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As part of our lockdown experiences series, we are talking with children and those working with children about how the current lockdown is affecting them.

Ayra, 16, has written a blog for us about what lockdown has been like for her.

My lockdown experience has been very varied. When we were told that schools were closing and I wouldn’t get the chance to sit my GCSE exams, I felt a few mixed emotions. I was annoyed that I wouldn’t get the chance to show off my skills. After a while, the reality sunk in and I realised I would have to make the most of the situation. On the last day of school, I spent time with my friends and saying goodbye to our teachers. We discussed the impact of the situation and realised it was for the best and for our own safety. I was upset because as a year group, we wouldn’t get to have all the milestones and finality of completing secondary school.

The first day of lockdown just felt like a normal day off. After a while, it started to kick in and I was getting extremely bored. Me and my family decided to take up some charity work. We joined a charity called the Date Project run by SKT Welfare. It’s a charity that runs near the time of Ramadan supplying tins of dates for those who wish to purchase them. There are 5 tins and the money you pay for the tin goes towards the supported cause. It was a good way to pass the time and on top of that, it was for a really good cause.

Baking cookies

To help the fact that I wasn’t able to leave the house, I decided to take up some new hobbies. I’ve always had a passion for cooking and baking and this was the perfect opportunity to try new things. I ended up using so much flour and eggs! In the end it was a fun learning experience and a chance for me to try something independently. This is one of the things I have enjoyed during lockdown. I also enjoy the fact that I get to spend more time at home with my brother playing various sports every day in the garden.

The main reason I was upset about going into lockdown was because at school, as a year group, we won’t be able to have any finality and the celebrations of finishing secondary school. We don’t get our leavers assembly, leavers day, signing off day, study leave and our prom will be once we have started college.

I was worried on how I would get my grades, and if they would get me into the college of my choice.

The things that have helped in lockdown, are the lots of support from our schools, and all the support our upcoming colleges have given us. When exam cancellations were announced, I was worried on how I would get my grades, and if they would get me into the college of my choice. The colleges were helpful in reassuring us that the situation won’t hinder our applications and we have the same chance as all the other applicants. Many colleges also set summer work to help us prepare with college transition and getting ready for the GCSE to A level jump. The work also helps with getting our heads around the new courses and topics.

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