Post 16: First Steps in teaching Core Maths

Easter 2016

I have been asked my thoughts on our school delivering a Level 3 Core Maths course next year. Whilst I completely understood the rationale behind us offering a new Level 3 course, I couldn’t help but be nervous because it has been a little while since I have delivered a new course. Core Maths is completely new to me and the department so I needed to do my research.

Key discussion points:

  • There has been a tremendous amount of coverage in the Media recently about the UK’s gap in basic maths skills. Only 20% of students study maths beyond GCSE in the UK – the lowest rate in leading developed countries in the world; in Japan, this figure is 85%. This puts young people in the UK at a major disadvantage in a global job market.
  • My year 11 class (set 4 of 8) are on course to achieve tremendous GCSE exam results. They have strong self-belief instilled in them – but I am aware this will only take them so far. The demands of AS-level maths will be too much for the vast majority.
  • The mathematical skills to access the new Psychology, Business Studies, Geography post-16 qualifications and not catered for by the traditional AS-level (which is essentially an abstract course). We need to offer our students a course which will facilitate their other subjects, but enabling them to apply their mathematics in a different context.

The outcome of our department meeting is overwhelmingly positive and everyone is on board. Everyone understands why we should be offering Core Maths and all I need now is for two teachers to come forward to offer to deliver the course!


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