Resource based team teaching and learning
About the college
Easton and Otley College works closely with organisations in the land based sector to ensure students develop the skills they need for future employment. At the Easton campus they have an excellent relationship with the University of East Anglia who validate the College’s BSc(Hons) and Foundation degree courses, whilst at the Otley Campus, University Campus Suffolk Otley provides a range of specialist Foundation degrees and a successful BA(Hons) Professional Studies Programme, jointly accredited by the University of East Anglia and University of Essex. These relationships allow progress to a top university degree locally.
“If they didn’t get it at school, what’s the point in repeating the experience?” Barbara Green decided to change the way GCSE maths had probably been delivered in the school setting and does almost no didactic teaching from the front of the room. Rather, she gives the minimal amount of reminders about the topic in hand, and then the learners explore the issues, concepts and calculations through pair and small group work, discussions and various games, puzzles and other similar resources. By and large they are motivated and keen to solve the mystery or win the bingo or complete the card game before their peers.
Learners needing to re-take GCSE Maths are given three hours per week in classes ranging in size between eight and 30. In some cases this time is being squeezed from other areas of the curriculum such as work experience or they come in on a non-timetabled day. Attendance is good.
Another feature of this model is that the mentor, or additional learning support worker, who would normally be assigned to specific learners, works with the whole group. Geoff Tawn is an experienced maths specialist and is able to help all the learners as they work with the tasks and will happily support those wishing to take the higher level. This team teaching approach means that while the learners are re-discovering the maths topics (or learning them for the first time), there are two people they can ask for help. Incidentally, the scheme of work is constantly being revised to meet the needs of the learners. They are encouraged to self assess and planned topics are revised to meet their needs.
This is the first year that this approach has been adopted so Barbara and Geoff will be eagerly awaiting the results following the summer exams.