We interviewed Tom Woodrow, a BTEC teacher of 7 years, about why his school, Ormiston Denes Academy, delivers BTEC Sport. Tom discusses the adaptability and freedom of teaching BTEC qualifications, whilst also exploring learner progression.
What do you enjoy most about teaching BTEC?
The flexibility offered by the BTEC has ensured we can deliver the BTEC First, the BTEC Tech Award in Sport and also implement the PE curriculum. This gives me the freedom to teach units which coincide with core PE lessons, giving my students extra support and provision to aid their learning. The assignments can also be adapted to ensure that students learn the information in a way which is meaningful and suited to their needs.
Whether this is teaching students to plan, design and implement a successful 6-week training programme or teaching them the skills and knowledge needed to make them better sports players. All of the set tasks and scenarios have a real purpose ensuring students gain real-life skills. These transferable skills can be used in the next step of their educational journey or out into the wider world.
BTECs are accessible to every type of learner and can be adapted to suit the needs, facilities and resources of the centre.
What skills do you think your BTEC helps your learners to develop?
There are so many skills which my learners develop through the BTEC course. One of the main skills they improve is their confidence to speak in front of an audience. Whether this is through developing communication skills when leading a mini sports session or umpiring a game of badminton.
Their ability to work independently when completing assignments allows BTEC learners to think for themselves.
Would you recommend BTEC to another school or teacher?
Yes, throughout a BTEC course you can be 100% accurate with tracking the progress of your students. BTEC students are assessed throughout the course and also get the option of a second attempt at improving their grade in the external unit/exam. This ensures learners revise even harder when they know it’s their final attempt.
What advice would you give to a BTEC teacher about how to best teach BTEC?
If it's your first time planning and delivering a BTEC, I would recommend getting in touch with the Subject Advisors from Pearson. They are always more than happy to spend quality time talking through individual units and the best ways to deliver the content with the resources at your disposal. There is also plenty of exemplar work on the Pearson's website with differentiated work graded at pass, merit and distinction. This gives you a good insight into the grading of BTEC qualifications.
Have you got any examples of learners going on to do great things after their BTEC?
One BTEC learner who left Ormiston Denes Academy one year ago has gone onto qualifying as a referee and is currently working to reach the highest level of refereeing. This learner also has aspirations of attending Loughborough University to study Sport and Exercise Science.
What advice would you give to learners currently studying from home?
Do your best with the work and resources you have at your disposal. We all know these are challenging times and teachers appreciate the work and extra demands which are being placed on students at the moment to work from home.