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G.C.S.E in maths/english

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by tamtams, Jul 23, 2008.

  1. Hi or..Hej..

    Thank you for your response.. I am half Norwegian and British. I can speak Swedish and Norwegian and obviously English and it is Early years that I wantt o train in... Great to hear that my dreaded Maths GCSE won't ruin things... again...How can you get A'S and B's in all your GCSE'S and an English degree and still get an D in GCSE Maths?? Arg!! Anyway I will try again whilst being a TA...get a tutor and live and breathe it until I can recite it in my sleep...

    I lived in Norway until I was 6 and its interesting that you mentioned the current and updated Early years education liking Scandinavian methods because I had such a fun and active childhood...Probably why I can't do fractions now, ay?!

    Tack igen! -Thanks again
  2. You can do these online. SIgn up at your local learndirec. they give assess you and then off you go and practise at home. When you want to take the exam back you go to the local test station and take the test.
  3. Hi

    Just a cautionery point re learn direct. I started with learn direct but found myself going round in circles with the material as I often needed clarification and actually someone to teach me properly not me trying to work it out by trial and error putting in different answers each time! 4 in my gp were ex learn direct students who found the learning at home didnt work with maths!!!!

    I found a skills for life tutor and she came to school and worked with a group for free, some TAs some from the local community. She was a nice tutor, who got her maths degree via the OU and was sympathetic to mature students!!! We had lots of input and worked at our own pace as she split us into groups. As there were TAs she also covered more material for those doing literacy than u normally have in the level 2 papers. Very useful for staff.
    I then found it great preparation for the GCSE.
    Good luck

  4. Hi I have just started my new job as a teaching assistant. At the beginning of our NVQ level 2 teaching assistant course we took tests in numeracy and literacy. I got a level 2 in Maths and a level 2 working towards a level 3 in English. However because its many years ago since I took GCSEs I have decided to go to evening school in September to take GCSE in both Maths and English. I realised that I couldn't help my 14 year old daughter with her homework!! I am really looking forward to refreshing my skills. Wish me luck xx
  5. What I'm about to say will put the "cat amongst the pigeons" but here goes - The job title of Teaching Assistant suggests to me that the person in that job has the academic ability to support whatever subject is being taught. In my opinion that does not mean an in-depth knowledge of all subjects but at least a basic grounding in literacy and numeracy to GCSE A-C, (or their equivalent) and if a person works with secondary pupils then more academic qualifications need to be attained. For too long Teaching Assistants have been looked upon as a "Mums Army" and have been paid accordingly and it is only as the academic standards of Teaching Assistants rises will we be recognised for what we are - para-professionals. I work in a secondary school which will not, (or is unable) to fund posts at HLTA level in Maths or Science though Govt would like there to be teaching assistants at that level in all secondary schools. No doubt there are many dedicated people working as Teaching Assistants who are acting as surrogate mothers but the profession has moved on and we all have to recognise that fact and attain academic qualifications to warrant a decent wage and ultimately recognition for the important role we perform in modern education.
  6. Hmmm....
    My Line Manager thinks that my 'style' with the children is 'mumsy', but I do have a very respectable clutch of GCEs (yes, GCEs) and a degree - so the two are not incompatible[​IMG]
    I would hate the 'emotional' support side of the job to be forgotten in the quest for more highly qualified TAs.
  7. If you look at the ratio of qualifications to salary of most TAs, it must be one of the widest splits of all jobs. In our department of around 12, the majority have A levels or degrees or other professional qualifications yet we earn such low wages. In reality, our wage is never going to increase by much whether we are known as 'mum's armies' or not so I think any school should count themselves lucky to get a person who is caring & thoughtful, never mind highly qualified. A good TA is someone who instinctively knows the best way to treat a child & get the most out of them, not someone who can do algebra to A* standard.

    Thank you!!

    P.S. I have 3 A levels so don't have a chip on my shoulder or anything in case I've given the wrong impression - I just know that the least qualified of my colleages is also a brilliant TA who is respected by teachers & pupils.

  8. CSE 1 in maths and english - currently a teacher.

    Give me a TA with a nice way with difficult students ( we have em by the bucket load) who can help me with them and allow the rest of the class to learn every time.

    If the bar is 5 A-C or equivelant to be a TA then surely it has to be higher for teachers - A level?

    We suffer from qualification inflation and a fixation with A-C passes.

    I'm not sure about all the levels that are being quoted - are they the same as the Numeracy, Literacy and IT tests teachers have to pass?

    A good level of education will always help and in lots of ways benefit the individual but we are to keen to create barriers when clearly we should always look at the individual and what they have to offer.
  9. Wotton

    Wotton Lead commenter

    OK Everyone working as a TA should have at least a good solid understending of Maths and English.But how far do we go?.If GCSE's are required for Primary then surely you woul have to have A level English and Maths for secondary if your knowledge has to be beyond that of the pupils you are working with? Just playing devils advocate here.Since all pupils now have to sit GCSE Maths and English.

    Having been educated in Scotland I always thought it strange that there were different exam boards instead of everyone sitting the same exam.I knew that the Scottish exam I sat could be compared exactly with some one from the other end of the country who sat it the same year. You can't compare in England.

    Then as many have said before what about the pay structure. Most schools pay on the lowest grade no matter what qualifications you have because either that is all they can afford or so they can employ more than one TA.
  10. Multiple Intelligences ring any bells? We studied it in depth on several Early years courses I have done over the years. As a TA in an early years unit I feel my 'knowledge' stands me in good stead to do my job. If we need GCSE's in Maths and Science, what about Art and Music and PE. Why are these skills never seen as important!

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