In this blog, I am going to share why our Entry Level certificate helps to engage learners with mathematics. The rationale behind the reformed GCSE (9-1) Mathematics was the inclusion of more demanding content and the implementation of the new 9 to 1 grading system. Although the new grading system aims at ensuring the same proportion of students that achieved at least a grade G in the legacy qualification will still be able to achieve at least a grade 1 in the reformed qualification, teachers have been expressing worries that the changes may create a demotivated section of their cohort.
Our Entry Level Certificate in Mathematics has been designed to inspire and engage learners by providing a broad, coherent, satisfying and worthwhile course of study and is 100% teacher assessed. The assessment includes a practical task that allows learners to undertake a real life project, where credit is gained for the mathematical skills demonstrated in order to ensure the success of their project. The open-ended nature of the practical task means that learners are not confined to a pre-set activity but free to focus on their own interests. This could be planning an event or even based upon future employment aspirations. Letting learners experience success doing the maths that they feel is useful can help build motivation by bringing mathematics to life.
Entry Level Maths has been designed to focus on the fundamental concepts needed to access the GCSE content, set out in a 3-column structure that leads into the GCSE (9-1) Mathematics specification. In addition to the practical task, there are two written tests, the Preliminary assesses the shaded content in the specification and designed to be sat part way through the course, the Final covers the full content. There is no tiering – the award of Entry 1, Entry 2 or Entry 3 being based on the performance in the three assessments.
If you are looking to motivate your cohort then taking the Entry Level Maths will better prepare, inspire and engage students as they progress to their GCSE.
Download the specification and sample assessment material. Assessment material is available to download from Interchange under New Mathematics (R449, from Sept 2016).
Keep up-to-date with everything maths by following us on Twitter @OCR_Maths. If you have any specific questions then contact us via the email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Steven joined OCR in July 2014 as a Subject Advisor, working on the GCSE and GCE reform and leading the redevelopment of R449 Entry Level Certificate Mathematics and 6993 Level 3 FSMQ: Additional Mathematics.
Steven graduated in Material Engineering, and after an extensive period working and travelling around the world, including four years as a volunteer maths and science teacher with VSO, he gained a PGCE in secondary mathematics from Homerton College, Cambridge and has taught maths in a number of schools in UK and overseas.