24. Foundation GCSE student review

This idea came about after a Departmental INSET on teaching the C3 unit run by my HoD.

Students never believe you when you tell them they must understand this topic as it’s an essential skill for their exam. So get them to tell you what is important…

Before you start
You will need a different GCSE paper for each student (I used Foundation non-calc). It is possible to use one between two.
You will also need pens, scissors, glue & display paper in four colours.

Cut and label
Each student cuts out the individual questions and labels them with the month & year eg Jan 12.

Sort 1
Each student sorts their questions into Number, Algebra, Data, Shape.

Sort 2
Assign each area of study to one of the sheets of display paper. The students pile their Number questions onto the Number sheet etc.


Split the class into four groups and give each group one area of study to look at. They must sort the questions into common themes eg BIDMAS, sequences, pictograms.

Ask each group what they notice eg in most exams there is a question related to drawing/reading a bar-chart.

Each group sticks the questions down and labels the common themes.


The class spotted all of the common themes and key skills, without me turning into a nag. As you can see from my wall display, we needed an extra sheet for number questions. The foundation GCSE paper has 40% number questions, which equates to 2/5 of the exam – our work was spot on. During the revision sessions I have referred to this wall display frequently. It has also been a talking point for other classes.

Mark Greenaway (@suffolkmaths) has made an instructional to go with this idea. Go to his website www.suffolkmaths.co.uk and select ‘Exam Advice – Supporting powerpoint’ to see it.

5 thoughts on “24. Foundation GCSE student review

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