Peter wanted to pursue his dream of second language teaching, from South Korea, so studied GCSE Mathematics and International GCSE Human Biology online with ICS Learn!
At the time of enrolling with ICS (March 2019) I was living in South Korea, with my wife and two children. My mother had fallen quite ill, and we had decided to return to the UK. However, this was not going to be so easy, as in 2012 the Conservative government had brought in an immigration law affecting spouses outside of the EU.
Having worked in South Korea on and off for almost 15 years, I knew it would be difficult to reach the minimum income requirement required by the government.
I already had a Masters' in English with a teaching certificate equal to that of a DELTA. But second language teaching in the UK is hard to find full-time, so after some discussion with my wife, we thought it best that I go for a QTS/PGCE.
Yet, I quickly realised that although I excelled in social sciences, A-levels and a BA Hons degree, and was strong in languages and subjects like history, with GCSEs grade C and above, I had never really applied myself to Mathematics and Science.
I called up the university that I was applying to, and they recommended ICS Learn. I enrolled with them on the International GCSE subjects, Maths and Human Biology, and was surprised at how easy this was to do, even from South Korea.
Furthermore, the layout of the programme was fantastic, and very easy to access online, all the time.
I quickly developed a positive relationship with both my Human Biology and Maths tutor. Both were willing to go the extra mile, finding and sharing links and their own work online to aid my education.
After a few months I decided to leave South Korea, unfortunately this required that I leave my family behind, in order to work and become eligible for the family visa and the MIR (minimum income rule).
I continued to study and work closely with both tutors up until September/October.
The Maths classes with (Alexis) my tutor were fantastic, every day I would bombard her with multiple questions seeking answers and confirmation that I was doing well.
You see, I was truly scared of Maths, and Alexis and ICS gave me the confidence to re-enter the adult classroom back in the UK. Here I quickly established myself as one of the stronger candidates in class, often topping the table in tests and mocks. Thank you so much Alexis and ICS.
However, in the case of Human Biology, there were no adult classes, I decided I was going to see this through to the end with David, my tutor and ICS, and sit the exam at a local institution as an external candidate.
To some this may sound quite daunting, but trust me it isn't that hard to achieve, ICS will explain fully how to do it, online, and if you need further assistance, you can always call students services.
Again, my Human Biology tutor was legendary. I do not exaggerate when I say; I pummelled him with ideas, thoughts, questions and constant requests for additional readings.
I would send him photos of my science experiments, all of which he took the time to review and feedback. Often the questions I would ask would far exceed his remit, and if he was unable, which was rare, to answer himself he would find me links and videos, to aid my research and study. Kudos to you David.
As my exam approached my tutor found, full, International GCSE mock papers for me to do, and even allowed me to submit them to him, where he took the time to mark them, feedback and even provided me with a marking key, he also recommended literature and a great textbook to read.
As the exams approached, I was growing in confidence and ability, often assisting the students at the secondary school I worked at, as a teaching assistant, with their science work, and often impressing myself with what I had learned.
Then, boom: Covid! I was worried, all that work, my family's future, my exams. The exams were quickly cancelled about a month before I was due to sit them. I need not worry.
The ICS team stepped in. Of course, this part was new to them, but they still came through for me. The exams officer contacted me, assured me that they could get me through.
It got complicated, and at times I thought they that they would give up on me, but they never did!
ICS, needing to ensure my entry was valid, so they set up an online (observed) exam, which would help authenticate my grade, furthermore, I received a phone call assessment from my tutor, further to strengthen my and authenticate my grade: an A grade I received promptly at 9am on the 20th of August. Phew!
So here I am. A place at Sussex University to become a QTS/PGCE Primary school teacher.
Thank you, ICS and all your staff, from tutors to admin and exam officers.
Inspired by Peter's story? Study an International GCSE course 100% online and from home with ICS Learn. Contact our team today to find out more.