Articles by Greg Smith

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It’s National Poetry Day!

National Poetry Day is coming up; this year it will take place on Thursday 3rd October.  Although the themed day is designed to bring poetry to EVERYONE – including greengrocers and bus-queues, according to the National Poetry Day website – it is probably safe to say that it is a whole lot easier to celebrate […]


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GCSE registration 2013/2014

Last Dates for Registration This year Oxford Open Learning’s final dates for registration onto courses leading to summer 2014 examinations are shown below. GCSE or IGCSE,  Friday the 15th November Full A level, Monday  the 30th September AS or A2 level, Thursday the 31st October These are guideline dates.  If you have a particularly strong […]


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The rise of the English IGCSE

Last year 18,000 students sat an English International GCSE in the UK.  This year it is a staggering 78,000 students, a rise of 430%.  So why have schools suddenly abandoned the more traditional GCSE qualification? The first thing to remember is that almost everyone in the system wants the student to pass.  The exam boards […]


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GCSEs are too easy… or are they?

It’s that time of year, folks.  I don’t mean that time of year when we celebrate our children’s achievements in passing their exams before they go on to F.E. College or University, though.  No, it’s time instead to nod sagely when we see a teenager with 10 A*s, and say: “They wouldn’t have got those […]


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A Level results day is here!

UK students are collecting results certificates today and for the second year running, fewer people have been awarded an A* grade than in previous years. Oxford Open Learning’s first two results of the day in English Literature and English Language have not reflected this trend so far, with an A* and an A grade respectively. […]


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Concerns over coalition A-level changes rise

Changes to the way A-Levels are taught are…


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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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