Skip to main content

GCSE Award Ceremony 2016 - a duet


Gemma O’Donovan currently works for a local pharmaceutical company and decided it was time to put her mind to it and attempt to achieve her GCSE in English after failing four times in previous attempts. She was understandably apprehensive, but was determined to give it a go.

Gemma searched for a GCSE English course online, and then rang up Surrey Adult Learning (SAL). She found the enrolment process smooth and the customer service staff helpful.

After attending the information, guidance and advice session, Gemma was offered a place on a GCSE English course, led by Sue Haigh, a very experienced and qualified Tutor at the Camberley Centre. She described her learning experience as fun and inspirational.

The course content was intense and required focus and commitment throughout the academic year. Learners were expected to study two books in-depth. The Tutor taught Learners language analysis, interpretation of poetry and set homework. One project task included speaking and listening skills, by the delivery of a presentation to the other Learners in the group. The course also involved 4 controlled assessments.

Gemma enjoyed the team spirit of the group and also the peer mentoring. Overall, Gemma found the whole experience “great fun!” and was happy to relate how she had made a friend and buddied up during the course with fellow Learner Tina Vincent, and how they had worked together to achieve GCSE success.

Learner Tina Vincent failed Maths at school and carried it about her like a cloak. “I always felt bad about it, and I really wanted to do something to sort it out”. She felt that she could have done better in the world of work if she had those core base qualifications.

Tina took the plunge last year, and successfully achieved a Pre-GCSE Maths qualification in 2015, with SAL. She wanted her learning to progress and followed on with the GCSE Maths and English courses with SAL.

Tina went online, gave the SAL Customer Service Team a call and attended an information, advice and guidance session, where she was successful in gaining a place to study for her GCSE’s at the Camberley Centre.

She said, “I really enjoy returning to learning at this point in my life, the classes are warm and friendly, the atmosphere is so different to traditional school”. Tina is well placed to know this, as she works as an examination invigilator at a Secondary school.

Tina and Gemma became friends during the course, sharing learning strategies and completing spellings together.

The exam results were sent out by the Examinations Officer at SAL. Tina’s husband opened the email and texted her results. She was over the moon, saying, “You can’t be right!”

Surrey Adult Learning is proud of the 100% pass rate this year, which is testimony to the dedication of our first class Tutors and the willingness of our Learners to invest time and effort in achieving the qualifications.