Charlotte Bradley works at the Crewe Campus of Cheshire College – South and West, a large College with around 7,000 learners including 1,400 apprentices. Charlotte is a GCSE English Lecturer mainly for the 16-19 classroom-based learning but increasingly for apprentices as well. She gives curriculum support to coordinate exams across the college after being appointed as an Advanced Practitioner in 2019.
Charlotte discusses why she booked on the ETF’s embedding maths and English in apprenticeships programme:
As a subject specialist in English working with the apprenticeship teams, how are you developing that collaboration?
Previously the classroom delivery of Functional Skills and the work-based learning apprenticeships delivery were separate. Now, we are trying to bring them closer together, working with the vocational tutors and forging links with the apprenticeship teams. We’ve got the ball rolling, and we’re starting to build that up.
I have been leading the speaking and listening standardisation activities including being a point of contact for how to contextualise activities. I’m starting to work with the functional skill tutors who go out into the workplace. For example, I set some speaking and listening standardisation for the work-based tutors and then we talk about the challenges of being able to conduct those speaking and listening assessments in the workplace and how to overcome that.
Why is embedding English in workplace practice important?
Tutors have said to me that historically there have been some issues with apprentices recognising the importance of maths and English in their apprenticeships. However, staff are better trained in contextualisation, with all the staff involved, and there’s greater collaboration with employers. The staff are really enthusiastic – they are really keen to talk about contextualising English and making it relevant to the workplace.
Why did you book onto the Assessment training webinar of the in the Embedding maths and English in Apprenticeships Delivery series?
I wanted to get ideas for more assessment methods to support the work-based team. My role is to find resources to help staff – to equip them with a wider range of tools to do the job and give them confidence, especially if they’re not a subject specialist. I was particularly interested in ideas that we could use through Microsoft Teams (a digital communications platform) as we’re hoping to increase online interactions with apprentices, particularly for follow-up after visits. If the ILP (Individual Learning Plan) highlights a particular area for further work, there’s only so much time to touch on it in the face-to-face session. At the end, the tutor/assessor can encourage the apprentice to go onto Teams to look at a video or a resource and fix a video call between now and the next session.
What takeaways did you get from the ETF’s Assessment training?
I liked the way that the use of ILPs was highlighted referencing the employer and learner pathways. When I’m having discussions with the tutors/assessors, I can ask them what they’ve done in terms of covering the distance travelled between what the employer wants and what the learner wants in both their pathways.
I also liked the idea of the self-assessment tool – from an assessor point of view. The learner may not be confident asking questions so it’s better to use a self-assessment tool. I was already aware of some aspects but the reminders about good practice were really valuable.
The networking was really valuable. Normally when you have webinar training you just listen and there’s minimal dialogue, but in this webinar, there was real-time dialogue and the webinar content was being adapted in response to the dialogue.
How do you plan to implement some of what you’ve taken from the training?
What I’m doing at the moment is putting together a rolling delivery plan via Teams and I’ve started to look at the different vocational areas and what activities they could do around the different topics they cover.
I like the idea of creating an online template for the employer and learner pathways and putting that via Teams so it can be a real-life working document. They have a robust ILP so it’s about keeping it updated more efficiently.
More information on the ETF’s embedding maths and English in apprenticeships support can be found on the ETF’s news pages.