Three little boys went through their school life. Each boy had very similar opportunities throughout their time at school, some opportunities they took, some they didn't, soon they moved on to Year 13 and began the process of applying for Universities. I am a Year 13 (Upper 6th in old money) form tutor and have to write UCAS (University Application Process) references for the above three not so little boys.
Writing the reference for Boy One, who I shall call Arnold is a doddle. He has a tremendous work ethic, too many personal qualities to write in the provided space, has fully involved himself in Sport at school, has excelled as a senior pupil, was given Head Boy Status, raised money to and then participated in a month long World Challenge Expedition, and has shown dedication to pursue his Sporting talents. He achieved a solid set of GCSE grades and last year completed his A Levels also gaining a strong set of grades. His academic achievements have been as a direct of result of some natural talent but mainly huge amounts of hard work, dedication and desire to succeed.
Writing the reference for Boy two, who shall be called Sylvester has also been quite straight forward. Sylvester has been on a steady progression as a pupil throughout his school days. He has taken many sporting opportunities and is currently 1st XV Rugby Captain. Recent hard work and determination have resulted in Yorkshire U19 representative honour's this season. He has passed on some opportunities offered at school, but has gone out of his way to focus on coaching some of the junior sports teams, as a result he is moving positively in the direction he wishes to focus on at University. Around school he is very approachable, friendly with most pupils, a prefect with responsibility and a decent, independent young man who has been on a slow burner throughout school who will be successful at University.
The reference for Boy three, who I would like to call W Astas Pace is proving more difficult to write. Here is a boy who has slowly regressed as he has aged. He is a talented sportsman but has coped poorly with the sporting environment, he failed to take opportunities in the senior school to represent the school and struggles to cope with the playing environment. We are currently discussing whether he should represent the school 1st XI or whether his involvement will upset the balance of the team. He is academically decent however a lack of effort, focus and desire to achieve resulted in a weaker set of GCSE grades, that can only be described as underachievement. His A levels have been a constant battle between said pupil and staff, and now he is finding himself studying just two A Levels and looking at the possibility of a Foundation Degree, in a subject area (Architecture) where in all honestly his chance of success is fairly limited. I am not prepared to extend the truth with W Astas Pace, so can only write a short concise reference, not dwelling too much on his failures.
Writing references and helping students succeed is one of the reasons I teach. I have really enjoyed guiding Arnold and Sylvester through their University Application and I am sure they will continue to be very successful, as for W Astas Pace, I can only hope the passage of time and the contact with new individuals will put him back on the track he has fallen from.
We are all presented with opportunities throughout our days, weeks, years and life, how firmly we choose to take them depends on many factors, many people and often situations we may be in when the opportunity arises.
Sometimes I wonder whether I am always taking the opportunities in front of me, however many, many factors affect whether an opportunity is taken, and the degree to which it is pursued. At the moment there are opportunities to do many things, I am hoping I can take as many of them as possible in the next few weeks.
This week Ellie has left me no choice but to share a quote with you all. 'Ellie's Quote of the Week'
"In the night I heard a little voice and it was a fairy and it wanted to sit on my special plaster on my finger"