“Too few students [in the Further Education and Skills Sector] make sufficient progress in improving their skills in English and mathematics, because the teaching they receive is simply not good enough”
“Although results weren’t great last year, there will be thousands of learners who will have improved and still be working towards passing their English and maths. They’re just not reflected in the statistics yet”
‘Staff promote, where appropriate, English, mathematics, ICT and employability skills exceptionally well and ensure that learners are well-equipped with the necessary skills to progress to their next steps.’
The word ’embed’ is such a depressing word. It reminds me of planting. Don’t get me wrong, I love plants, I just think that planting English and maths into lessons is a pointless task, I mean, every lesson in the world should have English and maths used in some way surely? But what good is that without honing in and trying to improve specific skills? Does embedding help the learners? Do they get feedback on what English and maths they’ve used to help them improve? Mostly not I’d say.
I personally believe that the term should be ‘to develop’ English and maths. If you are going to acknowledge any English and maths in a lesson, then the least it should do is develop a learners knowledge, understanding or skill in the respective subject. For example, if I was asking learners to complete a piece of written work, this alone is not enough. I should ensure that they are given time to feedback to one another on spelling, grammar and punctuation. Further, I should aim to develop their writing, perhaps so that they are more concise? How about I get them to reduce the wordage by 10%. In editing the work, they are having to develop their use of vocabulary, whilst ensuring that their work is coherent. An example in maths may be to produce a cost sheet of resources and labour time, calculating VAT for any vocational work completed i.e. Hairdressing. Here learners could explore and develop their skills in the process of calculating percentages. I’m no English or maths specialist, but I see real value in developing learners ability in these subjects. I am passionate about helping others to find simple ways to do this and have self published a pocket book with some ideas that teachers could consider using in their lessons. Hope you find it useful.