In August 2017, we waited with bated breath to receive the first bout of 1-9 grades from the new English Language and Literature GCSEs. We’d been promised only a handful of Grade 9s across the entire country, but in the end over 2000 pupils achieved straight Grade 9s. The crème de la crème of GCSE attainment suddenly seemed obtainable and sights are now firmly on this summer’s exams.
In their recent report on the new national curriculum, the Policy Exchange think tank concluded frankly that “the workload demand on teachers creating almost all of their resources themselves is intolerable”.
It is no wonder, then, that both the Policy Exchange and the Independent Teacher Workload Group have called for schools to invest in teaching resources.
A recent report published by the Education Endowment Foundation highlighted stark gaps between the attainment of SEND and non-SEND students at both age 11 and 16, with the disparities between SEND and non-SEND students greater than those between disadvantaged students and their peers.
I came to my role as Vice Principal for Teaching & Learning at a time of significant change to the curriculum and the impact it has made on teacher and student workload. In the light of more terminally assessed linear exams, I had to urgently address students taking greater responsibility for their own knowledge and enable targeted, effective homework and revision.
The Department for Education is clear, parental engagement can have “a large and positive effect on children’s learning” and so, schools should prioritise the identification of effective methods for involving parents in their child’s education.
Teacher workload has never been higher on the agenda for schools and academies, as well as more recently for Ofsted. From the start of this academic year, Ofsted inspectors have been routinely asking headteachers how they intend to reduce their teachers’ workload.
If you want to see the latest in secondary resources for teaching, homework and assessment, all in one platform, be sure to check out what Doddle has to offer.
This year we have been nominated as a Bett Awards finalist for Secondary Content, so why not visit us at stand C143 to try Doddle for yourself?
“Doddle is a really good assessment tool because it gives us a profile of what students can and can’t do. With the old National Curriculum levels system, it was impossible to allocate a level to an individual activity so you always got a best-fit number, which didn’t really mean anything. But with Doddle students know exactly what it is they have to work on to improve.”
With more demanding content, closed book exams and a linear course, the bar has definitely been set high for the reformed English Language and English Literature GCSEs.
In particular, the increased emphasis on in depth knowledge of whole texts has focused attention on the mountain of knowledge that students will be expected to retain and regurgitate in the exam hall.
With the introduction of Progress 8, just a few students who are held back by language barriers can have an impact on overall school results. These students face the dual challenges of learning a new language and a new curriculum – so how can schools support them to reach their full potential?