to think that level 6 maths at primary is pointless

(85 Posts)
ReallyTired Thu 30-Jan-14 11:40:04

Having children pass a level 6 primary paper puts unrealistic pressure and expectations on secondary school children later on.

Our primary school headteacher is convinced that level 6 at keystage 2 is the equivalent of GCSE grade B. I believe that if a talented eleven year old with a level 6 in maths sat a GCSE higher level paper they would fail. Maybe a year 6 child with level 6 could pass foundation GCSE maths, but they have not covered the majority of the secondary school curriculum. I don't think that a primary level 6 is even the equivalent of a secondary level 6.

Many level 6 children have been moved down to the second set at ds's secondary because they have huge holes in their subject knowledge. I feel that primary school school should extend their gifted mathematicans sideways rather than pushing them through exams. (Ie. maths investigations, questions that require thought rather than mathematical knowledge ie. nrich.maths.org/frontpage) Improving mathematical thinking gives a good foundation for maths in later years.

mercibucket Sat 01-Feb-14 21:23:21

well my ds loves his l6 work. he was bored stiff all last year and still is in other classes as l6 in maths is all the school will agree to do

can you imagine the tedium of doing the same work again again again again again and again for overayear

poor ds sad

thank goodness for some new stuff to learn

sideways extension my arse. once they reach 5 a, job done

sittingbythepoolwithenzo Sat 01-Feb-14 22:07:18

Actually, thinking about my bright little nephew who's school didn't "do" level 6.

He left primary at a 5a. He was bored.

By end of year 7 he was a level 7 and was happy and confident.

Normalisavariantofcrazy Sat 01-Feb-14 22:18:26

I did extension papers in year 9 sats (year 6 didn't exist) and I all but failed my GCSE's

I put it down to being made to work sideways rather than in a linear fashion. I got bored. I knew the concepts so I dicked about.

I don't want that for my children and would hate for them to be held back to 'broaden their knowledge'

There is so much more to maths and becoming a mathematician than the narrow world that sats (and gcse) presents. As reallytired says, the way forward is sideways extension, enabling children to discover maths in a supported environment. Unfortunately, in primary where most teachers are not mathematic specialists they equate extension with acceleration.

primary maths challenge is a good starting point for able mathematicians.

ReallyTired Sat 01-Feb-14 23:31:40

"I put it down to being made to work sideways rather than in a linear fashion. I got bored. I knew the concepts so I dicked about."

Obviously sideways extention was not done properly. You should have been introduced to new topics that are not normally covered in school.

I think that many primary school teachers or indeed secondary school teachers lack the mathematical ablity/knowledge for interesting sideways extenion. There is a serious shortage of maths teachers with degree in Maths. Maths a huge and beautiful subject and there is plenty of potential for studying new topics.

The problem with acceleration is that they reach GCSE and A-level standard sooner. What do you do with the child who has completed a-level Maths and further maths at say 14 or even 16? They are too young to go to university properly and legally they have to study maths until 16 and ideally 18. It would be hard for someone to go to university at 18 to study maths if they have not touched maths for two years.

I worked as a mathematican for two years and none of the maths I encountered at work had I ever been taught. (I have a physics degree) Being a good mathematican is the ablity to think and look at the world in a different way. Its far more than just passing exams.

mercibucket Sun 02-Feb-14 15:00:08

yes primary maths challenge was good too
personally i would be happy with more geography or something instead but of course that doesnt count for sats sad

clockwatching77 Sun 02-Feb-14 15:03:30

Must read through this thread. Ds is in year 5 and currently 5c. So could be relevant.

WingsontheWind Sun 02-Feb-14 15:10:32

personally i would be happy with more geography or something instead but of course that doesnt count for sats

This is a very important point. How much history, geography, music and art etc is being squeezed out due to the demands of maths, literacy and PE? (Even science gets less if a look in now the science SATs have gone)

Y6 Science all but disappeared between DD1&DD2 as it went from formal SAT to teacher assessment.

I'm not certain this is a bad thing. Ihave taken a lot of science exams in my time, right through to degree level and the SATs paper was the most confusing and unforgiving, pile of just learn the answer and don't worry it doesn't make sense crap I have ever come across.

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