DS and maths

(6 Posts)
mathsthinking Sun 21-Jul-13 22:54:10

Have name changed because this will make me identifiable if anyone who knows me reads this!

DS has just finished y3 and, after the optional SATs, has been levelled a 5b. I know this is an excellent level at his age and am glad school have finally tested him to his level after years of thinking he wasn't actually talented at maths like we thought he was.

What would your school do with a child at this level? I had a meeting with the HT last week before they broke up and he promised that they could set him work within the class that would challenge him but that he'd have to sit through the 'carpet time' at the beginning of each lesson first and then work his way to the more challenging work during each lesson.

Will he get bored/frustrated sitting through the beginning of each lesson? Will he switch off and not bother once he finally gets to doing the work that will challenge him?

DH and I are quite concerned but willing to give school a chance. But how long would you give it before going in and demanding asking for something more at your child's level?

Galena Mon 22-Jul-13 07:49:27

During the introduction to lessons I would use targetted questioning to make sure the input was relevant to all the children. So if we were doing, say, time I might put a clock to an o'clock and ask child a what time it was. Child b might get quarter to, child c might be asked what time it will be in another half hour, and child d might be asked to work out what time an activity started if it finished at the time shown and lasted 75 minutes.

Keep an eye and see how he gets on. If you have concerns then you can go in and mention them. Teachers can get very defensive if you say your child might get bored without evidence...

lljkk Mon 22-Jul-13 08:31:26

Nicely puts to the rest the myth that schools only teach to the test?

Your DS is very impressive!

Don't all children have to sit thru boring time at start of each lesson? Many of them are going to already know what teacher is saying & will be sitting there tuned out (and then there are those who tune out for lots of other reasons), just because he knows it a bit better shouldn''t be that different.

adeucalione Mon 22-Jul-13 09:50:54

Your DS is very advanced and, whilst I'm sure the teacher will be differentiating for him, my honest opinion is that he will spend a lot of time bored - either listening to an input he doesn't need, working through easy stuff to get on to something more challenging or explaining stuff to other pupils.

I also think it's a shame that he won't be on a table with others of a similar ability, which means that he won't be able to discuss concepts and ideas at his own level (unless with the teacher).

I suppose you could suggest he attends maths classes with an older year group, but then there are threads on here about children doing that and then just doing it all over again.

Would they consider 1-1 support, or could you pay to provide that if their budget won't allow? I wouldn't advocate powering through the curriculum particularly, but interesting breadth could be achieved.

I would see how he feels about maths once he is a few weeks into the new term and then discuss it with the school again to find the least worst option.

iseenodust Mon 22-Jul-13 15:48:33

DS is nowhere near as advanced as your DS and school differentiated for him in the way your HT has proposed. It was a good effort including some 1-2-1 time but inconsistent and the first two paras of adeuc's post sum up his experience. (You will probably find it becomes similar in science.) DS was at a one class intake school and actually I felt it would be unreasonable to ask for more so he's going to a selective indie from Sept. which is not what I would have anticipated a couple of year sback.

cornflakegirl Mon 22-Jul-13 16:35:41

My DS is the same age and a similar level. His teacher this year seems to have mainly differentiated by keeping him on the same topic as the rest of the class but giving him Y4/5/6 textbooks to work from. However, his report said that his behaviour and effort were not great in maths, so I'm not sure if that was an effective strategy (he loves maths, so the lack of effort doesn't sit right to me).

The school did put him in with older children in previous years, but that didn't work brilliantly either, as it meant that he was out of his own class for a significant portion of each day, and so found social relationships much harder.

I think it partly depends on how much the class teacher enjoys maths and finds it easy to extend sideways.

I would agree with adeuc - see how the term goes and how he feels. There are loads of great resources that you can use at home to stretch him if you feel that school is okay but not amazing.

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