well-being during this critical phase, highlighting techniques to manage stress, practice self-care, and seek support when needed.

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