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Tips for teachers - improving achievement when delivering NCFE qualifications for schools

We know that you want the best for your students, and improving their achievement rates is not only great for your school, it also boosts your students’ confidence and will support their future education and careers. We’ve complied our top tips for improving achievement rates during delivery of our V Certs and other NCFE qualifications and ahead of the assessment.

During delivery

1. Place learners at appropriate levels

Before you begin delivery of qualifications, it’s important to ensure the learners in your classroom are registered on the appropriate level. Check the suitability of the qualification for each learner in order to determine if it’ll be achievable for them. For English and maths, you may wish to access a suitable diagnostic tool which can accurately place learners at their appropriate level based on how they answer a series of questions and can also identify specific areas for improvement. We recommend the Skills Builder tool from Skills Forward.

2. Cover all the teaching and learning

You should cover all the teaching and learning prior to submitting learners for an assessment, as this will give you a good indication of if they’re ready and capable of achieving the qualification. This also will save you from having to withdraw students that you have already entered if the assessment gets closer and they don’t feel ready to attempt it.

3. Revision throughout delivery

To give your learners the best chance at success, you should incorporate revision throughout delivery. Check their understanding and reinforce this throughout the year, rather than relying on heavy revision classes prior to assessment. This will help students to feel more prepared, and the concept of revision will seem far less daunting. The more revision throughout the delivery period, the more ingrained the knowledge will be in students’ brains.

4. Access support resources

NCFE offers lots of great resources to support your delivery, and we recommend taking advantage of this. Keep an eye out for any webinars, networking and training events to support with delivery and assessment, as these can be a great chance to find out anything you are unsure of and ask questions to our expert Curriculum team. Read through the Chief Examiners reports to see where challenges arose with previous papers. For V Certs, help for learners answering extended response questions is available.

Before the assessment

5. Read and digest the Regulations

All delivery staff and Exams Officers should take care to read the Regulations and ensure that you’re accessing the most current version from the website. Don’t assume that because the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) or other Awarding Organisations allow something that we do - it’s always best to check. You should also read the Qualification Specific Instructions for Delivery (QSID) for any qualification specific instructions.

6. Check your resources

Ensure you have all the resources for the upcoming assessments. Take note if the exam is online assessment – make sure you have the correct and up-to-date resources to avoid any technical issues on the day.

7. Add dates to your diary

Check cut off and submission dates and add them to your diary. This is a must to avoid late entry fees or problems around reasonable adjustments. It also allows time for planning of EQA visits for internal synoptic assessments.

8. Enter the correct learners

This may be another obvious point, however essential! The correct learners need to be entered for the assessments, and students who are no longer going to be attempting the assessment need to be withdrawn. If they aren’t withdrawn, you could end up with too many papers which is a security risk.

Plan B

9. Have suitable intervention for learners

Ensure that you have an intervention plan is in place if things aren’t working for a particular learner, or group of learners. This could be scheduling extra revision classes, or introducing different teaching techniques. For English and maths, our bite-sized units can help you target the specific areas your learners might be struggling with to help boost their confidence and achievement. They will allow you to build a flexible learning programme for your learners to support them to achieve.

10. Just ask if you’re not sure

You’ll be introduced to our Curriculum team from day one, who offer extremely valuable support. They can also organise bespoke training packages for you if required. For some extra reassurance, we recommend our Teacher CPD, which can be completed in your own time, in a place convenient to you. Qualifications available include Mental Health Awareness, Understanding Behaviour that Challenges, Autism Awareness, Nutrition and Health, and many more.

For more information on the support available to teachers to help improve achievement when delivering NCFE qualifications for schools, please visit our website.


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