Sharing (good) practice - some ideas from FE practitioners!

Access to GCSE

  • Anyone with a D grade OR Functional Skills Level 1
  • Anyone with a D grade OR Functional Skills Level 2


Higher or foundation?

  • Mainly foundation
  • Every student starts on foundation, with extra sessions for the higher tier students
  • All students do higher – equal opportunities
  • Foundation for 16-19, higher for adults
  • Foundation tier by default
  • Higher offered to the students with a C-grade only
  • Higher: students must have confidence to pick and choose questions


Plans for the new GCSE

  • Likely foundation
  • Likely Edexcel
  • If possible, attainment split: grade 3 students and grade 4/5 students
  • Big concern #1: mixed groups –old spec/new spec at school
  • Big concern #2: what to do with grade 4 students? Will grade 4 count as “pass” by the time these students leave college?
  • Expecting bigger classes


Schemes of work particulars

  • SoW starts with number work and maths resilience
  • SoW starts with investigative work that brings in different topics
  • SoW starts with project maths and making maths fun
  • Students can initially be resistant to new approaches/methods
  • SoW based around “middle” topics
  • Extra exam-cramming sessions from Easter onwards
  • Based on JustMaths, 1 topic per lesson
  • SoW in a 4 week cycle: assess and diagnose (1 week), individual learning (1 week), taught (2 weeks)
  • No SoW – decide what to cover based on past papers done at home
  • Last year: topic based SoW, number, geometry, algebra, data - did not work too well; this year: first half term: project based work with no baseline assessment until after half term, e.g.: rocket launches, buying a car, planning a holiday, setting up a business
  • Bank of resources associated with vocational courses


Exam boards

  • Edexcel: lots of resources and brilliant one year SoW
  • AQA: lots of resources; Julia Smith’s training is very good
  • WJEC/Eduqas: considering for new GCSE as only two exams  



Sessions – length and distribution

  • 1 times 1.2h a week
  • 1 times 2h a week
  • 1 times 3.5h per week
  • 1 times 3 hours a week – split teachers
  • 2 times 1h a week
  • 2 times 1.25h a week
  • 2 times 1.5h a week plus 2 times 0.5h intervention
  • 2 times 2h per week
  • 2 times 2.5h a week
  • 3 times 2h per week
  • 3 times 1.25h per week
  • 5h a fortnight – 4 times 1h in one week, 1h in another
  • 5 times 50 mins per week
  • For November resit, we have 6 lessons a week
  • No maths in the first slot on Monday and the last slot on Friday
  • Up to 23 students in a class
  • Vocational students grouped by subject


June 2016 results

  • 2016 results were down compared to 2015, especially for the higher tier students
  • Reason #1: not being able to choose an appropriate qualification for D-grade students; not every D-grade student ready for GCSE
  • Reason #2: non-attendance for the exams

  • Reason#3: increase in class sizes


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