A study into the impact on pupil attainment of the Skills Framework in mathematics at Key Stage 3 in two contextually different south east Wales comprehensive schools.
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Significant changes have occurred to the Key Stage 3 curriculum in Mathematics in 'Wales since 2008. These changes have occurred as a result of pupils being insufficiently prepared to enter the world of work. Employers claim that they lack the necessary skills of thinking, communication, I.C.T. and number which would enable them to function productively. Educators have a duty to address this, and as a result curriculum orders have been changed to include a greater skills focus. This skills focus comes in the guise of the 'Skills Framework for 3 to 19 year olds in'Wales'. In the author's experience, levels of understanding amongst teachers of the aims of this Framework varied, and it was being applied in Mathematics in a variety of ways and to different extents. Confusion with regard to assessment of these skills was also evident. In this study the author aims to ascertain the extent to which the Framework is affecting teaching and leaming in the class room and ultimately, attainment in Mathematics in two contextually different south Wales schools, and how the introduction of new initiatives devised as a result of research and feedback from pupils and teachers will raise the profile of the Framework and enhance the learning of pupils in the class room and beyond. The research takes the form of a case study followed by action research, where the case study allows assessment to take place of current levels of understanding amongst teachers and the extent to which it is being implemented. It also allows for an assessment of pupils' current levels of proficiency in skills and attainment in Mathematics. The action research explores further strategies to aid the delivery of the Skills Framework. Pupils' attainment, skills levels and teachers' understanding are measured againto assess the impact of these strategies on learning experiences. The research highlights the conflict felt by teachers between curriculum coverage and teaching to develop skills, the subjective nature of assessing skills, and monitoring their development and the misapprehension of teachers that skills can only be addressed during discrete activities and not as an integral part of all class room activities.
MA Education Thesis
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