Learning from the questions in GCSE maths 2017

We hope you are celebrating your GCSE results for 2017. It’s been a tricky year to say the least!  

We’ve been working on development materials based on this year’s GCSE papers.  We have ideas to share based on:

  • GCSE 2017 Overlap Question – We took some of the 2017 GCSE papers and identified the questions which appeared on both the foundation papers and the higher papers, i.e. the ‘overlap questions’. We copied them, sliced them into individual questions and worked with subject leaders to sort them in different ways. The implications became fairly obvious. It moved discussion away from shifts in content and towards implications for teaching so that students learned how to reason mathematically and gained confidence to ‘have a go’ with unfamiliar question types.
  • Assessing problem solving in GCSE 2017 – We used the ACME publication ‘Problem solving in mathematics: realising the vision through better assessment.’ to analyse some of the GCSE questions to see what elements of problem solving were included. (see table from page 7 below).

We have since worked with subject leaders, using this template to ask about their current assessment programmes. 

Does your assessment programme include some questions which:

Vary the format, the context or the scenario;

Require choices to be made;

Prompt mathematical thinking;

Lead to results which have to be interpreted and communicated;

Offer the chance to evaluate critically and refine accordingly?


For more information and a prepared PD session to use with your team please  contact us.