Sibylle Hyde - Personal Economics at GCSE
A series of activities enabling non-specialist form tutors to deliver financial topics to their Year 11 forms in 10-min slots
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1 April 2013
I was tasked with giving year 11 form tutors a method of delivering content of the AQA Personal Economics syllabus (GCSE) quickly.
A PSHE coordinator who was on maternity leave handed over to me. Previously, the classes had had access to printed packs which they were supposed to work though. However, this was very difficult because in a ten-fifteen minute timeslot, the register had to be taken relevant announcements made, the packs given out, the relevant page sought (pages had not been numbered), then the teachers and students were to engage with the material and collect the booklets in at the end. This lost momentum very quickly so that not much of the material was in fact "delivered". A quicker method was needed, with less emphasis on administration of resources and more engaging content. The work is done in the form rooms, and students (as well as teachers) had a negative attitude towards the work. Teachers did not feel they had the relevant subject knowledge, while students felt it was a waste of time. Neither I nor the teachers or students had any choice as to whether students could take this course or not.
To engage students and teachers in the activities.
- Seek (informal) feedback on the methods used before I took over this subject.
- Understand what the main issues with delivery were.
- Familiarise myself with the course.
- Parcel the content into small, bite-sized chunks, deciding which aspects of the content to prioritise.
- Create an initial series of interactive resources that can be delivered by the teacher.
- Seek feedback from teachers regarding timing and nature of the resource, and their confidence in delivering them.
- Set up my own youtube channel featuring relevant videos.
- Produce a comprehensive revision resource for students to take home during the Easter holidays.
- Produce a further set of form time activities, bearing in mind the feedback received.
Expected outcomes from the feedback were that teachers were somewhat more engaged, but not enormously - as the novelty wore off and other pressures grew. Evidence is in the minutes of the recent meeting with form tutors. The revision guides were very sought after by both students and teachers - evidence in relevant emails - to the extent that one set of class booklets disappeared. This was unexpectedly positive: I though that all would try to avoid engaging with the topic further.
What went well
The tutors were able to express their concerns clearly to me.
Tutors enjoyed the resources and this built up their confidence.
Even Better If
I had anticipated the ability and willingness of some tutors to use embedded video. Two tutors (out of 8) had technical problems with this. One tutor refused to deliver any further material given that their first encounter with the embedded resource had been negative. I should have surveyed this beforehand.
To deliver a specialist course, all tutors must have secure relevant subject knowledge.
Following feedback, the form time resources should have been even shorter. Tutors and classes were discussing individual slides so didn't manage to finish activities. This could be resolved by suggesting timings.