#092 Julia Smith: Teaching GCSE resit and the 5Rs approach

Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle PodcastsAnchorPodbeanStitcherPocketCasts

On this episode of the Mr Barton Maths Podcast I spoke to Julia Smith.

Julia is a former maths teacher who now works as a teacher trainer. She is also an author and – as we will see – she is a GCSE Maths resit specialist and the 5Rs Project Lead.

Now, let me say this right from the start – I have taught Maths GCSE resit woefully for many, many years. At our school in Bolton we have a 6th form, and as is Government policy, any students who did not get a Grade C at GCSE (or now Grade 4) who wanted to stay on in 6th form would be forced to resit their GCSE. As such, teachers found themselves teaching students who really didn’t want to be there, trying to teach them content that they essentially had failed in in the past. It was not a pleasant experience for anyone.

As we will find out in this conversation, the mistake I was making was trying to teaching the content in the same way I would teach it to Year 9, 10 or 11 students. The lessons didn’t feel different, so why on earth should my students have assumed that the outcome would be any different?

Fortunately – having spoken to Julia – I will not be making that mistake again.

In this fascinating conversation, we discuss:

  • Just how many students resit their Maths GCSE, and how many pass?
  • What are the challenges of teaching resit students?
  • What mistakes has Julia made and seen when teaching resit students in the past?
  • What is the 5Rs approach, and crucially what does it look like in the lesson?
  • How, if at all, does Julia use past assessment data?
  • And what are the key messages she gives to the students?

Perhaps the biggest takeaway for me from this conversation was just how much of this I could apply to teaching any age of students. It is, quite simply very good teaching.

Now, I don’t think we have had an episode with so many shout-outs to amazing, free resources. But fear not, Julia has kindly put together a special Padlet for this episode, which you can find at: padlet.com/tessmaths1/CraigBarton. Please check it out – there are some classics for students of all ages.

On Twitter, Julia is: @tessmaths
Her Mathematical Hooks Padlet is here
Her Padlet of resources from this episode is here

Julia Smith’s Big 3:
1. Corbett Maths
2. M4ths
3. Onmaths.com

My usual plugs:

Thanks so much for listening, and I really hope you enjoy the show!
Craig Barton

Leave a Reply