The Post-14 Mathematics Inquiry

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Workshops #2

ACME/The Post-14 Mathematics Inquiry Workshop

Post-14 Mathematics Education:
Pathways to Progress

Break out groups: Feedback notes

| Specialist | Foundation | Vocational | Intermediate |

What should the 'Specialist' strand set out to achieve?
Rapporteur: Mike Savage

  • Should the aim of A-level maths be to develop understanding and prepare for the next stage?
  • Will QCA's revised criteria improve students' mastery of basic skills and particularly algebraic techniques?
  • Is A-level maths too fragmented under the present modular scheme? How do we enable students to have an experience of real maths- one that integrates different topics?
  • Is mechanics in decline and in danger of becoming extinct? What can be done to arrest the decline?
  • How can we make it clear which course (which units) students have followed?

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What should the 'Foundation' Strand set out to achieve?
Rapporteur: Diane Cochrane

For the purpose of this discussion these students were defined as students entering Key Stage 4 at Entry Level 1, aiming to progress into Level 2

  • There should be no ceiling to their studies
  • There should be a focus on positive attitudes as a result of the work carried out in this strand, and an aim to rid feelings of failure
  • There should be recognition of the successes of these students and a clear sense of possible progression up to and beyond 16.
  • Pupils should experience success through being challenged; this is not suggesting that they should achieve success by making it easier)
  • Must find ways of motivating these children who do not want to be there
  • Consider teaching materials and teaching styles, especially when looking at repetitive work (doing more of the same is not the answer)
  • Appropriateness of work to the age of the students
  • Space for learning and giving students time to find out things for themselves; encouraging investigational work Encourage students to engage in the activities that are relevant and encourage involvement
  • Assessment should be continuous throughout.

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What should the 'Vocational' Strand set out to achieve?
Rapporteur: Karen Spencer

  • Wider overview - schools, colleges & workplace
  • "Vocational strand" - appreciation of models, ICT, spreadsheets -> "Techno-maths curriculum"
  • Employers view - need to know what can they do?
  • Team approach - vocational expertise / employers / curriculum & maths specialists ? National Network - CPD & research, resources, investment
  • Respectable re-packaging of Mathematics - "Techno-Maths" -> available to all - at all levels
  • Structure - 14-19, post-16 (problem)
  • Build confidence for all - provide progression & transfer opportunities
  • Develop potential, not label failure
  • Association-NAME (Numeracy/Number)
  • Maths as a new subject!
  • · "TECHNO-MATHS" in-built accreditation of what you can do

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What should the 'Intermediate' strand set out to achieve?
Rapporteur: Helen Russell

  • 14-16 must have a curriculum model which allows intermediate pupils to progress
  • Any choice at 14 should not be irrevocable
  • If a double award GCSE is introduced, it should be done by most of this middle 50%
  • We should not separate skills and applications and certainly should not assess them in separate papers
  • Should assessment levels be linked to age?
  • Support for stopping league tables - preparation prevents creative and interesting teaching
  • Nature of coursework assessment detracts from best quality in teaching
  • Over assessment gets in the way of learning.
  • Employers value problem solving more than a 'C' at GCSE
  • Perhaps less content but true mastery of that content. Much is too superficial. 16-19 FE FINANCE
  • Produce creative thinkers and independent learners

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