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GCSE (9-1) Astronomy–Observational tasks–2019 deadlines

Hi All,

Please read carefully as this is very important

As you will be made aware, we have obligations with regard to the observational tasks. The information posted will have made clear what is expected.

The ABSOLUTE deadline for EXAM CENTRES (that is not us) to submit the Headmasters Declaration is April 15th 2019.

In line with this. The following are being implimented for 2019 students

First Submission of Observational tasks – Jan 15th.

This will give you ample time to make use of the approaching longer nights and finalise any observations

If feedback is then given to you by your tutor you will then have until

Second Submission of Observational tasks – Feb 15th.

This will be your months notice to get these tasks done and dusted.


This is the FINAL date we will sign off any headmaster declaration forms. After this point any students who have NOT had this signed off will NOT be entered for their exams.

Please consider as well that your course advisor will have other students to review and offer feedback on as well as their day jobs, so please do not submitt the day before deadline and expect it done the following day. The onus is on your to complete this in a timely fashion.

There is plenty of time with November only beginning next week.

For the 2020

Can we ask you to be considering a similar deadline please with first submission for Y1 being offered by Jan 15th as well an so on.

The reason for this is to encourage you to complete the first task so it is not going to be following you to year 2.

Obviously, the March 15th 2019 deadline does not apply to you.

Please note, i might have to change the final deadline in accordance to the requirements of the exam centres we work with. But by and large to cover the integity of this academy, and of course me personally (who has to sign these off). This is what we are implementing.

GCSE Astronomy by Distance Learning

Enrol onto our GCSE Astronomy course at any time of the year. On payment you receive access to your own personal course advisor, our materials via a secure portal, and a dedicated forum.

Not to mention the Wiki and robotic telescope access that comes with it. We’re certainly starting to lead the way for GCSE Astronomy, in fact we believe for ANYTHING Astronomy

Maths for GCSE Astronomy

Our latest master piece! Especially for those with a weakness for maths, get ahead for the GCSE! not only in the maths but the other skills you will need to learn. Only with OAS Academy!

GCSE Astronomy with OASA, how does it work?

The course we run now is the new GCSE Astronomy (9-1). There are various differences which are already covered on the website, however to ease confusion on how it works.

To enrol for the course can happen by a number of ways

1. Easy instalment of £20 a month (this will change as we get closer to the time to allow parents to pay up on time). The link is here

Please note that enrolment via this process means you will NOT gain access to the materials or have anything sent until final payment is made

2. Pay for first year in full. This covers for 2018 – 2019 study. This is £150, you can do that here. Although you can pay by Paypal, it is better by BACS, account details are emailed if you choose to pay this way.

Once paid, what happens then?

You will be asked for

1. Full name of student

2. Date of Birth

3. Full postal address

Indication of which exam centre you prefer to use. (please note, this is now NOT LONGER part of the fee). We can aid in terms of centres we work with, but encourage students to use their own. Also if you have SEN, we need to know about that ASAP as facilities are limited.

The examboard we use is the only one that offers GCSE Astronomy, Edexcel Pearsons.

Once received you will be assigned logins to

1. The Virtual Learning Environment (this is where all the material is)

2. Our forum, it is essential you use this as all questions are posted here

3. Our Wiki (it is where we post course relevant material for easy access)

4. Helpdesk, so that any problems can be posted.

You will also be

a) Allocated a tutor

b) Sent out materials

From there on, all study takes place on the VLE. This package does NOT include one 2 one Skype tutorials or Facetime. If this is desired the tutor could provide it but this could incur an extra charge (to be discussed with them, if they cannot, we will find a tutor for you who will).

In general this is a self paced study course where the student is very much in charge of their own learning. Tutors are there for guidance. However please wherever possible, post any questions direct to the forum. Not only can this assist with easing the tutors workload (if many are asking the same questions) but it can also aid other students who might be aided from the responses.

So please do

a) Follow the topics, keep in mind usually the paper downloadable quiz will contain the same questions and the interactive digital one. Same goes for the interactives (contain same information as the book).

Also we’ve been working hard building a wiki to compliment the VLE now as well.

The tutor is there for any specific guidance you might need and might not want to put on the forum.


This has been a concern. In line with which from 2018, student names will no longer be used in any of our portals, only student numbers which of course will help identify the student to us and noone else. Please note, only authorised students are permitted in the forum. However now. We add them. Please use the portals we provide it is part of our agreement.

I hope this goes someway to answer the questions i have been asked in recent weeks/ days. Any other questions please do not hesitate to ask. More about the course and the specification can be seen here.

At the end of the GCSE Astronomy Year One, a further £150 will be payable for the second year. Again this will be required in full before access and tutors can be assigned.

The total cost for the GCSE Astronomy for the two years is £300

GCSE Astronomy

Exciting times ahead for our course!, like it wasnt already GREAT value for the money, we’re introducing some extras!

A Wiki

Not new technology, indeed not, but we’re been having a play and discovered that it can be used for so much more.

Detailed exam notes

Detailed Exam board notes

extra resources we’ve found on the net.

This will be implemented during the course of the new year enabling students to find more information easily and in a safe environment


We’re also looking at implementing a helpdesk where tickets can be opened to things like

access problems

issues with material

Hope you like it!

