Tag Archives: GCSE

Doing nothing since my English GCSE finished

Nothing Since my English GCSEEnglish GCSE has finished, now what?

As you may know I pulled out of S283 Planetary Science a few months ago and my English GCSE has now finished (more details below). So now I’m doing absolutely nothing study wise and I’m missing it.  I shouldn’t really be complaining as Lisa is sitting beside me 38 weeks pregnant and feeling ready to pop.  So I guess the baby comes first :)

So what else has been happening ……..

English GCSE

On 29th May I sat my English GCSE exam, I was doing the higher tier and to be honest it wasn’t that bad. I had done a few practice papers in the weeks running up to it so had a good idea of what to expect.  It had the usual questions, but I had a big smile on my face when I seen what the first question in section B was …….. Write a blog post about a recent challenge I overcame, so obviously my time spent posting here came in handy.

I was given an extra half hour due to my dyslexia so that extra time really helped. Even though I had finished most of the exam in proper time, I was then able to go over all the questions a few times and found a few mistakes and tidied up a few answers, so time well spent.

One thing that did surprise me was the lack of people doing the higher paper, most were doing the foundation and I think the split was 36-5. For some reason I thought with it being a night course with more mature students they would have been aiming for the higher grades, guess I was wrong.

So now I have to wait until 23rd of August for my English GCSE results. I had been sitting on the C-B border line before the exam, so I’m confident I should have at least passed with a ‘C’, Just hope that comment doesn’t come back to haunt me!!!

Open University

With the baby due any minute I think it would be unwise to register for any courses at the minute until I see if I have the time to dedicate to them. However one thing I may consider is doing MST121 starting in October. My thinking is, It’s a level 1 so workload should be easier than the level 2’s, its only 30 pts so again low workload. My biggest appeal to it is that it allows me to brush up on my maths before starting my level 2 courses again, this has been something I had been worried about.

So for now I have made no decisions and will just spent the next few months looking after the new baby.

Exciting Blog Updates

I’m also working on a exciting new update for my blog and will hopefully be announcing it on Friday (assuming the baby hasn’t arrived between now and then). It’s something for all Open University students and I would love you all to take part.

More to come soon ……… But fingers crossed for my Engligh GCSE result !

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Filed under BSc (Honours) Natural Sciences B64, GCSE English

Pulling out of S283 Planetary Science :(

After a lot of thinking I have decided it is time for some changes. Things have been very busy around here the last few months and something has to give. Unfortunately it looks like it’s going to be Open University S283 Planetary Science.  I feel really crap about doing it but overall I think it will be for the best.

My main reasons for being under pressure is firstly the baby on the way and secondly a bit of change with the business over the last 6 months.

So with a baby on the way things have changed, mainly priorities but also time available. We already have a 4 year old but have been able to work my study around him but with a second on the way that will get even harder. Also Lisa has been getting lots of sickness with this pregnancy and it has been going on for about 3 months now so again that is putting a strain on time as well.

As for the work reason, everything had been going ok but all this has just pushed it over the edge. Last year we were working in an office with 2 other girls helping out. However this year we have cut a lot of costs, moved the office back into the house and its now just me and Lisa. So the upside is we’re saving lots more money, but the down side is we have to do a lot more work ourselves. This has meant I have gone from working part time most days it’s now nearly full time.

Now if I only had one of these things I probably could have managed, but both together and at this minute in time it’s just too much so I have to give up something.

As for the reason of giving up S283 Planetary Science and not the English GCSE, well that’s down to thinking if I give up on the GCSE now I may not go back to it, where as S283 I know I will go back to it. The plan is I have the books for S282 Astronomy and S283 Planetary Science so I will be able to do a lot of the work for both of these over this year and then officially start them again at the end of 2012. Looking at my courses over the next few years pulling out of S283 shouldn’t make any difference to when I finish my degree,  there was 1 year with only 30 pts so I can rearrange the others so this one can slot in nicely.

