EAL is often a subject many teachers in schools need or want inset on. From looking at my class lists this year I know I need to brush up on my skills. Many students particularly in the current climate are arriving in the UK all the time with limited to no English. Within my current school we immerse students with the language by placing them in higher ability sets for the language acquisition and many other support structures are put in place behind the scenes. It isn't however in my nature to just allow a student to sit there, despite the language barrier maths is a universal language. In our subject most EAL students who have been in education in other countries can often start seeing success quickly within Maths.
With #EdexcelMaths trending nationally and news stations across the UK interviewing students highlight what students deemed to be a particularly 'nasty' higher paper 1. Colin Hegarty and I have decided to do a joint post on ways to help motivate your students and get them back in the zone.
The new maths GCSE passports are a resource designed to encourage students to have independence of their revision. However the maths GCSE passport resources also provides direction for the students about how to revise maths, which maths topics to revise and where to look for maths resources. Commonly students struggle to be able to correctly revise mathematics. Many believe reading through a revision guide is enough no matter how many times you tell the students the need to complete maths questions.
After a lot of rethinking last year, I decided to take the GCSE maths passport resource one step further. They focus on both numeracy and maths skills. I was lucky enough to be given a little time to be able to develp the new passports when I moved schools last year. We launched them with a very cheesy assembly to year 11 and placed incentives behind the students completing them such as an iPad prize draw for every completed passport.
The new maths GCSE passport resources are more detailed than ever before. Instead of there being only three passports there are now five. the new maths passports support students with basic numeracy skills up to the complex mathematical concepts. They are seperated into GCSE grades A/A*, B, C1, C2, C3.
With the examination season upon us, both teachers and students are frantically trying to revise the key topics to boost students up a grade in time for the GCSE Exams. There is more pressure than ever on maths results within schools with one set of bad results often meaning relegation in the terms of Ofsted. However it is important that we remember the real reason why we as teachers are bending over backwards and putting many extra hours in to support and push our students over the final hurdle.
Last week I helped organise and run our very own Acklam Grange School teach meet, AGSInspire with Jon Tait. It was a great night with lots of teachers sharing their experiences, tips and engaging ideas from the front line. For the evening I presented on my ‘Tip Top Tips’, these consisted of the little things that I’ve found can have positive impact in the right conditions.
There is a need to try and build a culture of independence and resilience within our students now more than ever with the New GCSE reforms across all subjects. The balance can be a tricky one between offering support, guidance and structure and allowing students opportunities to grapple and struggle with a problem or concept. I’ve found there is a fine line between support and dependency on support. How can we offer both support and challenge in the right way, so our students can apply their skills without support afterwards and also so the students don’t switch off from the challenge?