You can tell I’m lost for inspiration for a blog post title when the best I can come up with is “something else” … but then again I never rarely plan what I am going to write when blogging. I genuinely do just sit here and type whatever comes to mind. Of course, I have a rough idea and often a post has been bouncing around my head for days or weeks (there are some crackers in there at the minute fighting to get out … one of which is about the idea that EVERYBODY should do A level maths! and the other is about the Ofqual report that came out yesterday and what flipping PHD students think was the easiest question … it wasn’t!! no seriously it wasn’t!!) So when it comes to the “actual” writing of these posts I do sometimes get a little lost for words and struggle to get over what I want to say and at these times I resemble Tom Hanks in “you’ve got mail” when he’s composing emails and end up pulling all sorts of faces and making hand gestures as I search for a word or phrase that fits with what I want to convey.

Anyway, I digress (I do that a lot!).

One of the positives that has come out of this new GCSE malarkey is that the support we are getting from the exam boards has become one of the differentiators when it comes to choosing which board to use and some of the stuff that is coming from them is cracking! Back in September Graham (and/or Mark … or maybe “more” Mark than Graham … how knows?) from the Edexcel team (but credit should go to Jo Deko for the actual booklets!!) emailed out a link to the third booklet of problem solving questions (I missed the second set but have caught up now!) and when they did it got me thinking about how good they (and the awesome problem solving booklet from AQA!) would be to use during tutor time (which may be non specialists) or for snatched sessions with students so I’ve put together the first 4 questions from Edexcels first problem solving booklets (Higher and Foundation) and also AQA’s booklet onto a PowerPoint and also included some “worked” solutions. I’ve put the actual questions at the end of the presentation so that they can be printed off 1 page/double-sided, given to the students to work on and then the solutions (it should be emphasised that there are other methods in most cases) and markschemes where applicable can be shown to the students. The intention is that each week I produce the next 4 questions in the booklets and share here for others to use – To be honest I don’t care where these questions come from I just want to expose students to as many different types of questions as possible … I have of course given credit on the slides as to where the original questions come from so I hope they don’t mind me doing this (You’ll know if some of them mysteriously disappear!)

As always … the below PPTs may or may not be useful.

Edexcel Higher Problem Solving Booklet 1 Q01-04

Edexcel Foundation Problem Solving Booklet 1 Q01-04

AQA Problem Solving Booklet Q01 – 04