Articles by nick smith

When can I take my A Levels?

The UK exam system is set to change quite a bit over the next three or four years. Both the A-level and GCSE systems are going through significant changes, starting with A-levels. What does this mean for current and prospective students? As long as you take all your examinations by June 2016, you are unlikely […]


Homeschooling in the UK

A story in today’s Daily Mail was somewhat alarming: ‘Armed police turn up at family home with a battering ram to seize their children after they defy Germany’s ban on home schooling’ A cheerful-looking middle-class family from Darmstadt was understandably alarmed when state authorities turned up like stormtroopers and effectively kidnapped all the children who […]


GCSE exams and home schooling

Children who are educated at home are unfairly denied access to examinations, according to a report in today’s Daily Telegraph. This is not really a new story. Some home-schooled candidates have always found it time-consuming and awkward to locate suitable exam centres to take their exams for GCSE or A-level. But the Commons Education Committee […]


Are IGCSEs tougher exams?

A report in the Sunday Times on 29 July was headlined ‘State Schools ditch GCSE for tougher exam’. The exams in question were International GCSEs, or IGCSEs, as set by Edexcel and CIE.  As the report indicated, IGCSEs are being adopted not just by private schools but by a wide range of “ordinary” state schools, […]


Introducing Mathematicians from History 10 : Albert Einstein?

Einstein was born in Germany in 1879 and, other than a short period spent studying in Switzerland, he lived there until 1933. He moved to the United States of America due to the rise to power of the Nazis under Adolf Hitler. Why is he famous? Many people use the word Einstein as a way […]


Introducing Mathematicians from History 9 : Isaac Newton

In todays distance learning Maths blog an Oxford Home Schooling tutor looks at the life and work of Isaac Newton.

Isaac Newton is probably the most famous British mathematician. He was born in Lincolnshire in 1643 and spent most of his adult life in Cambridge.


Wider reading for A Level English Literature: 5: Life in Victorian Britain

Here is the next instalment in our series on wider reading for A Level English Literature written by an Oxford Home Schooling tutor. Now is a good time to refresh your memory about those general aspects of Victorian life – maybe have a look again at the books I’ve mentioned before or why not dip […]


Wider reading for A Level English Literature: 4: Women in Victorian England

In the fourth blog in our A Level English Literature series, an Oxford Home Schooling tutor gives advice about wider reading on women in Victorian England. You will now have immersed yourself in Victorian industry and Empire and will have come across quite a lot about your second topic already – the position of women […]


Introducing Mathematicians from History 8: Geralamo Cardano

In today’s distance learning Maths blog, an Oxford Home Schooling tutor looks at the life and work of Geralamo Cardano. When and where did he live? Cardano was born in Pavia, Italy in 1501. His mother had moved out of Milan in order to avoid the plague that was sweeping the city at that time. […]


Introducing Mathematicians from History: 7: Euclid

Little is known about Euclid but it is thought that he lived around 300BC in Alexandria, Egypt. Until part way through the twentieth century Euclid’s The Elements was the second best-selling book of all time (beaten only by the Bible).


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