You may remember that I did some work collecting questions “by topic” on the new SAMs and practice paper. Well … now I know that I should have sought permission to use them from the exam boards (I have to say in my defence that it didn’t occur to me because they are readily available and in the public domain). Let’s just say that there has been some “communication” between the boards and then myself over them but I’m hoping that it is just the formalities to finish off in giving permission to do what I’ve done.

So I’ve finally finished collating all the questions from the Foundation tiers that have been released to date and I’ll update them on that post “as and when” – I’ve had to go back through them and reference every single question which has taken me some time. Going forward AQA have asked that I don’t use their practice papers 3 and 4 when they are released as they want to keep the questions secure from students so teachers can use them for their mocks but I’m hoping that the other boards won’t add this caveat and allow me to use all their questions up until the first “live” paper. Personally, we won’t be using any of the practice papers for “mocks” in their entirety (when we come to decide which exam board we’re going to use!) – one idea we’ve toyed with is: adding/changing questions on existing exam papers and chopping them up into three papers when we start thinking about moving year 10 to three papers next year (we can’t leave it until their “actual” exam!) and I think that exposure to the questions can only be a good thing – the students won’t remember the answers to a specific questions anyway – but I will respect the wishes of AQA on this. OCR/WJEC/Edexcel … please? please? please? don’t add this caveat to your permissions! (cheeky I know doing it on a public forum but hey “if you don’t ask, you don’t get!”)

Please note that I have accredited each question at the end of the paper to the board the question relates to – the papers haven’t been put together as a marketing exercise to help you make your decision about which board to choose! Over the last few years we’ve dipped in and out of questions from all boards – some of the WJEC ones are particularly good for showing “twists” on topics – for example Seager likes the fact that some of their frequency tables go across the page (rather than down) and this threw a couple of students off the first time they saw it. Neither are these papers meant to offer any sort of guarantee that a specific topic can only be assessed in a certain manner or that a specific topic will appear on a “live paper”. They are a tool to help us understand the new GCSE a tad more – important especially for my pressie to you on the NEXT POST given the shift in topics from Higher tier to Foundation tier.

Thank you must go to Eddie at OCR, Andrew at AQA, John at WJEC Eduqas and Graham at Edexcel for allowing me to put something together that they could never have done due to the nature of them being competing bodies anyway. Much appreciated guys!