Staffroom Catch-up: Mark Smith, Roundhay School
|We've been catching up with teachers at schools and colleges around the UK to find out how teaching with Eduqas is working for them and their learners. Mark Smith, Subject Leader of Cooking and Nutrition at Roundhay School in Leeds, shares his experience:
"I’ve been teaching various versions of the Level 1/2 Hospitality and Catering and GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition with Eduqas and WJEC for 11 years now. I’ve also taught the Level 3 Award in Food Science and Nutrition.
We’re a small team - just two of us - but on average we teach around 1500 learners at KS3-4 and anywhere between 40 and 50 in year 10.
We’d had a positive experience teaching the GCSE version of Hospitality and Catering a few years ago, so when the Level 1/2 Hospitality and Catering award was released, it was a total no-brainer for me.
I needed a course that would be accessible to a wider range of learners, and learners who were not necessarily going to go to sixth form. The level 1/2 award was perfect for this.
Compared to other boards, Eduqas was easily the most user friendly. The exemplars made sense and could be replicated by my learners. The exam was also a good fit, with questions written in a learner friendly way. It was clear it would enable students to ease into the exam and very quickly feel confident with the paper.
I was also keen to move to online examinations, as it would be more beneficial to my SEND learners and the students who’s handwriting is not brilliant.
Our learners enjoy the content, they like using Eduqas’ online assessment, and they like the fact that the specification clearly spells out what they need to know.
We’ve also found the textbook specifically for the Level 1/2 Award in Hospitality & Catering useful, as well as the resources from the secure website.
But even with all this, at the end of the day a specification is a specification - what makes Eduqas special for me is the people that work there.
The level of support is outstanding. I’ve never had a problem that hasn’t been resolved quickly, and there’s always someone on the end of the phone who is knowledgeable and friendly to make me feel at ease with my teaching.
The quality of the CPD is outstanding too. I always come away buzzing with ideas and they reinvigorate me and make me look at my teaching and how I can be better. It’s great to meet the people behind the emails and phone calls and to talk to specialists who know their subject well and can give practical advice and support."
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