My GCSE results day by Ryan Smith, Apprenticeship Ambassador, Thames Valley Police

Apprenticeship Ambassador Ryan was keen to share his GCSE results day story to help motivate others who may be having a difficult time and show them that things will work out for the best! It was a difficult time for Ryan but he has bravely shared his story to help other young people who may feel dicouraged on results day. 

My GCSE results day was nothing like what I had expected. Since joining secondary school I’d always imagined I’d finish my GCSEs and sit my A Levels in the same school with the same group of people around me that I grew up with.

Before receiving my results, I received a letter that stated I had not met my predicted grades and that I should consider leaving the school. I still remember feeling rather upset with what I read but after receiving my results I found out that I had achieved 10 C grade passes or above. I was over the moon. It was very much an emotional rollercoaster that day.

The following Friday was options day, giving students just the weekend before the official start day of sixth form. I remember being proud of what I achieved but, kept doubting the day due to my letter. Long story short, the school were only allowing me the option of one subject I wanted to study based off my grades and were not giving me a chance on the others. With just two days to go before sixth form started I felt like everything I’d imagined since day one of Year 7, had all been for nothing because I wasn’t being given a fair chance. My school was very focused on pushing their students through the university route that they had forgotten about the ones who just enjoyed studying but had no intention of going to university.

My emotions started to get the better of me that day and one teacher who I’d been taught by every year noticed, she comforted me alongside my parents and said ‘this isn’t the end of the world, you should be proud of those grades’. I remember her trying to negotiate with the head of departments to let me study; I was a hard worker and had to work my socks off to get the grades I did. Despite her best efforts, it was that moment in time where I was ready to leave that school and not return.

As luck would have it, a brand new sixth form school was being built and on the way home, we dropped by for a visit. There was only the deputy head working that day getting ready for the first week of term, he gave us a tour, explained what subjects they would offer and then offered me a place with open arms. How could I refuse? The compassion shown when I was feeling so low, really made me feel valued again and I was overwhelmed with the opportunity.

I went on to study an Extended Diploma in Business Studies, achieving a DDM before applying to multiple Apprenticeships. Not risking everything on a couple of endeavours, I also applied to university and received my offers. I decided to go down the Apprentice route and have never looked back. Along the way I have achieved multiple industry standard qualifications as well as a second diploma; I am even studying a degree now myself through The Open University.

The point of my story that I am trying to get across and the tip I’m going to give to you is what the teacher said to me, it really does not matter! Looking back, I feel silly knowing I got upset because there was no need. I was motivated by the whole experience and it allowed me to thrive at the new school to achieve more than I ever thought possible.

Ryan Smith
ICT Business Analyst
Thames Valley Police