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Teaching Foundation sets for Grade C 'at all costs'?

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by mature_maths_trainee, Aug 31, 2015.

  1. mature_maths_trainee

    mature_maths_trainee New commenter

    Some teachers advocate teaching selected (easier) Grade B topics at the expense of Grade D or C topics and then entering them for 'Higher' papers in order to maximise students' likelihood of getting a Grade C; and believe they are doing good by widening their students' life opportunities etc. It also makes the school (and teacher) look as good as possible results-wise.

    But I've always felt that I'm helping the (weak) students more by focussing on the numeracy skills they need for adult life - somewhat regardless of them getting their Grade C. I've also felt that providing them with solid numeracy skills is the best approach to them attaining Grade C at some point in the future (6th form re-take, or later as an adult), and that it doesn't necessarily do students any good if they (say) get their Grade C 'early' and are accepted on to A-level courses when they're really not sufficiently academic to succeed in them.

    Your thoughts?...


  2. MisterW

    MisterW New commenter

    In my experience pupils who are aiming to scrape a grade C don't tend to go on to do A Levels but rather they made need to get the grade to get on to a certain college course. Getting the C saves them having to waste a year by resitting. I think if pupils are entering Foundation GCSE then teach them the whole Foundation GCSE. Rightly or wrongly, the content of that particular course has been decided upon by a panel of experts and pupils have an entitlement to be taught it all. It's not for you to decide what content they should or shouldn't be exposed to, that responsibility lies elsewhere.
  3. ElenaMukhina

    ElenaMukhina Occasional commenter

    Yes I think you are right to focus on life skills and the 4 key operations rather than meeting targets.
  4. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    I agree with your sentiments, MMT, but if we can get students over the Primary gaps to Secondary success, even if only to a standard workforce or college entry grade, then I think that we should. Our responsibilities are not to panels and committees nor even only to the children we see before us but also to the adults these last will become

    'Experts' and their lackeys may wish for us all to phone-in a nicely packed SOW structured by developmental stage and level and what-have-you but this doesn't get the job done and leads to problems all the way down the line, and we have arrived at the point where maths PGCE students require 'subject enhancement' modules.

  5. ElenaMukhina

    ElenaMukhina Occasional commenter

    Vince_Ulam is completely right here I think.

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