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5Rs Online is a dynamic GCSE English language curriculum for students to use for independent learning or for teachers to augment their teaching either online or face-to-face. As tasks can be carried out independently, it can support differentiation in the classroom. Used independently it will boost achievement. It consists of 30 weeks delivery to implement an inspirational weekly routine.

Following the principles of the 5Rs curriculum model, it is aimed primarily for re-sit students but is also suitable for year 11 students and adults. The 5Rs principles are as follows:

  • Students struggle with certain aspects of reading or writing
  • It’s all about practice; reinforcing some skill areas and filling gaps where they exist
  • Enhancing vocabulary boosts students’ chances of performing better in the exam
  • Improving spelling, punctuation and grammar will gain extra marks which could help achieve a high grade pass
  • Regular independent English practice will pay dividends
  • Exam technique is a big focus for improvement
  • The only way to get better at English is to put in regular effort to improve.

10 Facts About The 5Rs

Fact Number 1

It's all about a revision year approach, except we don't have a year in FE, 30 weeks if you are lucky!

Fact Number 2

If you repeat what happened at school, you’ll just get the same result; the post-16 class has to look, feel and sound different to a year 11 experience.

Fact Number 3

Students need to value GCSE English, believe that they can pass it with you, and then put some effort in.

Fact Number 4

A 5Rs resit approach is all about revision – the 5Rs approach teaches students how and what to revise.

Fact Number 5

Students with a grade 3 in GCSE English will have some gaps in the basics of English. The 5Rs approach builds confidence in reading and writing as well as revising the skills needed for a good pass.

Fact Number 6

Students do not need to get 100% in the exam. Improving the basics with the 5Rs approach and building confidence in reading and writing will help!

Fact Number 7

Colleges teaching to the test and, “focusing on the exam questions in the first week, as opposed to actually teaching young people the English and maths they need” has led to lower achievement according to Ofsted – the 5Rs builds the basic skills required.

Fact Number 8

GCSE English language requires students to read fluently with good understanding and write effectively and coherently using Standard English appropriately. The 5Rs approach works to build these essential skills through developing a regular routine.

Fact Number 9

A focus on exam technique with the 5Rs reduces the likelihood of losing marks through rooky errors and builds confidence through practice.

Fact Number 10

Whilst exam results in GCSE English resits are historically low, for every one of student that does pass… it is 100% success for them and opens so many more doors that would commonly be shut.

Students who have already achieved a grade 3 GCSE in maths or English in year 11 are currently required, as a condition of funding, to re-sit GCSE in post-16 education. That is roughly 190,000 students. These students have already achieved a grade 3 and the 5Rs is intended as a revision programme. It comprises three, ten week terms to reflect the average academic year. The focus within this programme is on the key topics that will help students achieve a grade 4 or better, or push them above the threshold in this GCSE. It builds upon the body of knowledge that students start off with but does not attempt to cover the whole specification content.

The 5Rs outlines revision routines to be employed within the classroom as well as encouraging independent self-study. Outcomes for re-sit students are historically low. One factor is that students do not engage with a re-sit course, even though it may be their only realistic second chance to achieve. Hence, taking a different approach and engaging students is a key aspect of the 5Rs.

The 5Rs is based upon a clear systematic approach for each session. The emphasis within each session is on the following:

  • Recall the facts; the underpinning skills in English to be learned and recalled
  • Routine English skills that need to be revisited regularly through spaced and interleaved practice
  • Revise the key topics that determine success in exams at this level
  • Repeat the revised content to become competent in the techniques
  • Ready for the exam - focus upon exam technique and past/practice papers
Recall - a fast and furious starter section

Quick activities that cover the skills and knowledge required. For example, language techniques, structure, viewpoint, show not tell. Interleaved throughout are activities to build spelling confidence.

Routine - a regular mix up of different topics

These activities take longer and can be used for weekly independent study outside of the classroom. It is suggested that teachers follow up in the lesson.

Revise - a specific topic

This is a mix of BBC Bitesize activities, quizzes, and short films.

Repeat - the topic with exam question focus

These are shorter activities that build on and reinforce the skills covered in the routine section.

Ready - for the exam with good exam technique

This provides hints and tips for the exam, including Mr Bruff clips to build confidence and prepare learners for exams.

In effect, post-16 education relies upon 30 weeks of face-to-face supported revision. Students are familiar with the types of questions and the assessment objectives. The skill of the tutor will be to find out what a student can do and keep reinforcing this through a variety of short, varied activities

Autumn Term

At the start of the Autumn Term it is crucial to share with students the rationale behind your approach; why it is important to practise, practise, practise and study independently in addition to class teaching. Students respond to routines and it is easier to set and maintain routines at the beginning of the year rather than later. Share these routines and rationale with parents at every opportunity and identify the value of a re-sit pass at every stage.

Spring Term

This term sees the routines settled and an emphasis now upon tackling a wider range of revision topics; increasing the opportunities for question paper practice and routine questions from a variety of maths topics.

Summer Term

This term is all about exam technique and successful outcomes. Hard work should be paying off with good mock results and a variety of past/practice paper opportunities.