Letter from General Education

Dear students, parents and carers, 

Welcome to General Education at Myerscough. We are looking forward to working with you from September and thought we would touch base and answer a few questions before they arise. My name is Mandy Kemp, I have met most of you at interview and I teach two GCSE groups, oversee the science which is new this year and also oversee the groups in the 14-16 cohort covered by Gen Ed.  

You are registered for a number of different courses and so it is important you know how to prepare yourselves over the Summer and what would help you. All our courses are Edexcel courses. The functional skills courses are from Edexcel and are levelled for different abilities so from Entry Level 1, Entry Level 2 and Entry level 3 and then up to Level 1 and Level 2, which are the main stepping stones to GCSE. We hold functional skills assessments throughout the year and so students can retake a level several times throughout the year and may even take two levels if they feel confident enough and if the tutor feels that this would be a suitable route for the learner to take. It doesn’t happen as much in English due to the three sections being taken and additionally it may not happen in maths as much as there are now two sections required to be completed 

The GCSE courses are both (9-1) courses. The English study for English Language (9-1) and the maths students work towards Mathematics (9-1). The English students all sit the same two papers and the Higher grades are awarded on merit. The Maths students sit either Foundation or Higher level papers and the grade they may be awarded is determined by the level of paper they take. Foundation students can get a grade 1 – 5 with a 4 being the recognised pass grade whereas Higher students can get grades 3 – 9, with 4 again being the recognised pass rate. English students take 2 papers and Maths students take 3. 

In addition this year we are again running Science with two groups this year for both Biology and Chemistry separate Sciences following the 9-1 syllabus. There are two tiers of paper, Foundation and Higher and this will be decided during assessments in December together with assessments during October. We are again studying the Edexcel GCSE syllabus for biology and chemistry.   

We do not ask students to get a text book – we can provide most of what would be included in one anyway. However it would really help if students could purchase the CGP revision guides and workbooks for their specific course. Remember the English dept are following the Edexcel English Language (9-1) and maths are following the Edexcel mathematics course – either higher or foundation. We also recommend the Edexcel revision guides and workbooks which are different to the CGP books but equally useful.   

  • ISBN-13: 978-1782944041   CGP 9-1 Higher maths 
  • ISBN-13: 978-1782944003   CGP 9-1 Foundation maths 
  • ISBN-13: 978-1782949503   CGP 9-1 English Language 

 

  • ISBN-13: 978-1447988090   Pearson Higher maths 
  • ISBN-13: 978-1447988045   Pearson Foundation maths 
  • ISBN-13: 978-1447988083   Pearson English Language 

(These are revision guides but the equivalent workbooks are equally as useful) 

There isn’t a science textbook we would recommend but again the revision guides from CGP would be extremely useful.   

  • ISBN-13: 978-1789080827    CGP 9-1 Biology 
  • ISBN-13: 978-1782945727    CGP 9-1 Chemistry 

 

  • ISBN-13: 978-1292131719    Pearson Higher Level Biology 
  • ISBN-13: 978-1292131740    Pearson Foundation level Biology 
  • ISBN-13: 9781292131924     Pearson Higher level Chemistry 
  • ISBN-13: 978-1292131931   Pearson foundation level Chemistry 

(These are again revision guides but equivalent workbooks are available) 

 

Please ensure your youngster is fully equipped for studying. We cannot hand out pens at all this year so please can you make sure they all have pens, pencils, coloured pencils or pens and highlighters. In addition we would ask that students have access to a calculator at home and obviously a geometry set so they can practice the skills we are teaching. The Edexcel board suggest using a Casio scientific calculator Casio fx-83GT PLUS or the newer version Casio fx-85GT X. We provide exercise books and graph paper but some students prefer to work with a file as they can then file worksheets. If this is the case then we would ask they bring in their own file paper (we do provide specialist papers such as graph paper). Science students will be given a lab practical workbook and an exercise book but will again need to provide file paper if they prefer to work in that way. We are also asking that each Science student provides their own lab-coat (preferably white) 

It is daunting attending college for the first time but if students prepare themselves those first few weeks won’t be so difficult. English teachers suggest all students try and read a newspaper regularly and start to analyse the text in articles, looking for intended audience and bias and investigating new vocabulary. Science students might also benefit from reading a newspaper or scientific journal occasionally. Maths students would benefit from using maths whenever they can, particularly practicing adding up shopping and working out change before paying, measuring, and converting between currencies. If any student wants to go further then using the revision guides will help. 

This year we are thinking of starting an online science and maths club (a STEM club). The idea is that all students who join will be able to attend and observe and take part in practical activities that will give them an extra input and focus in these subjects. We will encourage students to join the club and to take part in projects that could lead to a certificate. It should be fun and will be held on an early evening when students will hopefully be at home to join in. Activities will involve maths or science that should enhance their learning as well as be enjoyable. 

Finally can I point out we are condensing 2½ - 3 years work into 9 months and so it is imperative that students plan to work further on topics outside of college if they are to achieve the highest grades. I know I give a lot of homework but there will also be work on Canvas (College learning portal) as well as topics students are advised to look at for themselves. Obtaining the Functional skills and GCSEs is hard work but worth the effort and I wish every one of this wonderful cohort every success in 2020. 

Please feel free to call me and discuss further if you need to. I am around most of the Summer. 

Thank you 

Mandy Kemp and the Gen Ed Team 

01995 642222 x2054