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Hands using a calculator - Maths newsletter
Total Maths - May

Dear Colleague,

How are you? We hope you had a relaxing long bank holiday weekend and that your work to determine grades for this summer is going smoothly.

In the last month we made a wide range of support for various aspects of this summer’s grading process available to you. See the first article below for more details and, as ever, please get in touch if you have any queries.

In last month’s newsletter we told you that the deadline for changing the tier that candidates are entered on was 21 April. This was true at the time, however please be aware that to further support you we’ll no longer be charging for tier changes this summer. See the article down at the bottom for more.

This week Ofqual announced the outcomes of their autumn 2021 consultation for GCSE, AS and A Level. Any student receiving a grade this summer (or who would if exams had taken place) can be entered and exams will be in the normal format, with no adaptations. AS and A level exams will be held in October, then GCSEs in November and December. For full details, see Ofqual’s consultation webpage.

As always, if there is any further support that OCR 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 OCR Maths Subject Advisors
01223 553998

Summer 2021 support
Students in a classroom

Following the publishing of the JCQ guidance at the end of March, we’ve published much support for you on the processes involved.

We’ve released a series of ten videos, covering all aspects of the guidance from grading to appeals.

We’ve also published a roundtable discussion video between OCR staff and representatives from centres across England. This focuses on specific aspects of the process and answers some of the many questions centres have been asking.

On 19 April we published specific grading exemplars for qualifications. These are available alongside our Additional Assessment Materials by logging into the Grade Submission System.

JCQ have also published further support themselves. You can now download FAQ documents from them covering grading and private candidates. We also recommend making use of the ‘Summer 2021 JCQ Guidance – Worked Examples’ available from the page to assist you in the determining process.

Find out more

Sampling of evidence in summer 2021

On 27 April Ofqual confirmed the detail of how data & evidence will be submitted to awarding organisations for this summer’s grading.

The guidance is available on pages 10 and 11 of Ofqual’s updated ‘Information for heads of centre, heads of department and teachers on the submission of teacher assessed grades: summer 2021’.

2 students working in a classroom

Exam boards will request at least the following evidence:

  • 1 A level subject (at least 5 students),
  • 2 GCSE subjects, one of which is likely to be either English language or maths (at least 5 students for each).

Centres offering only A levels or GCSEs will be asked to submit work for those qualifications only.

Ofqual has also published a blog summarising all stages of the summer 2021 quality assurance process, from centre policies to virtual visits to the sampling of evidence.

Ofqual quality assurance in summer 2021 blog

Core Maths textbook
Core Maths textbook cover

We’re pleased to announce that a new textbook will be available later this year for our Core Maths qualifications, Core Maths A (MEI) and Core Maths B (MEI).

It is available to pre-order now direct from Illuminate Publishing, or through your usual bookstore.

The textbook has been written in conjunction with the MEI team to ensure the best possible support for the course.

Its innovative approach places learning in context throughout and focusses on learning through practice with many questions, exercises, activities and exam-style questions.

Pre-order the new Core Maths textbook

Trigonometry in A Level Maths (part 1) blog

Steven has written a new blog, this time looking at the topic of trigonometry.

In this first of two blogs, Steven looks at how trigonometry progresses from GCSE to AS and on to A Level. He reviews the comments from examiners about common mistakes and misconceptions, as well as suggesting resources and support for students.

Maths blogs

Reading OCR blogs on a tablet
OCR Maths support survey
Have your say

To ensure that we’re offering you the exact support you need, we would like to ask you some questions about the resources and support we offer for GCSE and A Level Maths. We’ve set up a survey that should only take around 5 minutes of your time and will help us to keep delivering the qualification support that you need.

Maths support survey

Late tier change fees no longer apply

To give you more time to make grade decisions, we can confirm we will not be charging for tier changes this summer. This applies to GCSE (9-1) Maths (as well as Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Combined Science).

If you made any tier changes between 22 April (the date the tier change fee was due to start) and 30 April, you will be charged as usual and will receive a credit note. 

Teacher working at a laptop

You will not be invoiced for any tier changes made from 1 May onwards. We have updated our fees list and key dates to show the charge no longer applies.

Fees list   Key dates