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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.…


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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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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‘Find your new normal’ small group coaching

Starting Friday 3rd April 2020 Whether you were home educating or in school, working from home or out of it, planning a holiday or just meeting up with friends…. life has changed. You’re invited to join a guaranteed-to-be-small group where I’ll guide you through figuring out how to deal with YOUR specific challenges with everything that’s changed (for free). We won’t be sharing random activity ideas or timetables, I’ll be putting fresh eyes on helping you to decide what’s important in your family and how to make that happen.  We’ve been a work-at-home and home educating family for 12+ years now, and…

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The new year will come, whether you’re ready for it or not.

I know, I know, the world is drowning in New Year New Start New Decade!!! messages of all the varieties. Here’s the thing… it’s just a day on the calendar. A pin on the page where someone decided ‘let’s start counting again there’. It doesn’t even quite match the obvious natural marker of the solstice.  Don’t get me wrong, the new year can be a handy point to look back and reflect, and there’s lots of good can come from that. And making plans, I’m told, helps you achieve them. Personally, I’m still stuck in the ‘but how do you…

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Having trouble figuring out your goals? Don’t sweat it

’Tis the time of year for everyone to be talking about goal setting. What do you want to be and do in the new year? What are your goals and how are you going to achieve them? And that’s kinda fun – it’s always nice to imagine all the possibilities of a brand new year. But kinda also a bit stressful. What if you just don’t know what you want to do? There’s a lot of talk out there about following your dreams and setting yourself the big goals that slightly scare you and working all out to get there.…

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What do you want to see here?

Ahem. Time for a blog reboot. I have many posts I’ve been pondering and I hereby give notice that they’re on the way! Here’s a sneak preview of some of the things I’m thinking on… 5 awesome ways to learn… that didn’t work for us What we have found works How kids learn to cook when you can’t face baking with them A series of stories of different educational paths Astronomy GCSE resources and reviews Maths resources round-up (UK focused) Book recommendations for different home education approaches Favourite blog and podcast resources Running a home education group Group activity ideas…

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When you’re in the midst of chaos and it feels like you’re failing everyone

Sometimes it’s the crazy half hour before dinner – when you’re already running late, and your cranky toddler Won’t Stop Shouting, the baby missed a nap, and your older one just smashed a glass of the reddest smoothie you’ve ever seen all over the kitchen. Sometimes it’s when you thought you’d had a great day, then without warning you find a minor disagreement over dinner turns into your tweens both in the midst of a major meltdown because of ongoing issues between them and you can’t talk to one without the other starting up the fight again. Sometimes it’s a…

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