Monthly Archives: August 2017

GCSE Results 2017

There’s no hiding from it. Thursday will soon be here. I know, it seemed so far away when you finished your last exam. But now is the time to get prepared and face the results, not with fear but with a feeling of positivity.

If you get the grades you want, fantastic. Even better if you get better than you hoped. But if you drop grades, don’t panic. Talk to your teachers and get a plan in place. Remember, you are young and have many years ahead of you. A small hiccup now will seem insignificant in the years to come. It is how we deal with setbacks that marks us out.

If you have done well, don’t get cocky and complacent. If you are going on to A Level, things are going to get much tougher.

So get ready for the next exciting phase of your life.

As always, The Student Room has some great advice. Go look.

How I tutor online

If you are thinking about having a tutor you may have in mind the idea of student and teacher sat at a desk together, like at school. This is how I started tutoring. But over the last couple of years I have gradually been moving online. I wanted to share with you how I work and so have made a short video.

Remote learning is nothing new. If you are of a certain age you might remember watching Skippy..The Bush Kangaroo. I have vivid memories of seeing kids in the Australian outback sat in front of huge radio sets, getting schooling via The School of the Air – that’s been going since 1951. I’m a graduate of the Open University; they discovered the power of remote learning, taking on their first students in 1971.

You may have noticed that online learning is really gaining ground now, with the likes of Coursera, FutureLearn and Udemy providing first class educational content. You can watch whole lecture series from the likes of Stanford, Harvard and Princeton for free. Technology now is ideally suited to online teaching and our children are growing up in an online world and are well used to the tools used to learn online.


There is no permanent place in this world for ugly mathematics

“A mathematician, like a painter or poet, is a maker of patterns. If his patterns are more permanent than theirs, it is because they are made with ideas.”

These words, and the title of this blog, were written by the great British mathematician G H Hardy in his essay, A Mathematician’s Apology, published in 1940. Hardy was at the end of what he saw as his useful creative life as a mathematician and used this work as an opportunity to describe what he saw as the nature of mathematics. Its place in the world. Its beauty. Even how some branches are “trivial” or “ugly” compared to his sphere, of number theory. He also gives an insight to how mathematicians work. He wanted to inspire upcoming generations of mathematicians.

There is a wonderful irony when he writes “No one has yet discovered any warlike purpose to be served by the theory of numbers or relativity, and it seems unlikely that anyone will do so for many years.” He had no idea how his beloved number theory would be used to crack the German Enigma code and then go on to underpin all of public-key cryptography so important to the Internet today.

In short, if you have an interest in mathematics, you must read this book. If you are studying A Level maths and certainly if you want to study maths at university, it is essential reading. It’s short too. All over in less than 150 pages. You will not be disappointed.

A Level Results 2017

A Level Results Day is just over a week away. There is no avoiding it, and you shouldn’t want to. If you have done the work you will be fine. If you are expecting AS results you will know what needs to be done next year. Focus and go do it! If this is A2, I hope you get what you want to move forward. The future is an exciting place to go. Embrace it and do all you can with it.

The Student Room has produced some great advice for the Day. Check it out.