OpenLearn - Free courses from The Open University

The Open University have made a number of short courses available, for free. These courses have been proven to increase confidence and develop the skills needed to enter Higher Education and succeed with learning. They are also courses that you can mention on your UCAS application. You can choose an OpenLearn course from a wide range of subjects. Some are based on Open University course materials. Others are written specifically for OpenLearn. Check out the catalogue below and sign up today.

Example courses include:

Year 11 into Year 12 Bridging Tasks

To help you make the best possible start to A Level studies, your teachers have put together some possible tasks you can be doing in preparation for starting Year 12. If you are planning on doing A Level at Fairfax we would strongly recommend that you do this work in preparation. The suggested activities are below. If you have any queries please message your teacher through Show My Homework or email [email protected]

Suggested Activities in Preparation For Year 12

This document contains a range of possible tasks which students could complete in preparation for their A Level and BTEC studies. Subject specific resources will be uploaded over the coming weeks. Please note that Fairfax reserves the right to withdraw courses that are not viable. All courses require a minimum number of students to qualify as a viable programme of study.

Year 11 into Year 12 Bridging Tasks


Subject Specific Resources

  • Accounting

    A Level Bridging Tasks – Accounting

    A Level Accounting ·       My Revision Notes: AQA A-level Accounting, by David Lewis, ISBN 9781510449367

    ·       Accounting for AQA: AS and A-Level Year 1, by David Cox, ISBN 9781911198123

  • BTEC Business

    BTEC Business Research TWO Businesses (ONE profit making e.g. TESCO and ONE non profit making e.g. CANCER RESEARCH, OXFAM), find out:

    • Type of ownership e.g. sole trader, limited company, voluntary
    • Size of business e.g. number of employees, Turnover, number of stores
    • Scope of business e.g. local, national, international
    • Sector of business e.g. primary, secondary, tertiary
    • Aims and objectives of both businesses
    • Stakeholders of the businesses – how do they influence the business?
    • How do they communicate with their stakeholders? Examples: written, financial, non-financial, formal and informal reports, oral presentations, social media
    • Organisational structure – hierarchical, flat, matrix

    Functional areas, e.g. human resources, sales, marketing, finance, customer service, IT.


    L3 BTEC National in Business ·       Pearson BTEC National Business, Student Book 1, 2016 specification, ISBN 9781292126241

    ·       Unit 1, Exploring Business, online textbook:

    ·       Revise BTEC National Business, Revision Guide, Pearson, ISBN 9781292230566 (Units 2 and 3 ONLY)

  • Economics
    • Carry out some research on the macroeconomic variables e.g. current interest rates, exchange rates, inflation rate, unemployment rate and economic growth of the UK, USA, China, Russia, India, Brazil, South Africa and Vietnam.
    A Level Economics ·       Markets, Consumers and Firms: Theme 1 for Edexcel AS and A Level Economics B, by Nancy Wall and Brian Ellis, ISBN 9781780140131

    ·        Websites to explore:  and


    Complete a time line for the UK documenting how the macroeconomic variables have changed over the past 15 years and what important news stories have impacted on these variables.


    • Visit, click on subjects, then economics. In the search box type ‘head start’


    There are a number of activities for you to complete to give you a head start in your Economics study.

  • English Literature A Level

    English Literature Specification

    Reading List

    Write like a literary scholar

    A Level English Literature – Unseen Prose Booklet



    Students should access the A/AS Level English Literature A for AQA Student Book and the A/AS Level English Language for AQA Student Book as follows:-


    Please Note- All English books have been clubbed together onto one book shelf so you will see A Level, GCSE and Literature.


    1-     Please use the link here to log in and register,

    2-     Use the school name, school postcode and school email address. If you have registered recently for a 30 day trial you will have to use another email address, a personal one or other as you cannot have 2 trials running at the same time on one email.

    3-     Once registered you will be sent a link, with your username and password to the email address used.

    4-     Please log in.

    5-     You will be presented with a bookshelf, please be sure to click onto the correct book.

    6-     Use the home tab top right hand corner to go back to your book shelf. Use the question mark for “how to use”


  • BTEC Information Technology

    BTEC National Extended Certificate in Information Technology

    Look at the specification (Units 1, 2, 3 and 6) and other materials on the website below to find out what this course is all about and what careers it could lead you to.



    L3 BTEC National in IT ·       Revise BTEC National Information Technology, Revision Guide, by Ian Bruce, Daniel Richardson and Alan Jarvis, ISBN 9781292299099

    ·       Revise BTEC National Information Technology, Units 1 and 2, Revision Workbook, by Daniel Richardson and Alan Jarvis, ISBN 9781292230597

    ·       BTEC Nationals Information Technology, Student Book Activebook, by Jenny Phillips, Alan Jarvis, Mark Fishpool, Richard McGill, Tim Cook and David Atkinson-Beaumont, ISBN 9781292140308

  • Law

    Carry out some research into the role of various key people in the justice system. Use the following website and explore both civil and criminal systems. Draw a hierarchy of the courts labelled with the various key personnel in each court and what their role is.


    Also research a recent (last 5 years) news story about either a criminal or civil case which has gone to court. Document a summary of the case (5 x key facts – what, where, who etc.) the outcome and why the case was ruled that way – why did the judge make that decision?


    A Level Law ·       My Revision Notes: AQA A-level Law, by Craig Beauman and Clare Wilson, ISBN 9781510429222

    ·       Website to explore: