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The Home Educator’s GCSE Survival Guide is here

About six months ago I had the idea of creating a GCSE planner. I kept coming across recommendations for courses that looked great, but weren’t right for us just yet, or exam centres we might be able to use in the future, and I wanted somewhere to keep them. I also wanted somewhere to keep track of our big picture plans, so I knew we were on track at this important time. So I started making one. And as I did, I thought of all the things that needed explaining before the planner made sense. So I made a guidebook…

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Arts Awards: Claude Monet

Summary of all I found out about Monet by Maia F. Claude Monet was born in Paris on the 14th of November in 1840, but his parents moved to Le Havre in 1845, where Monet grew up. Monet had a talent for drawing but hated school. He wanted to study painting but his father, a grocer, wanted his son to follow in his footsteps. Eventually Monet got his wish and left to study art in Paris. He didn’t like art school anymore than he had liked his previous school, finding it old fashioned, but he did meet other young painters…

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Arts Awards: Be an audience

by Maia F I was driven up to Shrewsbury to look at a couple of art exhibitions with the rest of my arts award  class. Our first stop was a small arts and crafts shop set out of the way down a side road.   The shop was fairly small, but still contained a lot of different artworks. Often these were grouped  together, but these groups were not always all of one type of artwork. Some pieces were separated from anything like them.   Some of the pieces were what you might traditionally think of as art, paintings and sculpture and  drawings.…

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Edexcel exams for home educators

It’s the latest iteration of my “exams for home educators” table – showing you how accessible different subjects are for home educators to take as private candidates. The table now includes all Pearson Edexcel GCSEs, IGCSEs and A levels. For each subject you’ll find the exam code, available sittings, and details of how many papers and/or NEA assessments there are. Pale coloured rows are exam only and the easiest to access as a home educator; mid coloured rows are a bit trickier and involve an exam centre willing to organise more complicated assessments like language speaking tests. Dark coloured rows…

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Summer 2021 exam arrangements for private candidates

All the links you’ll ever need to find out about how home educators and other private candidates can get graded this summer, after exams were cancelled. Grading arrangements and support are slightly different depending on which exam board and qualification you’re sitting. We’ll start with Ofqual regulated qualifications, which include all the English GCSEs, AS and A levels from AQA, OCR, Pearson Edexcel and WJEC Eduqas (the boards that make up the JCQ). Next up we’ll look at Pearson Edexcel International GCSEs (IGCSEs), and then CAIE International GCSEs, AS and A levels. CCEA in Northern Ireland and WJEC CBAC in…

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2021 Exams for home educators – where are we now?

So, the long awaited Ofqual/DfE consultations about alternative arrangements for summer 2021 exams is out… what’s the news for home educators? This applies to AQA, Pearson (Edexcel), OCR, and WJEC Eduqas GCSEs, AS levels and A levels, ie all the Ofqual regulated qualifications. Welsh and NI GCSEs have their own rules, and IGCSEs don’t have the follow the same rules – more about those below. The DfE has this to say: Private candidates will be assessed in a similar way to other students, by a recognised exam centre using an adapted range of evidence, which includes taking the exam board…

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What Edexcel IGCSEs can home educators take?

When it comes to choosing subjects to take at GCSE level, there are two things to consider: What subject does your child want to study? Will the qualification be accessible if you’re not registered with a school and need to sit the exam as a private candidate? There is a wider range of subjects than you might remember from your time in school, so there are some interesting options available beyond the usual Maths and English – why not try Arabic, Business or Global Citizenship? However some subjects have what is called ‘NEA’ or Non-Exam Assessment sections. These are things…

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What’s going on with exams for home educators in 2021?

What’s the difference between GCSE and IGCSE – and are IGCSE exams cancelled in 2021? Once again, the exam situation in England for GCSEs, AS and A levels in Summer 2021 is different to usual – and central to this for home educators is the difference between GCSE and IGCSE. Gavin Williamson’s announcement on the 6th of January that exams would be replaced with teacher-assessed grades threw home educators into a now-familiar panic – how will teacher-assessed grades work for those without teachers? And are IGCSEs cancelled too? Last year things did not go well for home educators. The majority…

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What I’ve learnt about the early years now all my children are past them.

My youngest recently turned eight. While he’s far from grown up just yet, there’s no denying that he’s not a littlie any more. There are many educational and philosophical approaches that treat the first seven years as a particular period of development in a child’s life – for good reason. The early years are uniquely important, challenging – and lovely. It can be hard to take a breath when you’re in the middle of them, but if you get a moment, here’s what I’ve learnt now my four are all firmly in the next stage of life. Learning Playing really…

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