Pendleton Sixth Form College

Ian Milan teaches OCR GCSE Maths resit at Pendleton Sixth Form College, a part of the SCC group. Ian has taught with OCR for seven years and is very happy with the results his students achieve. The Pendleton Centre regularly exceeds national benchmarks for GCSE resits. Here Ian shares his experience of the course and explains why OCR exam papers are tailored to support resit achievement.

Why OCR for GCSE Maths resits?

Pendleton Sixth Form College moved to OCR in 2012, after seeing the GCSE Maths resit results achieved by another local FE college.

“We are very happy with OCR, having used them for a number of years. We originally switched because a college nearby was achieving good results working with OCR. It’s been a long time since we’ve used another exam board for GCSE Maths. We’ve stayed with OCR because there has been no reason to change.”

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“We’ve always been very happy with OCR exams. We feel that the questions are particularly accessible.”

Ian Milan, Pendleton Sixth Form College 

Securing Futures

Keeping GCSE Maths resit students engaged and motivated can be a challenge for FE Colleges. Many students lack confidence, while others are simply reluctant to continue studying the subject. Winning students over is a priority for Ian and his team at the start of the new academic year.

“Motivating resit students is the biggest issue for us. Our challenge is getting them to see the importance of Maths for their future, and we constantly remind them of this. Maths will open doors to jobs, university and the future.”

Ian and his team work hard to develop good working relationships with their students, encouraging them to see the value of Maths and the links it has with other subjects. With a wide spectrum of ability in each resit cohort, differentiating teaching is vital.

“The ability range in each resit class is broad. We have a wide spectrum of learners, from the student who missed grade 4 by one mark to the student who just secured grade 1. You can see the difference with some of the more challenging topics. Our approach needs to engage everyone.”

Some resit students are given the chance to take the resit in November, with others following in the summer. Many are new to the OCR specification, and this can help them to see the resit as a clean slate.

“Most of the students who come to us haven’t seen OCR before. We can say “This is a different exam board. We’ve used it for a number of years, and we feel it offers you good opportunities. This course is a fresh start.” We’re keen to emphasise that the past doesn’t matter.”

Helping Students to Achieve

OCR GCSE Maths resit helps students to develop a positive attitude towards the subject and to recognise its importance in their daily life. Students are encouraged to apply Maths in real life contexts, helping them to see the relevance of everyday numeracy. 

Providing a range of assessment resources to get students ready for their Maths resit, OCR helps teachers to build student confidence and self-belief in the build-up to an exam. From end of topic tests to bespoke exam papers, teachers can find the right tools for every student. For Ian, this preparation is key.

“We use the OCR practice papers all of the time, and they are very accessible. We recently looked at the check-in tests and ExamBuilder and liked what we saw. We’ll be using these in the future.”

OCR assessments are designed to be universally accessible, with clearly structured questions and an exam paper layout which is based upon cognitive theory. This accessibility, which gives every student the chance to achieve, is important to teachers at Pendleton Sixth Form College.

“We’ve always been very happy with OCR exams. We feel that the questions are particularly accessible.”

Supporting FE Teachers

High-quality assessment preparation is a key reason why Pendleton Sixth Form College chooses OCR for GCSE Maths resit. Teachers also benefit from OCR’s extensive support which helps them to prepare every student for exam day.

“We’ve always had good support from OCR. They visited us recently as part of their exam support package. The team are also delivering training for us in September.”

With OCR’s expert advice just a call or click away, Ian knows that he can access support whenever he needs it.

“Whenever we have contacted OCR with queries, they’ve always dealt with us promptly and efficiently. I recently called them for feedback, and they talked me through the issue very clearly. I haven’t needed to contact OCR very often, but that’s a good thing. Everything is very clear and works smoothly for us.”

Having looked at other exam boards when the new GCSE (9–1) specifications were published, Ian and his team were clear in their decision to stay with OCR. They feel confident that OCR GCSE Maths offers their students the best chance of resit success.

“We have had nothing but a good experience with OCR. The great pleasure of this job is helping students who have failed their Maths GCSE to achieve. When they pass you know that you have made a substantial difference to their lives.”

Find out more about our Post-16 GCSE Maths or get in touch with our Customer Development Team 02476 856 072 or who can help get you started teaching.