A Second Chance for Youngsters

All students at Stoke on Trent College are to be offered an opportunity to study maths and English alongside a vocational course as they train for the world of work.

The college is well known for producing job ready students through vocational courses from painting and decorating to performing arts.

Now painters will be able to brush up their maths while aspiring actors learn to appreciate Shakespeare through a GCSE course.

And Stoke on Trent College has appointed maths and English champions for the new academic year to ensure students stay on the right track.

Carol Thomas, Executive Director of Learning and Standards, said:  “It is essential that youngsters can, where ever possible, leave college with a good understanding of maths and English, alongside the vocational skills needed for them to pursue their chosen trade.

“We are giving all of our students an opportunity to study maths and English.  This will be either at GCSE level, or at another appropriate level alongside their vocational studies.”

Experienced teachers and trainers Martin Newton (Maths) and Su Kain                                     (English) have taken up the positions.

Maths Champion Martin Newton has experience as a trainer at the National Centre of Excellence for the Teaching of Mathematics as well as teaching the subject at the college.

He said: “As the Maths Champion, I am able to support staff in improving the quality of maths teaching at the college.  Essentially if learners develop their Maths and English skills while at college it improves their chances of doing well in their future careers.

“Maths teaching is now much more interactive and learners get more involved with learning with hands on activities, games and quizzes.

“I want to move this on so that all learners are getting this experience and having fun and enjoying while learning to the best of their ability.”

Sue, who has taught English GCSE for 16 years and has been at the college since 1996 added: “The ability to communicate confidently both verbally and in writing is invaluable and we aim to provide all our students with this skill. This will enable them to be successful in whatever career choice they make.”

The college offers literacy and numeracy programmes for students who do not wish to study GCSE maths or English.

Key facts:

• Last year nationally only 45 per cent of pupils achieved GCSE Grade C or above in Maths and English.

• Following the Wolf Review, the government identified three key themes they needed to deliver – one of which is to ensure that all young people study and achieve maths and English, ideally to GCSE A* – C by the age of 19.

• The Government also made a commitment to extend funding for level 2 courses in maths and English to those aged 19 – 24 who have not yet achieved this level in both subjects.

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