Intervention, intervention, intervention! If your department is anything like ours, you will be doing all you can to help your year 11 students achieve that magical C grade. With all the strategies that we use it is often difficult to pin down which ones are most effective.
One of the strategies we have been using over the past few years that we are confident has been effective is giving our 6th form mathematicians the opportunity to work with our C/D borderline year 11 students. The buzz caused by this scheme has been phenomenal to say the least! For the 6th formers, it is an opportunity to take on extra responsibility in an area they feel comfortable with. For the year 11s, it is an opportunity to get the one-one help they need from somebody they can talk to on their own level. Last year, of the 30 students who were mentored, 27 of them went on to get C grades in the March exam. By June all of them had managed to achieve it. This year I have around 40 mentors and it looks like we are going to get a similar level of success.
When launching the scheme this year, in preparation for November exams, I delivered a brief session to the mentors where we discussed strategies they could use when working with their mentees. This focused not only on things like how to ask questions that scaffold (I was impressed with how they took to this) but also on how to raise confidence. This year’s scheme has been running for a couple of weeks now and I have just taken feedback from both the year 11 and 6th form students involved and things are going exceptionally well.
If you are thinking of starting a similar scheme at your own school and what more information, feel free to get in touch.