Our student Sam reviews her experience of studying IGCSE Science online and getting the grades that she needs her to take her career to the next level.
I started studying with ICS Learn after four years of studying at university. I had been studying to becoming a teacher and it had been a long route.
I'm 31 years old and a mother to a 13-year-old daughter and an 8-year-old son. I spent many years working in a nursery knew I was good at my job and enjoyed it.
In 2012 when the council offered to fund a foundation degree in early years education I jumped at the chance.
That was the start, I loved the course, I felt my knowledge and practice improve and enjoyed studying with my fellow professionals.
After three years of studying part time alongside work I received my merit diploma.
My life has changed, the children were older, and I had moved to a school, taking on more responsibility over a number of various roles, breakfast club coordinator, individual needs assistant and Forrest school practitioner.
The next step in my education was a BA honours in professional studies in learning and education. The course finished by writing a 10,000-word essay and it was tough.
Working three jobs, looking after two kids and trying to maintain a relationship was tough! But I passed and was looking forward to going in to the next step and starting my one-year teaching course. Except I couldn't.
New changes to the teaching requirements meant I needed an honours degree and GCSE A-C in English, Maths and Science. And I didn't have my Science.
I didn't know what to do studying had taken a strain on my personal and professional life and I couldn't even begin to think of starting a science course. Beside no local collages offered science courses.
So, I changed jobs to an academy and stopped thinking about it.
Then the academy I worked for approached me, they saw my potential and wanted to promote me, they wanted to start me working as an unqualified teacher and fund my PGCE study. My problem I didn't have my science.
My mum brought me the course as a 30th birthday present and so with fear I started.
My previous study had all been around my job and I had loved it. How on earth was I going to study something I wasn't interested in? Besides I was no good at it having failed at school.
I'm not going to lie it was tough. I would have a look at the course two evenings a week and one day at the weekend.
The number of things to learn was daunting and despite my earlier protest some of it was actually quite interesting!
Then the time was nearly here to sit exams. The week before I sat them I heard back from university they had accepted me. I could start in September if I could pass my science.
That week was incredibly tough, I revised so much using notes and going back through my graded papers and the tutor’s advice.
It was helpful to have had a real person mark your test paper and give feedback on it. I received feedback that told me that the answer was correct but knowledge a bit weak.
This helped me brush up on all areas that I was insecure in. So, I sat my exams felt confident about two papers and nervous about one.
Result day sees me standing in front of a collage with my two kids in tow watching confident and chilled teenagers collect their results in a blasé way.
I am shaking.
My daughter opens the envelope and it’s there - two B grades! Cue hugging, crying and frantic checking she had it right.
Then the phone calls, mum crying, partner nearly crying and friends whooping down the phone.
I couldn't believe it. This GCSE had seemed like the biggest barrier to me continuing and I don't think I did believe I could do it.
Being able to study from home at convenient times made it achievable. The personal feedback pointed me I the right direction.
So now that's it just one more year to fulfil my ambition. I'm just about to go on my first university residential and I wouldn't be doing that without my science GCSE.
Thank you and to anyone contemplating continuing their study through ICS Learn good luck, you can do it!
Inspired by Sam's story? Find out more about studying GCSEs and IGCSEs online.