It’s been a busy couple of weeks here.
Firstly we had our lovely Cambridge examiners team in to do the Cambridge Young Learners tests with some of our pupils.
Then on Monday the wonderful Silvie came to test others for the Trinity GESE exams.
For most of our pupils these exams are optional (Primary are automatically registered for Cambridge, a long story that I’ll tell another day!).
So how do I persuade them to take these exams?
Well, actually it doesn’t take much persuading, but here’s some reasons I give students and their parents:
1. Motivation – there’s nothing more motivating than trying hard and succeeding, or in fact just trying hard.
2. CEFR level – These tests all validate the European framework level that our pupils are working for, useful for summer schools or if they move on.
3. They encourage oral fluency – something we never have enough of.
4. Exam practice – they are the first “big” exams many of our pupils take, and especially having an external examiner makes them a little scarier and more real, and that’s not a bad thing in my opinion.
5. They give an objective to class learning.
6. Everyone loves a shiny diploma! – and receiving it at the end of year reward ceremony.
7. The first step on the CPD path – personally this is the most important reason, but then it would be wouldn’t it? After all, it’s the reason I’m writing this ( and maybe that you’re reading it?!) These exams are not part of the school programme, they are extras, that pupils do to improve and test their worth, of their own initiative (with maybe a little nudge from mum and dad?). I see them as their first step into a world of continuing personal development, where they will be learning and trying to improve for the rest of their lives – and that’s just great!