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Teaching Functional Skills & GCSE (yr 10 & 11) in one group

Discussion in 'English' started by marefly1971, Jul 19, 2020.

  1. marefly1971

    marefly1971 New commenter

    Hello-I work in a small special school. The budget has been tight due to school cuts by the government. As a result there has been a restructuring of the groups that are taught in our school. We used to teach English groups in separate groups according to their course and level. Now the groups in English lessons will be combined meaning that I will now have to teach all of the children in the Key Stage in the same group. For example, in the one KS3 group I will deliver GCSE year 1 & 2 as well as Functional Skill (Entry Level and Levels 1&2).

    There are 11 children in the group but as this is a special school each of them have a lot going on. For example, they all have a vision impairment and have different ways of working-e.g. large print and different levels of Braille). Add to this their other needs (behavioural and learning disabilities) and it makes for a complex planning challenge.
    Our school has not offered any support on how to do this.

    I worry especially for the children doing GCSE since I won’t be able to devote as much attention to them in each lesson as I have in the past. Similarly, I don’t want to let my Functional Skills group down.

    Have any of you gone through a similar situation? I’ve had a lot of experience differentiating work-but having to plan for completely different courses in one lesson is difficult. I think I will have a TA with me in lessons,

    I am not afraid of working hard-I just feel the SLT don’t understand what they are asking us to do. Thank you for any thoughts!
  2. iain101

    iain101 New commenter

    Good afternoon. That certainly sounds extremely challenging to plan and almost an impossible task as they require such different appraches. Just a thought but would it be better to teach GCSEEnglish Language and Entry Level English together rather than doing the Functional Skills qualification as well. I only mention it because I'm teaching AQA's Entry level qualification (Step Up to English) to my Year 10 group and it is a solid foundation for them to move up to GCSE. It might be easier to plan for these two courses in one lesson as they have a good deal in common. It might be worth looking into this. Best wishes, Iain
  3. marefly1971

    marefly1971 New commenter

    Hi Iain Thank you so much for responding. I will look into this tomorrow as I am doing planning this week. Doing the AQA Entry Level Step Up to English seems to make sense.

    The school has always used OCR for its Functional Skills but as of this Autumn OCR no longer will offer it. I had thought we could use Edexcel but I will look into AQA’a Step up to English.

    Thanks! Mary Ellen

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