At my school, the Year 11 March mock exam is a full exam series using the Edexcel November 2019 retake papers and grade boundaries. These can be found the Edexcel website. The results and subsequent analysis informs our plan for making most of the students’ time before the final summer exams. It does this is three ways:
In this blog I will discuss each point in detail and how I use the mock exam to make the most of the time that remains. The analysis spreadsheet and mail merge documents can be downloaded here.
When we mark the mock papers the total for each question is entered into a spreadsheet. Full marks turn the cell green, partial marks are shown as a shade of amber and zero marks are illustrated as red. Teachers can quickly see topics that need to be addressed in lessons. This is used to inform their plan for future lessons, homework activities and parent evenings.
In addition to helping the teacher know what to teach I have set up a mail-merge, so every student receives a personalised profile sheet. The profile sheet informs the student of their overall grade, the number of marks needed for the next grade and their performance, as a percentage, on every topic covered in the exam. When students receive this profile sheet their teachers help them to set personalised targets and how to find online resources to help them.
Students who achieved a grade 5 on foundation and need a grade 6 are entered for higher. This is on the condition they attend all the after-school revision classes.
Students who score less than 80 marks on the higher paper are entered are moved to the foundation tier. However, should any of these students need a grade 6 or higher for their future ambitions we address this on a case-by-case basis. It is worth noting that last year very few students went from a 4 in their March mock to a grade 6 in the summer.
In my department we have two main intervention groups: students who are aiming for a grade 6 or higher and those who are aiming for a 4 or 5. There are no more than 10 students in each to ensure every student gets the individualised support they need.
The Grade 6 and above intervention group work through the Grades 5 – 6 and 7 – 9 problem solving papers provided by Edexcel on the Maths Emporium website. They will also use the topic test papers to revise areas identified from the exam analysis.
The Grades 4 and 5 intervention groups work through the Cross-Over question papers available on the same website. These are excellent test papers that cover all the key topics at this level. We supplement this with the topics tests.
How to teach solving problems with non-right angled triangles.
How to work out the nth term of a picture sequence.
How to compare datasets using box and whisker diagrams.