Sarah Millington, subject advisor for Health and Social Care and Child Development
In her first blog, Sarah Millington shares some strategies that can help students overcome challenges within the subject.
This blog gives me a chance to introduce myself. I’ve worked in the educational field for 20 years and taught Health and Social Care with OCR for 16 of those years. I’ve worked alongside some amazing teachers and worked with students so that they achieve to the best of their ability. I want to be able to use my teaching and moderating experience to help support teachers, and I'm looking forward to doing this as a subject advisor.
As any teacher knows there are challenges, and no two days are the same.
Over the last two years, students have experienced fewer exams. They struggled to know how to revise, how to recall information and how to apply that information in the correct way.
In Cambridge Technicals, Unit 2 and Unit 4 in Level 3 Health and Social Care are the areas where I’ve seen students struggle the most. So here are a couple of ideas that I’ve discovered can improve results and give students confidence.
When you mention the word ‘legislation’ to 16 year old students, their faces go blank! When you think about it, why would a 16 year old have any in-depth knowledge about legislation? But it is something they need to know about and be able to apply.
One way that I have found really works to help students apply knowledge about legislation is to introduce to a character right at the beginning. This helps students apply it to real life.
The character can follow the lessons throughout the unit. I would create a mock paper to test students’ knowledge and revisit the paper to look at their responses and build on low mark areas.
Many teachers of health and social care are not biology specialists, me included. Most of my students didn’t study biology at A Level and hadn’t looked at an anatomy diagram in over a year.
Some of Unit 4 can be learnt independently. Revision card and terminology tables can also be used. When it comes to exam style questions, students need more depth, and know how to apply knowledge when it comes to longer written response answers.
Here’s how I tackled it:
Remember - what works for one student may not work for another. Students need to see an improvement to motivate them to carry on in their studies. Regular testing and reviewing helps them see this.
Moderating the Cambridge Technicals for two years, I met teachers from other centres and saw that they wanted to show what they had been doing and what their students have achieved. They wanted to share, and they wanted to support and be supported. Here are some of their suggestions:
To start with, check out all our upcoming health and social care CPD events.
If you have any questions about health and social care, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet us @OCR_Health. You can also sign up to subject updates and receive information about resources and support.
Sarah has joined OCR after teaching Health and Social Care and Child Development over a period of 16 years. Having been a teacher, subject lead and moderator within her career, she has planned and developed subjects to meet the need of her students to allow them to become independent learners, focusing on effective teaching and learning skills. She has experienced and survived several qualification changes: GCSEs to Cambridge Nationals, and A Levels to Cambridge Technicals. Sarah is looking forward to bringing this experience and knowledge with her to OCR.