We’ve had lots of interest in our new secondary scheme of learning that we launched in June. The feedback has been hugely positive, with people appreciating the guidance and tasks to support planning. The mini-assessments we provide for the end of each block of work have proved particularly popular, and now we’re excited to launch our first end-of-term papers! Here’s our responses to the questions we’ve already been asked in the run-up to producing the papers.

How many papers will there be?
At the end of each term, we will release three 40-mark papers at different levels.

A Core paper – it is envisaged that all students will take this paper, to provide a direct comparison with the performance of the rest of the cohort. All topics from the Autumn Term will be covered, and the use of a calculator is expected.

A Foundation paper – students who are working below national expectations will have the opportunity to show their understanding of the material with more straightforward questions. We recommend that students do not use a calculator for this paper.

A Higher paper – students who are working at or above national expectations will have the opportunity to tackle more challenging questions on the same material, plus the extra objectives indicated as “Higher” in our scheme of learning. We recommend that students do not use a calculator for this paper.

Which papers do which students sit?
We imagine most students will take two of the three papers – either Core and Foundation, or Core and Higher as appropriate, so all experience one calculator and one non-calculator paper. With 40 marks we expect the papers to last around 45 minutes and so each paper can be sat comfortably in a single lesson in most schools.

Will the Foundation paper be a fluency paper and the Higher paper problem solving?
No! All three papers will include elements of fluency, reasoning and problem solving as we expect students to cover these aspects of mathematics whatever their level of attainment. We have, however, taken care to ensure the papers are accessible and appropriate for all three levels.

So do the tiers match GCSE tiers?

Not at this stage!  We would expect the large majority of students in Year 7 to be able to access the Higher papers, especially in the Autumn term, as there is little additional content compared to the Core.  Also, many of the topics are familiar from Key Stage 2.  We certainly don’t think the Higher paper should be only for people who you envisage sitting Higher tier in four years’ time…that’s a long way off!  We recommend you take a look at the papers and decide class by class, or even student by student, which would be most appropriate at the stage.

Are the papers linked to the new GCSE grades?
We’re not there yet! The GCSE is still relatively new and predicting grades from such a small subset of the curriculum is not really possible at this stage.

What will the Spring and Summer assessments look like?
The papers will be cumulative – for example the Spring paper whilst focusing mainly on Spring content will also cover aspects of the Autumn term, and the Summer paper will test the whole of Year 7.
If you have any further questions, please do get in touch at support@whiterosemaths.com and continue following @WRMathsSec on Twitter for all the latest news and releases.

Looking for some CPD to support teachers implementing our new material?
Our new Secondary course ‘Moving into Mastery’ is now available to book.
Book a place on our Manchester (Bury) course here
Book a place on our London (Watford) course here