Students at Derby College Group (DCG) attended special Maths and English workshop sessions during the Easter break to help prepare them for this summer’s GCSE examinations.
Workshop sessions were held over three days at the Roundhouse Technical and Professional Skills college and Broomfield Hall Land-based and Leisure college.
They included English Language sessions with award-winning local author and poet Jamie Thrasivoulou – best known for his poem ‘We Are Derby’ which is played on the large screens at Pride Park before every Rams’ home game.
Other sessions included an ‘escape room’ challenge which could only be solved by answering maths questions correctly.
Each day culminated in a group practice paper session. Students sat in rows to make them more comfortable with exam conditions whilst teachers shared exam strategies and worked with them through questions on a giant whiteboard.
Around 1,500 students at DCG re-take the two core subjects alongside their academic or vocational study programmes and last year more than half improved their grades.
DCG Director of Maths and English Bronagh Quigley said: “Many students who have not achieved required grades in Maths and English come to us dis-engaged with the subjects but accept that they need Grades 4 and above to progress.
“Our aim is to re-ignite their interest in the subjects by making lessons interactive, interesting and using alternative teaching methods from music to games.
“By approaching the subjects in a different way, our students stand a much better chance of gaining the grades they need so that they can progress in their study and career plans.
“Part of this alternative approach has been to organise the Maths and English conference and this was the first time we have held the event on this scale.
“The workshops were offered in small groups to enable more individual attention and the feedback was that students felt much more positive about the challenges ahead of them.”