Our Year 9 students sat the Cambridge Assessment International Education Checkpoints for Lower Secondary last week. For some of our students, facing externally set and assessed examinations was a new and intimidating experience. For others, the opportunity had already been there at the end of Year 6 with the Primary Checkpoints. The Checkpoints are examinations that mark the end of Key Stage 3 and offer an external validation of where students are at in the three core subjects. As much as success at the Checkpoints in Year 9 is prepared from the start of Year 7, the past few weeks saw intense revision sessions in class focused on specific examination skills and time management. Sitting the Checkpoints is also considered as the ‘dress rehearsal’ for the IGCSE examinations in Year 11 and aims to relieve students of that examination fear some may experience. The ‘examination hall’, although unusually quiet for most of last week, was rich in positive vibes as our Year 9s faced their three days of exams with eagerness and dedication.
Reflecting on the Checkpoints last week and our Year 9s’ experience, one cannot help but think of our Year 11s and their first IGCSE examination coming up at the end of this week. This morning, as our Year 10 students shared their excitement of the new movie that was released on Thursday and watched by most of them, their learning journey took a whole new significance: they were the ones sitting Checkpoints one year ago, and will be those sitting IGCSEs in a year’s time.