Talented pre-college students, who want to be accepted by top universities, find CORE helps them connect their schoolwork to the world around them
Type of institution: School
Location: London, Woking and Runshaw, UK
Course: Economics A-level and AS-level
Number of students: 90-100
Length of course: 36 weeks
Some schoolteachers search in conventional textbooks for resources that will make their lessons more relevant to the economics that we read about in the papers every day. At Runshaw College in Lancashire, CORE has provided economics teacher Steve Russell with the answer to this problem:
‘One of the biggest challenges I face is trying to provide students with both a historical and international perspective to their economics studies in a very short time, while simultaneously preparing them for a very prescriptive exam,’ he says, ‘The CORE materials have been of tremendous help. I scan the course for content that I think might challenge student preconceptions on a subject. Topics such as inequality, limitations of marginal revenue productivity theory and infographics on how banking works have been very useful.’
Stuart Foster is an economics teacher at North London Collegiate School for Girls. He teaches both A-Level and International Baccalaureate courses. These exams are prescriptive—but to stand out, pupils aiming for University need to show that they are in touch with world affairs, and can apply their economics education to the world around them.
Mr Foster has found this with CORE. After trying CORE for the first time, his immediate reaction was ‘It’s different!’ ‘Students who are preparing for entry to Oxford and Cambridge find it particularly useful,’ he says, ‘because they find it challenging but appropriate and engaging.’
Students who are preparing for entry to Oxford and Cambridge find it particularly useful because they find it challenging but appropriate and engaging.
Catherine Mole, who teaches economics at Lancing College in Worthing, knew that her economics classes needed more connection to the economics of real life. CORE gave her the means and the resources to do that. She uses the Capstone units that focus on topics such as inequality and climate change for her A-level students, but also elements of Units 2 to 11 for her AS pupils, who still have one more year of high school.
‘I have found it most useful in helping me to set up my enrichment course where we do not follow the traditional theories, and look at the wider implications of the world economic changes,’ she explains.
Andrew Sykes, who teaches at St. Paul’s School in London, uses CORE to introduce financial regulation to his year 12s, and as the basis for a research project. He is currently amending their scheme of work to make full use of the material on offer in CORE. He suggests that teachers who are thinking about CORE should skim-read the book over the summer holidays and note the areas with overlap to your curriculum.
‘Unit 17, on The Great Depression, the golden age and the global financial crisis provides a particularly good resource to support A-level studies. It complements our exam board’s requirements to study the policy responses to the financial crisis and the Great Depression,’ he says, ‘At the same time, CORE extends students beyond the A-level curriculum, is analytically rigorous and is rooted in current and historical context.’
Ed Coles, a pupil at St Paul’s school in London, says:
‘The most important topics such as climate change, food security, financial stability and inequality are explained in depth. I don’t just have a better understanding of economics, but a more refined understanding of the world.’
He has also used CORE to prepare for conventional exams. ‘CORE is by far the best resource I have in terms of revision. It covers topics with much more depth and it’s given me a sound understanding of the topic I am researching. When you click on a highlighted word, the definitions and facts are really useful.’