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A GCSE Case Study | Julie Lambert Skills Champion

It is always interesting to ‘look behind the scenes’ so, we approached Julie Lambert Skills Champion to offer her own insight.  Here, she explains how she approached teaching GCSE’s

When we were first told we would be teaching starting GCSE’s, I just knew I didn’t have level of skill required to really help my students to achieve. This massively affected my confidence and lead me to believe I was completely out of my depth, particularly in maths. This is when I decided to retake my own GCSE’s. It was a big risk, especially knowing the responsibility I had raising the students level of skill to a level 4 – I just couldn’t fail! However, despite my trepidation I decided to go for it regardless. At this point whether I achieved the grade I wanted or not, my mind set was happy with just improving my own skills and gaining more knowledge to pass on to the students.

On starting my courses, I was surprised on how much I actually did know. Straight away my confidence levels were boosted. After each lesson both my maths and English Tutor’s would email their PowerPoint slides and resources for extra revision at home. For maths the power point slides were detailed with sufficient information with page numbers linked to the GCSE book. This encouraged us to complete practise questions, therefore challenging and extending our understanding further.

After each Maths lesson, while the information was fresh in my mind, I would teach my students what I had learnt that week; using both the GCSE book and my tutor’s PowerPoint slides for reference. As I progressed through the course my confidence grew. It was a great refresher on some topics, deepening my current knowledge further, and perfect in gaining new information on areas I felt less familiar with.

For English, I felt reasonably confident already but I thought it would be beneficial for my students if I were to be as current as possible with regards to teaching GCSE English. Again, it was a great refresher, I gained valuable experience and useful tips in delivering this subject. Any tasks I felt engaged in I would use within my own teaching practise to enhance the students writing skills.

The positive impact in retaking my GCSE’s has been massive. The risk I took paid off, I managed to achieve Level 4 for both. I am proud of the distance I have travelled within my own ability and feel so much more confident with teaching GCSE maths and English. Admittingly, every day is a learning day for me, I revise and recap on a daily basis to ensure I am passing on the correct information to my students. There are still areas in maths I am unsure of, but I am doing my best to improve my understanding. I would recommend any of the Skills Tutors to retake their qualifications even if it’s just for the confidence boost.

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