Learning Lighthouses – 2012 Onwards (Liam Wegg SLE, The Royal Mathematical School)

We noticed an issue with basic skills back in 2006 at my then school, Millais, and used my own creation of “Essential Skills” which was basic skills for students to be assessed on each term. These standard skills tests then developed into Higher and Advanced tests.

We were still not happy at the lower end and so then I created Learning Lighthouses Level 1 – 3 (not related to NC levels). These were hierarchical assessments for KS3 students who would then progress onto essential skills. If a Y9 student had passed Lighthouse 3 then it was assumed that they had the pre-requisite basic skills for GCSE (i.e. were NC Level 5a/6c at the end of Year 9). The questions are always the same but with different numbers each time.

With the advent of the new GCSE curriculum we decided to move onto a Level system that could be appropriated to the new GCSE grading of 9 – 1.

We then spent time creating Lighthouses that cover all the way to the highest new GCSE grade.

Along the way we have shared our various forms of Lighthouses with other schools in the locality.

Credit must go to two other SLEs: Ralph Butcher and Howard Hoare. Both have have aided me greatly in the development of the 9 – 1 Lighthouses.  Ralph has produced a lovely macro to produce an infinite number of Lighthouses in excel that students can use to hone their skills (which will be uploaded in the near future). 

Howard was our IT guru in the maths department for a number of years and his marvellous results macro (used for our other assessments is included). Howard also did a lot of the donkey work on the building of the higher lighthouses once we had agreed on the content. Howard now works at The Glebelands School in Surrey.

Credit and thanks must also go Sej Patel (Sej is a Senior UKMT Olympian and has been invited to the International Olymiad Training Squad). Sej has created Checkpoints 8 to 12 as well as the Lighthouse 9 Checkpoints 2 - 6. Sej has also created a Python version of a Lighthouse generator.