Education insights: Controversial predicted grading systems for exams, National Skills funding boosts and teachers injecting creativity into their lessons

Spring is here! As the Easter holidays edge closer, this week’s education insights brings us eco-champion geography teachers, pop-culture physics lessons and funding boosts for skills bootcamps.

Meet the geography teachers inspiring the next generation of eco champions

Three geography teachers are playing an integral role in demonstrating to their students that they have the ability to help save their planet. Emily, Catherine and Beth are passionate about protecting our planet and encouraging their students to feel the same. They’re teaching the next generation to appreciate the natural world, as well as how to care for it, which is having an impact on their students. Promisingly, Catherine’s students have joined an extra-curricular Climate Network Club and debate club in which they get to challenge their thinking further.

Exams: Grading system could become 'Wild West', MPs warn

Following the cancellation of this year’s exams, there is concern that the plan for teachers to decide GCSE and A-level grades risks being unfair to disadvantaged pupils. Members of the Education Committee warn that there could be a ‘Wild West in grading’ on the horizon for England. Grades are proposed to be decided from coursework, essays and optional assessments. Understandably, the Committee worries whether the grading ahead will be made on a level playing field for students - especially following last year’s downgrading debacle.

Celebs, films and superstar rappers: how teachers are making traditional subjects pop

Creative teachers are putting their ear to the ground on social media and pop culture to engage their pupils in a way that makes learning even the toughest subjects a little bit easier. For example, Joe, a physics teacher, is one of many teachers across the nation jumping on the trend, using his battle rapping skills to boost his lessons in the classroom. We’re sure that would make for some memorable physics lessons!

Parents who pressure teachers over exam grades could see their children disqualified

This week the exam watchdog has warned parents who put teachers under pressure over predicted GCSE or A-level grading could see their children disqualified for malpractice. Exam boards have said that they might investigate if teachers feel inappropriately pressured by anyone to submit predicted grades that are “higher than the evidence supports”. As much as this would (hopefully) be a rare occurrence, it would be devastating for pupils to have their grades compromised by their parent’s behaviour.

Funding boost for construction skills bootcamps

We’re pleased to see more funding of free education provision arrive in the West Midlands and the South West of England. A £500k National Skills funding boost comes from the $43m pot declared in November to establish the new skill bootcamps. Bootcamps are currently being run in six areas across England with nearly three thousand learners taking part so far. They offer free and flexible courses which can last up to sixteen weeks and cover disciplines from construction to digital and technical.

About the author

Craig Ritchie

Craig has a passion for empowering young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and delivering campaigns with a social impact. He has a background in client-servicing and holds specialist knowledge of the STEM and Careers pathways. At Hopscotch, Craig works across Health Education England, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and DP World.

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