TRY as I might, every time I contribute to the blogosphere the words seem to hit home these days.

It’s hard attempting to keep a lofty, objective view on what is going on around me in school and in Salisbury when I am irretrievably immersed in the hurly burly of life.

I see and talk to parents constantly in and around Bishop’s, in Waitrose, in the cathedral or taking the same diversion around the Maltings.

We share experiences and stories, and the themes are uncannily similar – revision (or the relative lack of it), exam papers and the feeling of being at a crossroads.

With my third child about to take his A-levels over the next three weeks I am constantly wondering what comes next, projecting my thoughts forward to August and then on into the future in a distant city and university.

It is exciting, despite the fact that I have been there twice before, but at the same time there are some pressure points where the pressure becomes more focused.

There is no doubt that the summer exam season provides a test for families as well as those who end up taking the exam themselves.

In some ways this is an exercise in educational nostalgia. My dim recollection of my own A-levels tells me that they were just terminal papers.

No modules, no coursework, no controlled assessment, just long stints in a large hall with my hand aching acutely at the end of each sitting.

Today is little different as, in the post-Govian World, our sons and daughters in Year 13 follow a largely linear track through to their papers, making them (in my view) a genuine test of ability and potential.

This exercise in back to the future does raise the odds of course, as a bad day at the office could have dire consequences for some, and it is certainly true that the stress levels at this time of year will be heightened by the fact that much more depends upon performance right at the end of the course.

That said, most cope well and there are few surprises in August – my hope is that all you long-suffering parents also come through with flying colours!