So at this minute in time I’m 99% sure this is what I’m going to do, just still need to make the call to pull out of it but think I will wait a week or so before doing it.

Has anyone else out there been in the same position and have to pull out of their Open University studies? How did you deal with it?

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Filed under BSc (Honours) Natural Sciences B64, GCSE English, S283: Planetary science

I went back to being a 15 year old this week.

This week I decided in my normal fashion, which is think about it for 5 min then decide sod it just do it, that I would go back to being a teenager again. Now I don’t mean sneaking out and getting drunk or trying to pretend that I was 18 to get into the local night club, “The North Gate” aaahhh good memories. No no no to bring back my youth I decided to ……. redo my GCSE English, how exciting is that !!!

So why have I decided to do it? mainly because if I do a PGCE after getting my degree I need A-C in Maths and English GCSE, the maths I have but in english I got a “D”. So if I wanted to do teaching, I needed to get it and taking it now was the best time for a few reasons.

Firstly, I would rather take it while doing the level 1 and 2′s than while im doing level 3 courses, mainly because the degree classification is heavily weighted on the level 3 courses so I want to do the best I can on those. If I had to do the GCSE at the same time it may be to much of a distraction and effect my result.

Secondly, I have 60 pts planned this year, well 70 in you include the short 10 pointer im about to start. This means it’s not to busy so I should be able to add in the extra hours for the GCSE without too much trouble.

Thirdly, it started that week so I was able to get cracking on with it, unlike my Open University courses where I have had to wait 3 months to get started on them again.

So I called up on Monday to see if there were any spaces and was told yes for all dates. So I drove up, the college is only 5 min drive away so very handy, I filled in the form and registered for it there and then. I picked a Wednesday night and went to my first class last week. I had been expecting it to be a lot of mature student due to it being the night course as NRC also offer it during the day, but when I got there and everyone had arrived I was one of the oldies !!! now being 33 I wouldn’t class myself as old but I was certainly old in that class.

The 3 hours went in quickly and was made up of intros, a bit about the course and what we plan to study, when the exam will be (29th May) and what other forms of assessment we have to do. It turns out that there is an oral part where we have to make a presentation or something along those lines, most people are nervous about that but it should be fun to do.

Over all it shouldnt be to hard but going through the course timetable its plain to see that english has changed a good bit since my day. When I did it in 94 it was all about how to write, paragraphs and punctuation etc, now, it looks to be more like English Literature. Now that isn’t something I have an interest in but should be a little change from all the science stuff recently.  Ohh and I have to read, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet so that should be easy for someone who’s Dyslexic!!!

So studying has started for another 9 months and im sure there will be a few times when im under pressure but as they say if it was easy everyone would do it.

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Thinking ahead: Life after my degree

Over the last few weeks I have been thinking about what im going to do after I get my degree. Even though it will take me 4 years to get to that point I have been looking at my options.  From what I can see I have two main options open to me.

Firstly I could do a PGCE after I graduate, this would give me the qualifications to be able to teach physics in secondary schools. The PGCE would entail me going to a bricks and mortar University, probably Queens University Belfast. One downside is that it would be full-time for 9 months. I could do it through the OU but that will take about 2 years and im not to sure what type of support they have here in Northern Ireland.  This route has been in my head for the last few months and I think it will be the easiest route to go down but it will feel like im not doing exactly what my degree was for, Astronomy and Planetary science, don’t think any schools have a GCSE in that.

A second option would be to go on and do a masters or even Doctorate, again at Queens. They have half a dozen different research programs listed on the Astrophysics Research Centre and even though these will change by the time im doing it they all look interesting. The main problems for this route are that I don’t know how hard it is to get onto these programs and also what happens after them. If I get a masters etc whats the next stage????

At this minute in time im heading towards the first option, getting a PGCE and becoming a teacher. Of course this could change and probably will change a few times over the next lot of years but at least its a rough plan.

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Filed under BSc (Honours) Natural Sciences B64