College Learners Have Made the Grade after Piloting a Fresh Approach to Re-sitting Exams

STUDENTS at Darlington College were celebrating after securing their GCSE mathematics and English qualifications after re-taking the subjects seven months early.

Senior lecturer in English Gemma Chapman said; “All 16 to 19-year-olds without at least a grade 4 in GCSE maths or English are required to enroll on GCSE courses alongside their main programme of study.

“We did an assessment of students that enrolled with us in September, who had got close to achieving a grade 4, and asked the exam board if we could see their original GCSE papers.

“We then did an analysis to see how each student had approached the subject and where they required extra help to enable us to target bespoke learning sessions in a series of dedicated re-sit classes.”

All college re-sit students were offered an additional three hours a week tuition to study maths and English, with daily drop in sessions and October half term revision classes, before being given the chance to re-take their exams early.

“With smaller classes we were able to offer more concentrated one to one learning where students felt comfortable asking questions and if they did miss a lesson they were encouraged to catch up at one of the available daily drop in sessions,” said Gemma.

“We offered incentives for attendance and attitude and a lot of the students loved the competitiveness and showed great maturity in the efforts.”

Bricklaying student Kieran Hardy, 17, of Darlington, secured grade 4 passes in both maths and English and was presented with a Kindle as a reward for his attendance and attitude to learning.

“I got grade 3s at school in both subjects so knew I’d have to re-sit them at college,” said Kieran.

“It was a lot of effort, but I’m really happy with my results and can now concentrate on my coursework and my ambitions of working towards becoming a self-employed builder in the future.” 

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