In light of this year’s drop in GCSE and A Level results, Judith Wills, a Maths SME at Kings Priory School, alongside education software provider, Access Education, is calling for a KS3 learning revolution.

With only 26.5 per cent of all 2023 A Level entries earning A-A* grades, this year’s GCSE cohort saw an average of one in five students achieve the highest grades (9 to 7) in English literature, English language or Mathematics.

Partially due to grading standards returning to pre-pandemic levels, teachers, governing bodies and industry experts are keen to shake up current KS3 teaching practices, and invest in building a solid foundation for GCSE success and beyond.

Judith Wills, Maths Teacher at Kings Priory School said:

“Around ten years ago, conversations in the education space were dominated by questions of whether KS3 learning standards were failing our pupils, as Ofsted reported that students’ progress in the early years of secondary school was found to be very slow, particularly in English and Maths. In recent years however, this noise has quietened – despite the significant impact KS3 plays on GCSE success – with a lack of important exams measuring individuals progress and development, meaning that this key stage often falls out of the limelight.

“The importance of a strong start to a pupil’s secondary education cannot be overstated. Setting the right tone and expectations, both academically and in conduct, for pupils starting in Year 7 embeds the learning habits for the rest of their educational careers, through school and beyond. By building firm foundations, schools can provide their students with all the necessary tools for building success, and achieving their best possible results.”

Despite many schools investing in digital solutions to help KS4 learners both in the classroom and with their revision, the same cannot be said for KS3. As part of the KS3 teaching revolution, interactive and immersive content surpasses traditional learning tools, such as textbooks, improving the engagement and attainment of pupils across Year 7, 8 and 9.

Schools must consider their options as the next academic year approaches, with technology available that can enable KS3 learners to develop their critical thinking, problem solving skills and access the curriculum in an easily digestible and interactive way. Designed to transform the way students engage with KS3 content in Maths, English, History and Science, Access Educations KS3 Curriculum from GCSEPod aligns with the national curriculum to keep learning on track for academic success.

Senior content product manager at Access Education, Emma Slater, said:

“We understand the crucial role that KS3 learning plays in shaping students’ academic journeys, and we’re dedicated to equipping teachers and their students with the tools they need to succeed. Through our innovative learning platform and targeted resources, we aim to foster a deep understanding of subjects and enhance student’s confidence and capabilities. Together, with teachers and educational bodies, we are confident in our collective ability to reverse the downward results trend and drive academic excellence.”

To find out more about the GCSEPod’s KS3 curriculum content visit: Key Stage 3 Curriculum: Unlocking GCSE Success for Secondary Schools (theaccessgroup.com)