What Adding Value Is Really All About- Jenny Posselwhite

I’ve been having discussions with staff across Activate Learning about what value added means to them. This post comes from Jenny Posselwhite who teaches on A Level Sociology courses at City of Oxford College.


A value added score is what results from students coming into college with minimum target grades at one level and them leaving a course with grades at another level. This is positive value added if those grades are higher than initially expected (based on their previous level of attainment).

I emailed Jenny Posselwhite, one lecturer who taught on a programme with a positive value added score last year at City of Oxford College, to see what she felt had lead to their positive value added score last year. Here is her top 10:

  1. Strong focus on exam technique:  test papers, analysis of model and weak answers, peer marking
  2. Emphasis on sociological concepts-key term starter activities, and consolidation exercises
  3. Students get regular weekly, marked homework-lots of feedback and target setting
  4. Weaker students report (via internal questionnaires) that they feel supported
  5. Staff knowledge of the requirements of the Exam Board by attendance at training events, use of the OCR website etc
  6. Staff team work-Roy and I sit opposite one another and share thoughts on a regular basis
  7. Tracking of student progress on both parts of the course (AS and A2)
  8. Class sizes that allow individual attention (to student)
  9. Consistency of teaching-we are both always here and there have been no staff changes
  10. Subject specialists

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