The very best educational technology is always adapting to the ever-shifting needs posed by educational policy, and with the massive curriculum changes coming into place in September, at SAM Learning we’re working hard to ensure our service is as up to date and relevant to new teaching specifications as possible.
We’ve already started: in September 2015 we developed new menu structures for the incoming Maths and English GCSE specifications, but this September will see schools teaching even more new specifications – in Science, Geography, History, French, German, Spanish, Music, Drama, RE, Citizenship, PE and Art & Design, for example. This means aligning subject menus to the new AQA, Edexcel, OCR, Eduqas and WJEC specifications, and for many subjects, to Edexcel iGCSE and Cambridge iGCSE too.
Of course it’s not just the curriculum that is changing, the grading system is also getting a complete overhaul – gone is the old A* to G grade scale, from September students will be marked on a scale from 1 (G) to 9 (A*). All the new specification menus will feature exam paper and test question activities that give scores based on this new scale. The ‘All’ menus will continue to use the grade scale that will be awarded to the current Year 11 in that subject and will be switched over as the old specifications finish. All KS3 activities on SAM Learning have already been flipped over to the new grade scale, as students in years 7–9 will all be taking GCSE exams on the new system. In Activity Builder, our tool for teachers to write their own activities, both options are given, so teachers can choose whether to score their activity on the new or the old grade scale.
As always, our writers – all of whom are professional teachers with years of experience teaching GCSEs – are constantly creating new SAM activities, and these are currently being written to reflect the subject content of the new GCSE specifications. SAM also has a rolling publishing programme, which aims to constantly refresh our activities and improve coverage, giving you a broad a range of resources in order to suit all your students’ needs – these activities are not simply useful as revision and exam preparation, but can be also set as homework for lesson consolidation, used for independent study or set throughout the year to assess progress and target intervention, allowing you to get the very most out of SAM.