Our students, their outcomes

Here is what the practitioners have to say - as per their voices, carefully listened to during the conference in Cheltenham in October 2016.

Not just 16 year olds...

The policy is straightforward and you’d be forgiven to think that all our students are recent school leavers who simply got a D grade in Y11, and therefore are given another chance to gain their Maths GCSE. However, in reality, our full-time students are….


  • 16, 17, 18 or 19 years old.
  • some of them are up to 24 years old
  • some studied Foundation, and some Higher at school
  • got a grade D at school, or…
  • …got a G, F or E at school, and then worked their way  through Functional Skills qualifications
  • some did not go to school at all (home-schooled, returning after a break from education)
  • some did not complete secondary school
  • some are very motivated, when they need to get their C for their next course (College, University)
  • and some are “banned” from GCSE classes: they need a GCSE for their next step, but are forced to do FS
  • sometimes they are very disengaged…
  • …and sometimes very scared and/or embarrassed
  • some have very low literacy levels
  • some are new to the country and have no GCSE grade – some are excellent mathematicians, but struggle to access the language of the papers
  • busy: they have jobs, social lives, often caring responsibilities
  • they all are forced to study maths by the policy


How do we make it work for them? All of them? #mathsresits


Aside to the C grade...

The policy is clear: every student under the age of 19 needs to keep learning maths until they get a C grade. Yet, we are teachers, and not policy makers. Aside to getting the magic C, what do we want our students to gain from our lessons?


  • To gain broader maths knowledge
  • To improve their understanding of maths
  • To enjoy their maths lessons – more than “I don’t mind   being in maths”!
  • To be more comfortable and confident with maths
  • To feel good about maths
  • To overcome fear of maths
  • To develop more positive attitudes towards maths
  • To engage with maths
  • To be motivated
  • To learn how to succeed (with no shortcuts)
  • To increase resilience and perseverance
  • To develop the growth mind set
  • To access the hidden curriculum:
    • punctuality, attendance, team work, equality and diversity


And in the light of all the above: since the students need a C grade as per the policy's requirement, do we teach them the exam technique, or the real world maths? Can we teach both?



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