How Lighthouses Work

How Lighthouses Work (all folder references relate to folders in this, huge, download CLICK here)

We assess all Year 7 on entry with a Level 2 assessment. Those who pass would take the Level 3 assessment at the next checkpoint (i.e. the following half-term). Those who are very weak on the initial assessment go down to 1.1 (or 1.2 or 1.3). See Checkpoints folder.

We test on the first day back every half-term. If a student gains 11 or 12 perfect answers on a Lighthouse they progress to the next Level next time. There are links between each Level to ensure the whole system is hierarchical (this is where our system differs from Numeracy Ninjas, which is a brilliant scheme we also use to test basic skills). The assessments are 20 -25 minutes long (your choice). Students self-mark (or their peers do) using the excel answers sheets projected onto a board. See Solutions in the CHECKPOINTS folder.

Students have open access to all of the checkpoints and levels on our VLE, done via the dropbox link. We encourage them to do this. We also advise them to use the Lighthouse objective sheets to guide them in finding help on Corbett Maths (and Hegarty Maths which we subscribe to). See 2017 Tracking Sheets.

We decide on which checkpoint to use by rolling a dice so students would have to do all of the checkpoints the night before to ensure they could “cheat”. I don’t consider it cheating to practise.

Students record their results in their tracking sheet (that they glue into their diaries) with a RAG.

Green Question completely correct (all parts no mistakes at all)

Red Question completely wrong (all parts wrong)

Amber Anywhere in between.

They then inform the teacher of their score which is recorded in the Lighthouse spreadsheet (this is part of a larger document at our school).

You will find that after a few checkpoints that your class end up taking a variety of Levels hence ensuring differentiation throughout.

This is a great start to a half-term for staff who can then make use of the time!


In every classroom we have a tray containing all the levels of Lighthouse for each checkpoint printed A5 size. They are different colours to help us identify which is which (and also helping dyslexic students).

Each different level is kept in a different A4 punched pocket, “slippery fish” within the checkpoint tray.

We also have larger coloured Lighthouses for other students who need larger fonts.

Students never write on the sheets. They write all their working in the back of their exercise books. This means they can go back and revise anything they have previously failed to be green on.


Students should aim to have passed Lighthouses 2, 3 and 4 by the end of Year 8 (or at the latest Year 9).

Clearly if students have progress to passing Lighthouse 5 & 6 by the end of Year 9 then they should be ready for the rigours of the Higher GCSE.

Feel free to amend any part of these resources but please ensure credit is given to this website and that they are free to all.