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TA qualifications math english gcse

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by gemma_threadgold, Dec 13, 2019.

  1. gemma_threadgold

    gemma_threadgold New commenter

    Hi everyone

    So after much debate with myself I am looking at a complete career change.

    I want to update my gcse maths and english as my daughters homework looks to be a totally new content, I can not remember wht my gcse results are, I am 35 now so it's been a while, so go easy on me, but its like a minefield out there I have found a functional skills level 2 maths and english course https://www.openstudycollege.com/courses/functional-skills-english-maths-2 this states is gcse is this accepted within schools ?

    Or should I be looking at this course https://www.openstudycollege.com/courses/gcse-mathematics-higher plus the english one?

    Any help appreciated what to do everything right

    Thanks in advance

  2. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    Hi Gem,
    Your GCSEs are more recent than mine were when I decided I needed to update my Maths - my Maths was the lowest possible pass at O level, and I felt the world of Maths teaching had changed so much since then. This was about eight years ago now. I looked at all the courses you mention (any of which I think would be fine) then enquired at our local FE college. I found that I was able to do Maths GCSE by going one evening a week for a year. At that time, there was no fee for either Maths or English courses - I don't know if that still exists. I enrolled. It worked really well for me; I liked actually being 'taught' by a person and having someone to answer questions when I needed help. We had homework every week. One term into the year, the tutor suggested I enter for the Higher paper - this meant adding in four extra daytime sessions, but I was able to do that. All-in-all it was a very successful year and I ended up with a B grade. It was fantastic for building my confidence with Maths - I'm and HLTA and teach Primary Maths. I now feel I know why we teach many units the way we do and what they will be moving on to at secondary school. If you have a local college, it might be worth giving them a call.
    Whatever you decide, best of luck!
    harpie likes this.
  3. diddydave

    diddydave Established commenter

    There's no reason to wait until you have done any of these courses before you apply. Indeed if you are considering applying to secondary education there is a very good chance that the school would welcome you and allow you to sit GCSE exams alongside the students you assist. I taught maths for 10 years before moving into IT/Computer Science and in that time had a couple of TAs in my class who took their exams alongside the students, the students were aware and I found it a positive influence as it was a very concrete example to them of how important these qualifications are considered.
    sunshineneeded likes this.
  4. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    @diddydave, I've never heard of that happening before, but I think it's brilliant - Secondary TAs being allowed to study and sit Maths exams alongside the students. As you say, it's such a good example to the students. I'm sure there would be many TAs keen to do this if the practice were more widespread, and it must surely benefit the schools if their staff are upskilled.
    diddydave likes this.
  5. diddydave

    diddydave Established commenter

    It was over 20 years ago back when I was a maths teacher, the only difficulty was that, quite often, they weren't involved in the higher sets as that wasn't where their skills were needed.
  6. Kateray1

    Kateray1 Occasional commenter

    Hi Gem

    It depends on what your Maths ability is now. I would suggest going along to your local college, they can assess it and signpost you from there.

    If you want to teach in the future you need to aim for a grade 4/5 in both subjects and Science if you want primary,

    Functional skills level 2 is slightly below GCSE and may not be excepted by universities.

    if you don’t want to teach and are just brushing up then go for functional skills.

    ive worked as HLTA in science secondary, and am now working in reception class as the teacher but not qualified.

    I also do private tutoring in core subjects.

    All the best

  7. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    you are going to need to remember, and find the certificates, as you will not only have to fill in application forms with your original grades, you are likely to have to prove it as well.

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