Price increases

Announcement – From January 13th, it is an offense for any retail outlet, online or otherwise to penalise the consumer for using a debit / credit card or payment gateway.

Sadly for all businesses it costs us to accept payment via PayPal or any other gateway. In line with this although in compliance to this new legislation we have removed the extra percentage we charged (for PayPal for example) for many of our margin products such as meteorites and telescopes, we have had to apply the margin to the overall cost. However, in effect we are not charging anymore than we were. I can assure customers that prices are now also all in. Including cost of shipping. (although in the case of the GCSE, we no longer include exam fees in the costing).

Any questions please do not hesitate to email

What does it take to become an astronaut

An Astronaut,  far from a person who might just hop into a space suit and go jetting into space is someone who have had to complete a very vigorous process to get there.

It might look straight forward where they float backward and forward doing space flips on the International Space Station but each person is trained and specialised to carry out a range of tasks. After all if emergency befalls they will be expected to keep a cool head and fix the problem or abandandon station so to speak.

It was an eye opener to read Scott Kellys book, Endurance, where i learned just how much he went through to train and how eventually he did actually become an astronaut. In many cases though these people are not just astronauts. They are pioneers, very brave people. People who make sacrifices so we can push our boundaries forward. People whose actions might not win many medals or get the front page of the press for everything they do. But their actions in many ways can be as brave as a serving military person.

This link i think goes a long way to asking, what exactly does it take to become an astronaut.

Gravity, a curse or a necessity?

After having been reading Endurance by Scott Kelly, and i am still half way through this book, i am coming to realise just how much we seem to take for granted here on Earth.

For the large part, we have breathable air. If it gets stuffy or toxic where we are, it should not be too far to go for fresh breathable air to be found. How amazing it is too that this envelope of air we breath is both consistent and reliable as it provides an envelope around our planet. For example, we do not stop to think before going shopping, or to another city, will there be air to breath. It is taken for granted there is. We do not think about it either when we take a flight to somewhere. We take for granted that although we might be hit by the sudden heat or even chill that we were neither expecting, nor prepared for we still nevertheless are able to crack on.

However reading how on the ISS, it was a constant battle between obtaining clean breathable oxygen and the rise of toxic Co2. Even though we can tolerate levels of CO2 it is nevertheless a toxic gas.

Not only that, but when you get out of bed, go for a shower or run a bath. it is taken for granted the water falls vertically down the plug hole or remains in the bath. You are not suddenly confronted by a massive globular giant water monster coming to drown you!

Even after that things like going to the toilet, again its not a problem. So Gravity is quiet helpful here too. Certainly we can just as easily curse gravity, when our prized china gets pushed off a ledge and smashes, or when decorating you drop your brush from the top of the ladder.

Yet we can confidently walk down the street to buy the paper in confidence of knowing that we’re pretty secure to the planet and will not be spun off into outer space. After all, not much standing between you and the big blue yonder when your out and about is there?

Again sitting to dinner. We plate up. Fish, chips, Ham, what you will is put on the plate. cups and glasses for beverages by and large remain seated at the table until moved. We’re not constantly chasing things that tend to float away.

Even down to going to bed, we can lie horizontally with our duvets over us, confident they will not float away in time.

Now take away gravity, how would the above life be different. Coffee floating around the station, water. Chasing peanuts as you try to catch in your mouth. strange life. Exciting indeed. Could i take it for 6 months to a year though! Not sure!

Professor Jocelyn Bell

It was a please to see Professor Bell interview on the BBC News. Made famous by her discover of Pulsars which she discovered while doing her PhD at Cambridge. Controversially though, it was her supervisor Professor Anthony Hewish who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics for the work.

Professor Bell as defended the Nobel prizes institution by offering there were various reasons for this ranging from the risk Professor Hewish was making in announcing the discovery. Had it been wrong it would have reflected more badly on him than the then Ms Bell.

Also as Professor Bell puts it, the Nobel Prize committee would have seen students as unwanted dross (her words!). So the credit went to Prof Hewish not herself.

However as she has often said, she is not embittered by it. As she said if she were awarded the prize she would have got nothing else. Since she has received every other awarded and honour going. in fact i think its in line with what Prof Richard Feyman said when he was told he had been awarded the Nobel prize. He initially was going to decline it, until he told to do so would result in more publicity than if he accepted it.

Perhaps more controversially the fall out of Prof Bells award, Fred Hoyle argued with the committee saying he did not think he was right. It cost him his prize as well!

So we have a piece of interstellar rock in our solar system

Not sure its going to disclose much to scan it for alien technology, but i was interested to know this could have come from another star system. Wherever its come from it has taken millions of years to reach us. We know its come from outside the solar system as the orbit of the asteroid could not have been created within our own solar system.

Reassuringly the chemistry of the object appears to be similar to what we already know about in the solar system. We also know it is dark red, which is indicative of it containing organic material.

It is a shame we cannot nip out and grab a sample of it. With some 10 000 similar like it in the solar system, i wonder if some of it has already made it to the Earth. Weird thing of course is the cigar shape of this.

Time will tell!

Have a read of these links and this