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English and Maths – Four Insightful Tips

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English and Maths – Four Insightful Tips

In the lead up to AoC’s English and Maths Conference we have approached some of the speakers to share some insight and tips on the topics they will be discussing at the event.

Engaging students with English
Roberto Garcia Lopez, Curriculum Leader – GCSE English, Nelson and Colne College
• Students must be in the driving seat. They need to know what they are doing and why they are doing it. They need a clear path and to understand what is in it for them
• Use of engaging text that they are interested in, especially to start with, to hook them in
• Always praise their achievement and reinforce positive behaviour

Roberto has shared a link which helps to explain his approach: https://youtu.be/tEdwjvOCXbs

Building a successful English and maths strategy
Jonathan Kay, Head of English and Maths, Tyne Coast College

• Consistency is vital. Across the college everyone needs to understand what you are trying to achieve and who is accountable for each element
• Resilience is key. Change can be scary for all involved
• Take your team with you and establish the right culture to drive change

Read more on Jonathan’s approach and journey: www.thereflectiveteacher.co.uk and read his blog here:

How to build students’ motivation and independent learning skills through online delivery of English and maths skills
Kate Burgess, English and Maths Manager, Middlesbrough College

It is important to remember the basics!

Here are some tips for developing content:
• Make it accessible. Digital resources should be accessible, user-friendly and intuitive. Too many clicks will put students off before they have even started!
• Don’t think linear. Let the students think about what order they would like to work in. Like a website homepage, allow students to complete tasks in an order that suits them.
• Let students take ownership. Encourage students to create their own technology resources.

Tips for managers around developing digital literacy:
• Change the culture: Ensure that everyone within the organisation is committed to supporting students with their digital literacies. Using a “champion” or mentor for other staff can be useful but needs to be managed so that best practice is shared out and developed further rather than isolated to one area or team.
• Supporting staff. Don’t assume staff knowledge. Use a developmental tool to allow staff to self-assess their digital capabilities and provide personalised and ongoing training for those staff that need support.
We use this one:
https://digitalcapability.jisc.ac.uk/our- service/discovery-tool/
• Plan and manage the change to blended learning. Work with staff to create a scheme of work which includes opportunities for students to develop their digital skills.

‘70% of FE and skills students agreed that when technology is used effectively by teaching staff, it helped their learning experience’ Jisc

Kate has taken lots of inspiration from Ian Gibert’s book ‘Why Do I Need a Teacher When I’ve got Google?: The Essential Guide to the Big Issues for Every 21st Century Teacher’.

Strategies for improving your English provision
Michelle Proudman, Curriculum Team Leader – English, Lakes College West Cumbria

• Embrace student ideas and empower them to want to attend English classes
• English now has a base in their college. Students know where to come if they need help. There is a dedicated area with key resources. It provides the college with an inclusive base. Following its success the Maths Team have now adopted the same approach.
• The English base now houses visual English displays and resources. It is a hub to promote a collective mindset amongst teachers. Resources are shared and continuously adapted.

Michelle has found some great resources and advice by following @team_english1 on Twitter.

Find out more about the event here:

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