CfEM blog: curriculum planning

Blog by Julie Baxter, Director – Centre for Excellence in Maths at Newham College, for the Centres for Excellence in Maths (CfEM) programme.

As part of the on- going work of the Centres in Excellence in Maths (CfEM), Newham College recently led a café style discussion on Curriculum Planning with the 21 Centres at the termly CfEM forum at Gateshead College.

Areas discussed were the wide variety of curriculum models being used to deliver post-16 resit maths and also how the CfEM programme had aided and/or impacted on models of delivery.

What is very apparent is that Centres are using the programme innovatively to allow them to be more flexible in their approach to the delivery of GCSE maths within their organisations. Whilst colleges may have adopted different models of delivery ranging from 2-4 hours a week, with class sizes varying from 15-30, the programme has allowed Centres to deliver the syllabus in a more innovative and flexible way.

The approaches being implemented include:

  • offering booster classes
  • coaching models
  • maths support clinics
  • creating specialist maths supervisor posts
  • intervention sessions
  • additional workshops and drop-ins.

Alongside these approaches, some Centres are moving to a model of whole department collaborative planning for maths and many others are refining the syllabus to focus on specific elements only.

With a clear emphasis on the four key themes of the programme, it is clear that some of the challenges to the post-16 re-sits are being overcome by giving maths specialists the time and space to put these ideas into practice, and feedback so far is very positive.

Moving to models of delivery that allow teachers the time to reflect, plan, and adapt their focus to key topics, share planning and identify gaps in learner knowledge is key to both boosting confidence amongst the learners in the Centres and raising attainment.

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