A high priority was given by leaders and managers to English and mathematics and this was rewarded by high levels of achievement in Maths and strong progression in English.
The College has a clear and comprehensive policy for the provision of English and maths.
The strategic priority given to the provision of English and maths in order to ensure that learners improve compared to their starting points is high. 4.5 hours are allocated each week for direct teaching and emphasis is placed on embedding these subjects across the wider curriculum.
Most students without 9-4 or A*-C are enrolled onto a GCSE re-sit programme. Some (how do we decide?) without the required grade in maths are enrolled onto an Award for Proficiency in Numbers and Measures, which allows them to progress through Level 1 to Level 2.
Initial assessments are undertaken using recent past papers and, through these, teachers identify students that can be stretched and implement interventions to achieve above target grade.
English and Maths has been a central focus of performance improvement interventions. A faculty improvement Plan is in place, which has helped identify appropriate teaching strategies and student interventions. Three of the six teachers have been supported through CPD and peer mentoring to improve their lesson observation grade from 3 to 2 or, in one case, 1 during the current year.
E&M team work closely with Inclusion team to ensure that adjustments and interventions are appropriate and well designed. These include the use of light blue font to help visual stress, the separation of work into smaller tasks with clear instructions, and the use of Cahoot etc.
Teachers recognise the low levels of motivation amongst students in English & maths classes and employ great creativity to engage those students effectively. These include using drama and creative writing, with students attending plays and taking note in preparation for follow up lessons, the use of medals to recognise and reward achievement of differentiated tasks and the use of audio feedback and target setting in English
E&M targets are clearly shared with students on every progress assessment cover-sheet in a coherent way across every subject area. Quality assurance checks in November revealed that most cover-sheets in the sample had specific E&M feedback
Progress is tracked and monitored through the same Assessment Week process as the rest of the curriculum. Using recent past papers, teachers identify students who are under achieving and implement interventions to raise their achievement. The evidence collated informs lesson planning and enables homework to be set which reflects the ability and progress of each student.
The English and Maths team have developed a strong team ethic, sharing resources and training experiences through regular team meetings.
The College has invested in the MathsWatch program, which allows students to work flexibly and efficiently at home.
Detailed checks with a focus on literacy and numeracy across the curriculum mean that embedding of maths and English across the curriculum is good and improving. Good examples include: focus on sentence structure, punctuation, spelling within creative subjects, use of anthropometric measurements and data in design and emphasis on 4 literacy skills; spelling/terms and key words/paragraph structure/academic tone in Sociology.
- Extra sessions and classes.
- Students moved groups.
- Pro Monitor teacher support.
- Training courses (especially new syllabus and grading September 2011).
- Use of extra ICT facilities.
- Office 365 and new technology to support feedback and learning.
- Sharing good practice externally.
- Recap topics and knowledge which has been poorly understood by students.
- More effective learning outcomes and clear direction at the start of lessons with exemplar materials.
- Colour coded information to relate to exam topics.
- Wordy maths questions to embed literacy skills.
- Basic maths skills starters in physics to refresh learning.