AWE Club – Online Maths Information
15 classes a week to choose from
IGCSE/GCSE and KS3
Join at the start of any Half Term
Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays
Weekly, all lessons 1 hour
You can choose to book 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 lessons weekly
Minimum age 11
Dan makes Maths as fun and interesting as possible!
See below for topics taught in each class
Dan is the AWE Maths teacher, he uses the online classroom Zoom. He is a great teacher and has helped many students overcome their concerns around Maths. He teaches KS3 and GCSE/IGCSE Level at foundation and higher tiers. Please see the timetable where you can choose which day, time and class are best for your child. AWE teachers teach to the child’s ability not their age, the classes are mixed age ranges which works very well. It is very easy to swap between the different classes depending on your child’s progress. Dan also runs exam preparation and revision groups to help students prepare for exams.
Dan teaches general Maths topics not aimed at any one particular exam board. He provides homework but it is not compulsory as we understand some children find homework too stressful. Dan teaches the main topic areas that are guaranteed to be found in an exam and focuses particularly on areas students often find difficult and helps them to gain confidence in their abilities.
Dan uses worksheets that he makes himself.
Here is some information about how the lessons work
Bank Holidays – Maths lessons still run at the usual times on bank holidays.
If parents need a recommendation for which text book is best, these are the ones Dan suggests:
- GCSE Maths Edexcel Higher Student Book (Collins GCSE Maths) Fourth edition Edition ISBN-13: 978-0008113810, ISBN-10: 0008113815
- GCSE Maths Edexcel Foundation Student Book (Collins GCSE Maths) Fourth edition Edition ISBN-13: 978-0008113827, ISBN-10: 9780008113827
Dan will send the work sheets and the zoom link. Please check your Spam folder before chasing Dan. If you haven’t received the link after doing this, feel free to email or text Dan directly. The zoom link will be the same every week. Click the link and you should be automatically connected, there are no passwords or codes. You will be held in a waiting room until the lesson is ready to start.
Print off the sheets before the lesson and have pens, calculators and blank paper handy. Dan will work through half the sheets together in the lesson, and the other half will be optional homework sheets that can be done in your own time.
Dan asks that students have their cameras and mics turned off (please see below for explanation). Students can communicate with Dan using the chat function (giving Dan answers or asking questions of things they don’t understand).
The lessons are all recorded and emailed to you every Thursday along with the answers so that you or your child can check their understanding. If your child needs Dan to explain again, let him know and he will send you a recording personalised exactly for your requirements.
When can I start lessons? Can I join part way through the year?
You can join the lessons at the start of any Half Term as we know that children leave school to be Home Educated at anytime.
All classes start in September, if you start part way through the course you can continue the lessons until you catch up to where you started.
We do not dictate when children can move classes as they are all working at different ability and confidence levels.
IGCSE or GCSE?
The syllabus between GCSE and IGCSE are almost identical so if someone is doing the Foundation IGCSE exam preparation class it is interchangeable with the foundation GCSE class.
Taking the higher paper does include some foundation material. There is an overlap of about five or six questions, so taking a higher exam means that you will need to know the foundation tier syllabus too. Class 4 covers these topics. Class 5 only covers the materials in the higher tier paper.
Any student looking to enter the foundation tier exam should not be doing any lessons makrked class 5. Any topic in the class 5 higher tier lessons will not come up in the foundation tier paper.
Here is a quick rundown of the differences – but don’t panic, you have to know the same stuff as the maths syllabus is standardised by the National Curriculum. Everything that we cover in the GCSE papers is in the IGCSE. I choose to do the EdExcel GCSE, because in my experience this is the most common that most schools choose to use and is therefore more accessible at exam centres for private candidates.
Why choose IGCSE?
It’s original point was to be a world wide international standard for students that wanted to have their qualification recognised abroad, or vice versa.
There are two papers, both allow a calculator. Some schools choose this to avoid the non-calculator paper for students that generally do better with a calculator.
The IGCSE has never had a coursework element, it’s all how the students perform on the exam day.
I have only ever known one topic to come up in IGCSE which isn’t generally in GCSE papers which is ‘differentiation’ but it hasn’t come up very much in the past few years and there’s no guarantee it will come up again any time soon.
Why choose GCSE?
By far most students go for GCSE. There used to be a coursework element and two exams (one calculator and non calculator). The idea of this was to spread the risk so that any student that had a bad day on the exam day could fall back on the marks from the other elements. The coursework has now been replaced with another third exam, so that’s why there are three exams.
