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A-Level Teachers' Support Group (aka help me!)

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by brookes, Feb 14, 2008.

  1. auntiemaisie

    auntiemaisie New commenter

    Bombaysapphire, I'm amazed that you have half a term for revision - what contact time do you have per week to achieve that? We'll be lucky to finish by the time we get to study leave.
  2. I'm surprised at the class sizes, we started with 16 and have gone down to about 13. (There's some argument in the kids being better served with two courses, one A-Level Mathematics and one A-Level Use of Mathematics, but there's not the time or the staff for such low ratios which would result).

    (I can't teach any more hours to yr 12 as I'm teaching other classes at that time).

  3. Colleen_Young

    Colleen_Young Occasional commenter

    How does everybody work?

    We have schemes of work that outline what topics on each module are to be covered each week. We know each year how many weeks are available and that we think it is vital to have revision time at the end of the course and so we plan for that.

    Yes it might feel like a rush sometimes but all you can do is your best with the available time. Isn't it better to get through everything and then revisit it rather than start really late on new material?

  4. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    I have sympathy, Brookes, as the set up looks distinctly unfriendly to any teacher, especially one new to A level. I think that whoever heads up KS5 should be deciding, in advance, who will teach what to whom and when they should do it. It is simply not acceptable to say that C2 had overrun so S1 teaching will suffer. They have the same weight in the final result.

    You should also be able to discuss this with your colleagues, to find a joint way through the difficulty. I would suggest that you look together at everything that needs to be taught, and agree on how to split it so that you get through the lot between you. As the new A-level teacher, you should get some say in what you will do. Sorry, this is a decision for your Head of Department, but it is what I would do. I agree with post 10 - your HOD needs to take charge.
  5. September

    September New commenter

    I found this old post and wondered if anyone had focused on one unit for the Autumn term. Eg do S1 in all of the allocated AS time (ours is 5 hours per week) and then do C1 and C2 after the January exam, which in this case would be S1. We are also considering not doing any exams in January and taking all units in June. Any comments would be appreciated.
  6. I strongly advise against the first approach
    The way you structure your modules is influenced by the cohort, whether they are doing further etc etc.
    S1 will be around 20th of January. That leaves 4 months to teach 66% of an AS in 4 months which includes 3 weeks off school.
    Core 1 for edexcel was on the 16-18th may this year from memory.
    I have found if I have a middle ability group or mixed ability (and not doing further maths, just the 6 units) then sitting all 3 units in May is quite good.
    C1 started in September (after kids have been given summer work) and then teach differentiation and integration from C1/C2 together and running the rest of C1/C2 through to April and then focus on revsion. I think lots of C1 and C2 can be taught together and also doing C1 when they do C2 makes it feel easier for weaker students who have got C2 under their belts. C1 (as much as I hate to say it) comes too early for some pupils in January in terms of ability and maturity.
    Then starting the applied module on a 3/2 split (3 in favour of core) just before xmas giving kids a chance to go away over the xmas period with something to work on.
    Not doing core maths for essentially 8 months (from end of GCSE to start of feb) is too much and the content is too heavy for many kids to access it all in four months from feb to mid may.
    You also have to consider the mindset of kids. MANY kids hate stats and to do nothing but stats up til xmas MAY see some of your good kids drop it
  7. pwc9000

    pwc9000 New commenter

    We have 5 hours per week contact time. In Year 12 we have a 3/2 Core/Stats split maintained right through the year. Except that some of the Stats time is used for revision towards Core 1 in January. This ends up with a pretty even split of teaching hours between the three modules. We tend to have a cohort where Jan sitting of C1 is appropriate for some and not for others (typical??). We have considered scrapping it but have kept it. One significant factor is that it serves to get a few who should never have started A-Level Maths to drop it and a few that have been lazy to see the error of their ways.
    I don't think it would be a good idea to focus purely on one module for a whole term. Our 3/2 split fits with our teaching arrangements too - I think two teachers with a 3/2 split works very well - indeed all our A-Level teaching has this split.
  8. Blimey!
    I taught the Edexcel S1 module and was always behind the 8-ball timewise for one reason or another...
    I had a complete, fully-resourced and successful SOW for this and it required 38 lessons just to deliver it....
    ... unfortunately, this left NO time for exam practice which then had to happen after school - not a problem for me but very much so for students...
    S1 is always the bridesmaid it seems - heavy bias towards the Core is understandable but nonsensical as poor S1 results [look at the national data] affect the aggregates badly.
    And it is usually the module that nobody wants to teach ... and those who do are Core specialists who struggle with it themselves...
    And Edexcel S1 ain't rocket science!!
    Anyone in the Cheshire / Staffordshire area wanting an experienced intervention [me!] just need to PM me....
  9. September

    September New commenter

    Brookes - Tell us more.
  10. I'm not too sure what people would be interested in reading September! It was quite sobering to read this thread yesterday and remember so vividly how I was feeling at that time. It was also quite surprising for me to reflect on how much I've achieved this year when normally I just focus on the struggles I've had and mistakes I've made.

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