Problem Solving - Reading Comprehension 

ARC Project

Who are involved in the project?

Number of learners? 8
Level of learners? Level 2/GCSE
Age range of learners? 16-18
How many lecturers are involved? 3
The ARC project is on-going and will be developed over 2 years – it is mathematical in nature so Diana and Barbara advise on literary aspects.


What happened?
Have carried out an initial survey of learners vocabulary words in mathematics.
Ongoing vocabulary development before the beginning of maths classes.
Use of worked examples to demonstrate strategies/methods for problem-solving.

Barriers along the way

  1. Learner absence makes it difficult to monitor development in their problem-solving skills over a longer period of time.

  2. Quantifying results in a meaning and realistic manner.


Feedback from learners has been positive. The acquisition of problem-solving skills is seen by many learners as key to achieving a grade 4/5 in GCSE Maths. Straightforward-type questions pose less of a problem to learners as they acquire the necessary keywords and definitions. Being able to tackle multistep problems require broader strategies and improved comprehension which is the aim of the ARC project.

What was the impact on Teaching, Learning & Assessment?

The impact has been some improvement in assessment scores of learners in their ability to successfully answer problem solving questions. Rather than simply instructing learners to ‘read the question carefully’ broader strategies are now being encouraged and promoted along with pairing learners in a ‘tutor-tutee’ relationship.

What is the evidence for this?

100% of students and co-lecturers aware of the on-going research, 100% of the students will be surveyed, 100% of the group will develop and enhance their mathematical vocabulary skills, problem solving ability and comprehension, 100% of the students will take part in class discussions, activities (tutor-tutee roles)