Keith Proffitt, MEI Curriculum Developer
Ever wondered what you would gain from attending a course for the subject you teach? OCR offers a range of course types, designed to support you both as you are getting familiar with the qualification and then on an ongoing basis during your teaching.
In this blog I’ll discuss our upcoming “Enhancing your teaching” events that I’ll be running over the next couple of months for A Level Maths B (MEI) (H640).
The “Enhancing your teaching” events are designed to cover issues raised in examiners’ reports or identified from the insight gained by the subject advisors from teachers.
Regulations mean that anyone involved in the production of live assessment material (i.e. next year’s exam papers) is not allowed to deliver professional development courses related to those papers. I am not currently involved in the assessment of Maths B (MEI). I was involved in the development of the Maths B (MEI) and Further Maths B (MEI) qualifications and now my work for MEI involves supporting teachers of these qualifications with professional development, resources and advice.
The “Enhancing your teaching” events focus on four aspects of teaching the A Level Maths B specification.
The statistics strand of the reformed A Level Maths has a greater focus on authentic, real life data and the interpretation of results from statistical calculations. The large data set (LDS) provides an opportunity to gain familiarity with a specific data context so that exam questions can assess both the competence with statistical techniques and with using statistics to solve problems.
In this session we will be looking at how knowledge of the LDS has been assessed and how you could make greater use of all the pre-release material available from OCR and MEI for teaching the statistics content.
Sign up for Investigating the Large Data Sets, 18 Jan 2023, 4pm-5pm
Section B of H640/03 comprises questions set in the context of an article provided for candidates to read in the examination. In this session we will see how the comprehension section is consistent with good classroom practice which encourages students to take responsibility for their own learning. We will also consider how to prepare students for this aspect of the assessment.
Sign up for Preparing for the comprehension, 25 Jan 2023, 4pm-5pm
There is an explicit requirement in the A Level Maths criteria that students should use technology in their course. In the exam this is limited to a calculator, so this session will look at where students would benefit from knowledge of the range of functions available on new calculators.
We will also observe how some exam questions reflect how other software (for example spreadsheets and graph drawing apps) can be used to support teaching and learning in the classroom.
Sign up for Effective use of technology, 1 Mar 23, 4pm-5pm
The step change between GCSE and A Level Maths is still a concern for some students, especially after the disruptions to teaching over the past couple of years. In this session we will be looking at the topics introduced in the GCSE specification and how these are developed at AS/A Level.
We will be considering how A Level teachers can take advantage of the fact that their students have met these topics before without assuming that they understood them perfectly the first time round.
Sign up for Transition from KS4 to KS5, 27 Jun 23, 4pm-5pm
Everything starts with the specification. OCR produces a range of support material (see the support highlights document), and also endorses a range of textbooks and teaching material from third party publishers.
Examiners’ reports give feedback on student performance on each paper. The Starting to teach events include marking exercises from the 2022 series and are designed to support both teachers new to the specification and those that have been teaching the specification for many years.
Subject advisors hold regular Q&A webinars, and we also run Teacher Networks each term for a more general discussion of A Level Maths.
The MEI Staffroom, hosted on MEI’s Integral website, is a space where you can access support directly aimed at teachers of the OCR B (MEI) A Levels. Regular professional development and extra resources are available, all free of charge.
The subject advisor team are getting started on the plans for next academic year. Contact the team at email@example.com to suggest any events you feel should be on offer to help you support your students.
If you have any questions about the current CPD programme, email the events team at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 01223 553998 or tweet us @ocrexams. You can also sign up for email updates to receive information about resources and support.
Keith taught maths for 25 years, including being Head of Maths in two schools. He then worked as an OCR Qualifications Manager for the MEI A Levels for five years. Since 2014 he has worked for MEI; he was involved in the development of the current OCR B(MEI) AS/A Levels. He now supports teachers of those qualifications as well as running other professional development and writing resources. He does some work for the Advanced Mathematics Support Programme to support Core Maths.