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Hands using a calculator - Maths newsletter
Total Maths - February

Hi everyone,

How are you doing? We hope that things are good for you all and those you’re close to. We’re glad to be through January and that the days are starting to seem a little lighter now.

The deadline for making summer 2021 entries for GCSE, Additional Maths, Core Maths and AS/A Levels is Sunday 21 February 2021. We encourage schools and colleges to carry on making entries as usual, so your students can receive results this summer for the qualifications they have studied.

As always, if there is any further support that we can provide for you in this current period then please do contact us. Our role is to support you as you deliver our qualifications.

Neil, Caroline, Steven and Ruth -  your Maths Subject Advisors
01223 553998

Summer 2021 updates
Maths teacher helping a student in the classroom with their work

The Ofqual and the Department for Education consultations regarding awarding in summer 2021 closed at the end of January.

If you weren’t able to find time to look through them, take a look at our news article for a summary of what these consultations proposed will happen in summer 2021 to help you prepare.

Last week Ofqual published a new blog expanding on their ideas for the externally-set papers proposed by the consultations.

Hopefully by next month’s Total Maths we will know more about the consultation outcomes and we will share further updates as soon as things are confirmed. Keep an eye on @OCR_Maths and our dedicated support hub on our website for the latest information.

View support hub

FREE Training for 2020-2021

The below Professional Development sessions are coming up over the next month for you.

As part of our support for you this year, all the below are completely free to attend.

Don't miss out, book your place today.

Female teacher sitting at desk at home, working on laptop
  • Thu 04 Feb – Review of June 2019 for A level Further Maths A Discrete (Y544)
  • Wed 10 Feb – Marking and mark scheme training for GCSE (9-1) Mathematics
  • Thu 11 Feb – How to mark a mock paper: A workshop for A Level Mathematics B (MEI)
  • Thu 11 Feb – Review of June 2019 for A level Further Maths A Additional Pure (Y545)
  • Wed 10 Mar – How to mark a mock paper: A workshop for A Level Mathematics B (MEI)
  • Thu 11 Mar – How to mark a mock paper: A workshop for A Level Mathematics A

View upcoming Professional Development

A Level Further Maths B (MEI) – New Section Check In tests
A Level Maths student working on paper using formula

We recently published four new Section Check In tests for our A Level Further Maths B (MEI) options.

  • Modelling with Algorithms (Y433) - 'Algorithms'
  • Numerical Methods (Y434) - 'Approximation to functions' and 'Numerical integration'
  • Extra Pure (Y435) - 'Multivariable calculus'

Download them all from the qualification’s ‘Planning and teaching’ area.

AS Level versions of the Modelling with Algorithms and Numerical Methods Section Check In tests are also available in the zip folder near the bottom of the list.

Download Check In tests

New maths blogs

Steven has just published another A Level Maths blog, ‘Using graphs to investigate quadratic functions’.

Other recent A Level blogs include ‘How accurate is a mathematical answer?’, ‘The mathematical process of proof’ and updates of the 2020 blogs ‘Studying A Level Mathematics at home’ and ‘Studying A Level Further Mathematics at home’.

OCR blogs on a tablet

Steven also turned his attention to Additional Maths, looking at the benefits of taking the FSMQ alongside GCSE (9-1) Maths. Ruth has also written all about the reasons to study Core Maths for students taking other quantitative subjects at post-16.

All our blogs contain links to a wide range of resources, from both us and others.

Read maths blogs

Legacy Functional Skills Maths: Final arrangements update
Maths students work on their desk

To support you, we've extended the final certification date for legacy Functional Skills English and maths at Level 1 and Level 2 for apprentices only to 21 May 2021.

This is to enable the small number of apprentices who had been entered, but have been unable to complete assessments due to the recent lockdown and local tier restrictions, to complete their final Functional Skills assessments.

See our Subject Information Update for more.

Read subject information update

Wellbeing support

Our CEO, Jill Duffy, has recorded a short video sharing some reassuring words for students during these unsettling times - please do share this with your students.

Our colleague Sarah has also written a blog on 'Resilience - ideas for resolve and resourcefulness' that we really recommend reading.

Wellbeing - Lady and her dog relaxing on the sofa reading tablet

We've also published several guest blogs recently. Year 11 student Francesca and Year 13 student Macy share their experiences of studying through lockdown, while maintaining a focus on wellbeing.

You can also read about ‘Wellbeing and learning during lockdown’ from Chris Eyre, who is a Principal Examiner, teacher and author of the wellbeing book for teachers, ‘The Elephant In The Staffroom’.

Best wishes, all. 🙂