It is a calculator exam because this can test more topics on the syllabus. The non-calculator paper immediately rules out some topics which simply can’t be done without one.
Why are there different exam boards?
Schools obviously want all their students to do well ,which reflects best for them in the league tables.
Some schools pick Edexcel for Maths because they like the font, layout and the mixture of word questions and straight forward number questions.
Some schools pick AQA because there are fewer word questions and have questions with multiple choice answers.
How to choose which class is right for your child
…the National Curriculum has been split up into three distinct year groups (7, 8 & 9). Don’t think of Year 9 as being a harder version of the Year 8 class, they contain totally different topics. When a student has covered the KS3 material then they have covered the whole syllabus for a foundation tier exam. The higher tier topics are covered in year 10/11. The maths syllabus is vast, schools take 5 years to get through it at 4 lessons a week.
…we use the classification class 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 for Maths levels. This is to align with ability rather than age.
The KS3 and KS4 syllabus content will be covered in AWE class 1, 2, 3, and 4. Children can start at class 1 and progress each year or they can attend all four classes each week and cover everything in one year. This is useful for those who want to do a year of revision before sitting exams or for children who have missed some school and have gaps in their learning.
When a student has covered all topics in class 1, 2, 3, and 4, they have covered the whole syllabus for a foundation tier exam.
At AWE we have arranged the Maths classes to ensure all topics are covered, children can join any class that suits their needs. Classes are not linked to age at all.
If a student wants to progress and sit the higher tier exams, they will need to attend a class 5 course.
REVISION, EXAM PREPARATION AND PRACTICE
Dan runs additional classes using exam practice papers for revision and exam preparation. Children can let Dan know the topics they need help with and he will cover those areas.
AWE Club Maths flow chart to help you choose which level to book for your child
Example of Topics Covered
Class 4 End of Foundation Syllabus
Class 5 Additional Topics for Higher Syllabus
One hour of Maths a week is not usually enough for Home Educated students. At AWE children can attend up to 5 lessons per week. It is suggested that you suplement the lessons with aditional practice at home. The maths syllabus is vast, schools take 5 years to get through it at 4 lessons a week.
Not every aspect of each exam board syllabus will be covered. Some students opt for additional lessons nearer to exam times and Dan will try to help with areas they need extra help in.
To supplement you could use the suggested text books or use ConquerMaths online for which there is a discount code for Home Educators on www.awediscounts.com
Reasons for keeping all mics and cameras turned off during Maths lessons online
Message from Dan…..
Students are free to chat to me using the zoom chat where they can ask me questions, give me answers or anything else that is relevant to the lesson. Anything that is beneficial to the whole group will be integrated at the appropriate time. The chat is private so students can ask questions and provide answers without fear of embarrassment.
I learnt early on that public chat wasn’t going to work as the students use the chat to go quickly off topic and distract each other. Asking students to speak out loud with their cameras and mics on this raises a few issues. Many students suffer from anxiety and don’t like to be put on the spot. I try to keep my lessons as relaxed and enjoyable as I can whilst also being informative. Some students would feel on edge knowing that at any point I would turn on their mic or video and ask them to answer something. This would make their anxiety around maths worse.
In schools maths is a topic that has sets (top set to bottom set), the groups AWE run have an even larger variation of abilities. Anxiety over maths is a huge problem that we don’t want AWE students worrying about.The lessons are taught to the ability level not the age of the child.
The maths syllabus is vast, schools take 5 years to get through it at 4 lessons a week – slowing down the rate of coverage means that there would be large numbers of topics that just don’t get covered. These lessons are designed to supplement their learning, not provide social interaction. We simply have too much material to cover to ensure each child gets all they need to progress. Some lessons lead on from one another, if I was to ask a student something that was covered in a previous lesson, and they haven’t yet looked at the recording, they wouldn’t know the answer to what I was asking.
The lessons are recorded and I think that the recording makes more sense if it’s just one continual narration rather than switching between different voices of different volumes coming in and out. If I unmute someone and they are in a noisy environment it would be really disruptive to the lesson and the recording.
Some students may know of a different method of answering the same question, something that they’ve seen online or read in a book. It’s nice that they are being helpful, but it isn’t a good idea to show a second way until at least one way has been crystallised as it runs a risk of neither way being understood to the other students.
Also taking time to mute, unmute students, possibly turning on/off their cameras asking them questions, and waiting for a response and possibly re-explaining something that has been covered earlier in the lesson all takes up time. This means that what could be covered in one lesson would now take more than one lesson to cover.
The process we are using works for the majority of students and ensures they get through with a good understanding to help them achieve their goals.