Articles by Greg Smith

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Christmas opening

Oxford Open Learning will be closed for the Christmas break from 5.00pm Friday the 21st of December and will re-open 9am Wednesday the 2nd of January. We wish all of our students and tutors a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


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Black History Month – Ex-Slave Writers

Oxford Open Learning Blogger and English Teacher Anne Thomas continues her series famous literary figures for Black History Month. As a youngster I read and sobbed over Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, not widely read nowadays I appreciate, but it was a ground-breaking novel in its time. It was published in 1852 and acquainted […]


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Strictly Sum Dancing : Johnny Ball, Strictly and Think of a Number

To my kids he is the old bloke from the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, to some he is Zoe Ball’s dad but to many many more he is a much loved face from children’s television who inspired a generation with his programmes on mathematics and science. Johnny Ball has been back on our screens strutting […]


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Redressing the Balance 6 : Charlotte Angas Scott

In my final blog on famous female mathematicians we look at the life of an Englishwoman who was very influential in the development of mathematics education for women, Charlotte Angas Scott. Charlotte Angas Scott was born in 1858 to an English family already well known for their advocacy of social reform. She was home educated […]


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Black History Month – Famous Literary Figures

Oxford Open Learning Blogger and English Teacher Anne Thomas continues her series famous literary figures for Black History Month. One of the earliest classic novels I read at my secondary school was The Count of Monte Cristo, written by Alexandre Dumas one of those books with everything for a 12 year old girl, excitement, history, […]


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Redressing the balance 5 : Emilie du Châtelet

Voltaire famously wrote that Emilie du Châtelet was “a great man whose only fault was being a woman” – I suspect that this was meant as a compliment although it doesn’t really come across that way today!  In this blog we’ll look at her life and achievements. Emilie du Châtelet was born in Paris like […]


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World Teacher’s Day

On 5 October 1966 the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) held an intergovernmental conference in Paris concerning the status of teachers across the world.  The outcome was the politically persuasive (but sadly not legally binding) UNESCO/ILO* Recommendation Concerning the Status of Teachers, outlining the minimal acceptable standards in key areas such as […]


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Scientists, Engineers, Mathematicians – your country needs you!

The Royal Academy of Engineering has recently published a report warning of a shortage of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) graduates. At the moment demand is significantly greater than supply in the UK with high wage premiums being established for people with such degrees in a climate of falling graduate pay. Around 1.25 million […]


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Redressing the Balance 4: Sofia Kovalevskaya

This is the story of Sofia Kovalevskaya – a Russian mathematician who was the first woman to join the editorial staff of a mathematical journal and to hold a prominent university position in modern Europe. Sofia Kovalevskaya was born in Moscow in 1850. Mathematics historians say that she became interested in mathematics as a child […]


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Booking January exams

The deadline for booking exams in the winter series is the 21st October 2012. Schools and colleges will have resumed for the Autumn term and if you need to either book a re-sit , or a first time exam in the winter series, then now is the time to do it. If wait until after […]


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