The Curriculum Development Office was very excited to host our first Curriculum Transitions event on 23rd August 2019. Throughout the highly informative day, secondary school teachers with experience of teaching GCSE, A-level (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Psychology), and BTEC (Health and Social Care, and Applied Sciences) courses, joined staff from across the University to discuss recent educational changes, approaches to teaching and learning, and successful student transition to university.
The morning session, Stepping Up to HE: Supporting Transitions, was a general discussion about the current state of secondary education. It elicited a wide variety of questions for our teachers, including:
- How do we develop skills for success in Higher Education?
- Could we do more to support transition?
- How are students being taught at school and college and what skills do they bring with them to university?
- What similarities and differences are there between the content of BTEC/A-level curricula and our degree courses?
The afternoon session, Developing as a Subject Specialist, broke the room into subject-specific groups and gave the opportunity for participants to visit multiple tables. The importance of being up to date on the BTEC/A level syllabi, assessments, and mark schemes was highlighted, as was variance within subjects, approaches, and experiences across different schools.
This event was also a timely reminder of the relative freedom and autonomy that we have in Higher Education to design and deliver our course and units.
Attendee, Rick Park, Curriculum Team Leader of Science at John Cabot Academy said:
The event was an excellent opportunity to not only forge stronger links with the university, but more importantly, to disseminate the pedagogical skills and approaches derived from contemporary literature, which are being continually developed and refined by teachers. All this will hopefully allow us as teachers to support our students in making the right decisions about higher education and facilitate a supportive transition for students so they are more successful in their chosen pathways. Thank you for this opportunity.
We are very grateful to the panel of teachers for spending time with us during their summer holiday. The day was incredibly informative and provided a real insight into the prior experiences, skills and knowledge of our incoming students.
The Curriculum Development Office will be developing further resources to support this work, including collating A-level syllabi and mark schemes, and planning future events. We are very keen to continue to develop our partnership with schools and colleges, and hope to develop this work stream with Admissions and Recruitment in the future. Look out for further communications!
For a detailed write up of the event, along with the recommendations and revelations that resulted, please visit our new Curriculum Transitions event summary page on the CLT Resource Hub.