Rouged cheeks and blue lips, kissed by the cold, green trees and red tinsel. Yes, ‘tis once more that time of year, and in the Market Town of Heathfield, East Sussex, preparations for the season of festivities are well underway. Already, plastic fir trees line the walls down the high street and bright signs in shop windows advertise new deals on any number of products.

It may only be late November, yet the town’s inhabitants, plagued by the mist emanating from their nostrils and mouths, are already feeling buoyed by the first showings of snow this year. The snow, which fell at approximately 12:20 this afternoon, was heavy, though, to the disappointment of one girl enrolled at Heathfield Community College, it didn’t set on the ground. Hannah, 17, said that “My inner child comes out whenever the snow falls, so I can kiss goodbye to focusing in lesson when it does”. She went on to add “When it snowed, I wasn’t allowed outside which made me despair and feel like I was missing out as if it might never snow again”. The snow, unfortunately, stopped falling soon before the end of Hannah’s lesson, and so she was to remain disappointed. Could this be the only snowfall this town experiences throughout the coming months? We certainly hope not, and we are sure that all of those in Heathfield will agree.

This season is not necessarily the time to be jolly for everyone, however, particularly for those in Years 11 and 13. These past two weeks, Year 11s began to sit Mock Exams for the GCSEs in mid-2018, whilst Year 13 will spend the Christmas break locked up in their rooms, revising hard for their own Mock Week - or at least, that is what they will tell their teachers. The staff of the college are gasping for a break, though many will simply go from one group of children to another, fulfilling much the same role for strikingly less pay, whilst others will fill the Christmas holiday with stacks of work needing marking.

Thus, no one will truly return from the holiday feeling refreshed or ready for the impending exam season and the accompanying stress. Students will all have to deal with an increasing workload and the teachers will exhaust themselves selflessly preparing their wards for the exams.

-Callum Caldwell, Heathfield Community College