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Mark Pedroz is a Head of English, examiner and teacher trainer. Here he shares how to develop students' potential in Cambridge IGCSE English...
As a Head of English and examiner, teachers regularly ask me about how to develop students' potential. Cambridge Assessment International Education and Oxford University Press are publishing a new set of resources called Cambridge IGCSE Exam Skills Builders; these resources provide indispensable support for understanding examinations.
Facilitate dialogue around exams and past student responses. Ask your students to compare the low, medium and high level student answers in the Exam Skills Builders and work out which answers are stronger or weaker, and why. Relate students’ findings to the examiner commentaries to drive critical thinking, build skills and develop confidence.
Know the success criteria
Make sure your students truly understand the marking criteria. By having students compare these criteria with past exam responses, and with their own answers, it will help them contextualise the requirements and understand how to address them. This also supports motivation.
Drive critical thinking
Critical thinking is key to stronger results. The students who can think critically demonstrate insight, clarity and creativity in their answers. Activities that develop critical thinking are essential to building the key English skills that are so central to confidence and achievement. You can find lots of these in the Exam Skills Builders, to help immerse students in the subject.
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