The exam is next week!

I sit here writing on Wednesday 10th May – one week before the exam. Scary business!

We have had a really intensive return post-Easter. We came back on Tuesday 18th April, and the following day the Edexcel Data Source for the exam was released. How many hours have we put in since then – I’m sure you can guess!

The data source was quite an overwhelming document – not necessarily in terms of its content (though there is lots of confusing blurb in there!) – but simply because we know that every question on next week’s paper could link to this material. Both myself and the other class teacher have felt such a sense of responsibility receiving this document – if we do a good job – might we be able to predict our class’ exam?!

So – there were five data sources. Being the more experienced of the partnership, I took 3. I have tried to come up with anything and everything that could be asked on the data. I have asked family members for input (who also have a maths background), our other teacher has asked her husband – whose line of work links nicely with one of the data sources – it has dominated many conversations in the staff room. We are reasonably confident in our prediction skills that we should have thought of a good few questions that will come up next week.

This last fortnight has really served to engage our students – and our parents. We emailed all parents saying “talk to your children about their data sources” – and by and large they have! We have also kept parents in the loop of any lack of impetus at this stage – and as soon as parents have realised that we are trying to predict their offspring’s exams – they have really made their children knuckle down at home.

So – one week to go – predominantly to be spent on Data Source tasks. The following week (before the second exam) we will be focussing mainly on Linear Programming and Probability (as we really can’t see how that can be examined from the data source). Then we will be done! One of the most exhausting, but at the same times rewarding, courses that I have taught first time through.

And where then? Definitely not resting on our laurels. Post exams we really need to reflect on the ups and downs of this year, and tweak things with an “onwards and upwards” mentality for next year.