Leah, a Year 10 learner at Madeley School, near Crewe, had by her own admission become aggravated in her GCSE mathematics class because she was struggling to access the subject.
Earlier this year, she was enrolled on ASDAN’s new Accelerating Progress mathematics course with the aim of re-engaging her in the subject and boosting her confidence and motivation.
The course is designed to help learners gain a grade 4 or 5 in their GCSE.
Leah said: “I am enjoying Accelerating Progress mathematics. I find the online format of the course very engaging and it lends itself to using the Internet as you work, which I like.
“The challenges in the course are more accessible but they get harder as you work your way through. My mathematics has improved as a result of studying Accelerating Progress and my teachers have commented on this.”
Mandy Mander, Inclusion Support Manager at the school, said the content and format of the course has provided a fresh approach for Leah.
“It has boosted Leah’s confidence,” she said. “She enjoys working independently and the course suits her since learners can work through it in their own time, at their own pace. We are delivering the course to support Leah in undertaking her mathematics GCSE.
“There is no other course out there like Accelerating Progress which is why we are eager to trial it. We offer Accelerating Progress English and mathematics in Year 10 to learners who need extra support. It is timetabled two or three times a week as independent work for the students.”
Despite the school being in the early days of trialling Accelerating Progress, Mandy said there have been encouraging early results.
“I have already noticed an improvement in the learners’ English and mathematics,” Mandy said. “One student told me it has helped him refocus in class.
“The e-platform, which the course is accessed through, is very straightforward and user friendly. We are aware that the next Accelerating Progress course will be in science and we are looking forward to trialling this too next year.”
Tackling educational inequality
“We know that missing out on high stakes exams like English and mathematics GCSEs can impact negatively on young people’s post-16 destinations, limit job opportunities and increase the likelihood of becoming NEET (not in education, employment or training),” said Martina Veale, ASDAN Education Director.
“Recent research from the Centre for Vocational Education Research says young people failing their GCSEs ‘…is symptomatic of an important source of inequality in education, with associated negative long-term economic consequences for individuals’.”
“At ASDAN, we have introduced our Accelerating Progress courses to help schools and colleges support students to achieve strong passes in the core subjects of English, mathematics and science.
“The courses are mapped to the more challenging elements of the GCSE specifications and accredit between 10 to 100 hours of activities, which can be used towards ASDAN’s Certificate of Personal Effectiveness Level 1 and 2 qualification.”