Archive for the ‘School’ Category

Welcome to p16

Monday, September 10th, 2007

First day of post-16 at Landau Forte College!  To bring this blog up to speed:

For GCSE I achieved:

  • English Language: A*
  • Science: A* A*
  • English Literature: A
  • Maths: A
  • DiDA: A A A A
  • Geography: A
  • Business: B
  • German: C

At AS-level I’m taking:

  • English Combined Language and Literature
  • Applied IT
  • Maths
  • Business

I had business first today.  Second session was a ‘study session’, which is Landau’s way of saying ‘free period’.  I decided to spend my ‘study session’ on a 90-minute breakfast break, which sort of backfired when I couldn’t find anywhere in town that did a reasonably cheap, healthy breakfast.  I ended up having a monster pack of M&Ms and a egg and sausage McMuffin, so naturally I feel really ill and will probably have a sugar-crash in double IT, which I have next.

Could be an interesting first day.

Free GCSE revision podcasts

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

That’s right, free revision podcasts for English, Geography, History and the ‘old’ science course from the beeb.

Well, not exactly – Bitesize referrs to them as ‘audio-topics’… soundbites, if you will.  And you don’t need iTunes to listen.  Or even the ability to hear, thanks to the free scripts.

With the terminal exams all but upon us it’s time for some serious cramming.  I know for one that unless I’m in a sterile room with nothing but revision materials to distract me then I’m not realistically going to slog through a boring old revision booklet – and let’s be honest, who has a sterile room?

These ‘soundbites’ could be the ideal solution.  You can download single MP3s for specific topics – say, writing to persuade; subtopics such as writing to persuade, argue, advise; or entire subjects.  They’re useful to make notes from by themselves, or as convenient portable revision from your MP3 player.  Useful for bus and car journeys in these critical last few days before the exams, no?

Download free audio revision bites from BBC GCSE Bitesize.

Surviving DiDA SPBs

Thursday, February 22nd, 2007

The deadline for DiDA module d204 is almost upon us (at LFC, anyway), so now seems an appropriate time to share some wisdom that I have acquired over the past 3 units.

1. Organize yourself!

This has got to be the single most important thing to get right to pass a DiDA SPB – you must be organized. I don’t mean by turning up to lessons on time and managing to use some primary sources – I mean that your entire mindset in the DiDA project must be impeccable order.

For the d201 and d202 SPBs, I managed to lose practically every scrap of feedback I managed to get down on paper – and the feedback that I did get wasn’t even that good anyway. I didn’t bother to print anything off from the SPBs, so everything was a mad rush at crunch-time when it transpired that I wasn’t meeting the criteria.

Go to WHSmiths or Wilkos tomorrow and buy yourself a ringbinder, some coloured dividers with tabs and as many poly-wallets as you can afford. Group together all of your printed off bits of paper – and if you’re working correctly you should have a fair few of them – and slip them in to poly-wallets together. For example, I group all completed feedback for a particular product in a poly-wallet, and all of my completed feedback under one divider. (more…)

Setting the standard

Friday, February 16th, 2007

‘Treat others as you would like to be treated’ – a classic rule that was told to a class of 28 starry-eyed innocents 4 years ago in one of my year’s initial RE lessons. It’s tacky, it’s cheesy, but it’s also a tactful way of saying ‘stop being so conceited you egotistical little fuck’.

But is it always relevant? Two loosely related events today made me consider this.

I have that cold bug that’s going around, on top of some other underlying headache-inducing nastyness, so I have felt pretty under the weather for the past few days. Whilst txting my mother in ‘tutor-time’ (a sort of doss session where you can catch up on work, which is officially described as either ‘a time to socialize with your peers’ or ‘a time for silent work’ depending on the teacher’s mood), my personal tutor decided it would be a good idea to steal my phone. (more…)

The Great System Purge

Friday, February 16th, 2007

The system techies at Landau Forte College are gearing up for a sweep of your user areas, and you have less than a week to cover your tracks.

This isn’t something that will happen to a couple of repeat-offending scapegoats after a seven day amnesty – the network admins are applying pressure now, and they are locked on to you.

Case and point – two students were pulled out of DiDA today for being on ‘inappropriate sites’ recently and are having letters sent home to their parents. Yeah, you know, DiDA, that quadrouple ICT thing which is pet subject of the senior ICT staff. ICT can’t afford to fail its first batch of DiDA students – if it was any other subject then the students would probably had their Internet access removed. This is 6 days before the end of the ‘amnesty’.

Less than a clean record? Delete the following:

  • Flash games that you have downloaded to your user area;
  • Proxies in your favourites – yes, even that one you named ‘BBC Bitesize’;
  • Pictures of bands or celebrities;
  • Lyrics and guitar tabs;
  • Music;
  • Links to ‘inapropriate sites’ such as game sites, social networks or streaming media.

And stay off those games sites and MySpace for a few weeks. Better to keep your head down until the techies are off high-alert than lose your Internet access and possibly your access to your user area for the rest of the year.

Opening up my GCSE revision notes

Sunday, December 17th, 2006

I decided to type up the bulk of my GCSE revision notes over the holidays as a form of revision. Then it hit me – if I am digitizing so much knowledge, why not make it freely available to everyone?

Creative Commons Logo

I have decided to release my notes under the Creative Commons Attribution License 2.5. These ‘creative’ licenses, sometimes referred to as ‘copyleft’, serve to remove some of the restraints copyright puts on your work. For example, with the license I have chosen, anyone is free to copy my work – for commercial gain or otherwise – as long as:

  1. I am attributed;
  2. The license of the work is stated wherever it is used;

However, I can waive any of the above terms.

Anyway, the revision notes, which will feature in the… umm… features section, will be based on the Joomla! CMS. This particular system allows logins and multiple authors, forums and so on, so if the site is popular then I may open the system up as a community site.

I am taking the following subjects at GCSE level:

  • English Language and literature
  • Mathematics (higher tier)
  • Science (Salters double award)
  • DiDA
  • Business
  • Geography (?) *
  • German *

*I may or may not feature these.

Watch this space!