Wider Learning Resources: May 2019

Mr C Dodd – Staff Editor

The wider learning resources listed below are updated regularly. Please report any missing or broken hyperlinks.


GSAL Resources

The Lawson Library at GSAL has an excellent Research Zone online, providing easy access to a wide range of learning resources.

The Academic Extension area on GSAL World aims to help students develop their own interests and think beyond the confines of classroom subjects.


Widening Participation

The Widening Participation programme seeks to increase both the number and proportion of people from under-represented and disadvantaged groups accessing higher education. Students from lower income households, people with disabilities and some ethnic minority groups may be eligible.

If you think that you might be eligible for consideration through the Widening Participation programme, please speak in confidence to a member of the Higher Education (HE) team in school.


Latest Updates

**NEW** Encyclopedia Britannica’s Demystified Stories

Never stop questioning! Encyclopedia Britannica’s Demystified stories give insight into some of life’s big mysteries; uncover the answers to fascinating questions and more.


CORE is a portal for searching open-access scientific publications. CORE’s mission is to aggregate all open access research outputs from repositories and journals worldwide and make them available to the public. In this way CORE facilitates free unrestricted access to research for all.


JSTOR is a digital library containing digitized back issues of academic journals, books and other primary sources, and current issues of journals. It provides full-text searches of almost 2,000 journals. GSAL has a school subscription accessible through the online Research Zone of the Lawson Library.

**NEW** The BMJ

The BMJ is a weekly peer-reviewed medical journal. It is one of the world’s oldest general medical journals. Originally called the British Medical Journal, the title was officially shortened to BMJ in 1988, and then changed to The BMJ in 2014. The BMJ is defined by its mission: to work towards a healthier world for all. They share that global endeavour with millions of readers working in clinical practice, research, education, government, and with patients and the public too.

**NEW** Periodicals

In addition to the popular A-level subject Review magazines, there are a wide range of periodicals available in the school library and online. A full list of recommended periodicals is available on The GSAL Journal.

**NEW** Podcasts

Regularly updated and often free to subscribe, podcasts are an excellent way to broaden your horizons and develop critical thinking on the go. A full list of recommended podcasts is available on The GSAL Journal.

**NEW** My HE Plus

Thinking about applying to University and looking for ways to explore your subject beyond the curriculum? Then this website is for you. Each topic is produced by Cambridge postgraduate students and academics at the cutting edge of research in their field. The topics provide guided activities, questions to think about and suggestions for further reading. The main subject pages also give you a quick guide to what it would be like to study the subject at university level and suggest some further resources to check out. Click on a subject icon or search all topics to get started. 

**NEW** Oxford Sparks

Oxford Sparks is a portal for engaging with a wealth of exciting science taking place across Oxford University. Oxford Sparks brings together resources and information from across the University so you can explore and discover our research. We also produce our own videos and podcasts that showcase cutting edge and exciting research taking place at the University by working with the researchers themselves. Each video we create is accompanied by a set of high-quality, teacher-approved teaching resources that provides different angles to teach the topic, for secondary school students.

**NEW** Newsbank Newspapers

GSAL subscribes to Newsbank Newspapers, a database of over 250 local, regional and national newspapers to research and track issues and events. Newsbank allows us to have access to: Customisable, map-based interface to enhance selection and search of key titles or regions; Multiple search options to help users find relevant information quickly and easily. The access is via IP address authentication in school—follow InfoWeb Newsbank—and via a password for access from outside school.

**NEW** University of Leicester Essay Writing Guide

This Study Guide addresses the topic of essay writing. The essay is used as a form of assessment in many academic disciplines, and is used in both coursework and exams. It is the most common focus for study consultations among students using Learning Development.


Popular Resources

Art, Architecture and Design

Keep an eye out for enrichment events advertised through year group bulletins, or speak to Mrs Young.

The Economist

Student subscriptions to The Economist are available through school for around £30 per year—a significant reduction on the normal student rate. Speak to Mr Law (Economics) for more information.

The Financial Times (Economics, Finance, Politics)

Free access to online resources—visit FT.com from within the GSAL network. You will need to log in using your school email address as your username in order to re-authenticate your account and reinstate your complimentary access. If you have forgotten your password, you can reset it here. New students can also sign up for complimentary access using this link: https://join.ft.com/0e3f93e4-d09e-4fa1-aa1e-a110061286fe. You must sign up while connected to the school’s computer network and should use your school email address as your username.

Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs)

Future Learn—choose from hundreds of online courses from top universities and specialist organisations. You could start with Critical Thinking at University: An Introduction, provided by the University of Leeds.

EdX—a leader in its field, edX offers hundreds of online courses, many of which are free, from some of the leading universities in the world, including MIT, Harvard, Berkeley.

Medical Schools’ Council

Studying medicine at any university is extremely challenging but highly rewarding. The competition for paces on medical degree courses is fierce so it definitely helps to be prepared early. The MSC provides a wealth of information about applying to study medicine at university.


Oxplore is an innovative digital outreach portal from the University of Oxford. As the ‘Home of Big Questions’ it aims to engage those from 11 to 18 years with debates and ideas that go beyond what is covered in the classroom. Big questions tackle complex ideas across a wide range of subjects and draw on the latest research undertaken at Oxford. Oxplore aims to realise aspirations, promote broader thinking and stimulate intellectual curiosity.

Royal Geographical Society & Geographical Association

Both the RGS and GA offer student memberships. The RGS has a lot of information on their website about courses, employment and wider geography issues which would be useful for those considering geography-related opportunities.

STEP Support

Developed by the Cambridge Faculty of Mathematics and NRICH, a new online STEP Support Programme has been designed to help potential university applicants develop their advanced problem-solving skills and prepare for sitting STEP. For more information see here.

Student Hut

This is a useful student review website designed to help prospective university students explore and compare rankings and reviews on multiple aspects of university life.

Think Cambridge Law

Thinking about Law at University? We explore admissions, student experiences, events, career possibilities, and opportunities for future Law students at the Cambridge University Faculty of Law. Click here to find out more.

Underground Mathematics

These resources from Cambridge help students build firm foundations for mathematical understanding by connecting ideas and developing techniques. https://undergroundmathematics.org/

One thought on “Wider Learning Resources: May 2019

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s