Don't they teach Pythagoras any more?

(98 Posts)
Dancergirl Fri 10-May-13 22:54:14

I was having a chat with dd1 tonight who's in Year 7. She had never heard of Pythagoras, it wasn't taught in primary school and so far, not in Year 7.

I remember learning it in Year 6. I know teaching maths has changed a lot over the years but surely this is fundamental?

Dancergirl Fri 10-May-13 23:34:42

Yes that's what we did stuffez but in a much lower tech form! We cut out squares of paper and stuck them to each side of the triangle.

Funny the things you remember!

The higher ability groups in my year 4 class will cover Pythagoras later this term, but that's because it will be a suitable extension for them. My groups are named after mathematicians so they have had a few random extra bits about them. The Fibonacci spirals session was great fun!

MirandaWest Sat 11-May-13 00:00:40

I did Pythagoras at some point in secondary school. Year 8 or possibly year 9 about 25 years ago.

I am now itching to teach DS (year 4) about it (well not actually now as he is asleep but YKWIM <blush at being over enthusiastic parent>)

StuffezLaYoni Sat 11-May-13 05:32:30

http://www.mathsisfun.com/pythagoras.html
readytoordersir I used this site for illustration. Very useful.

bigkidsdidit Sat 11-May-13 05:56:16

I went to an incredibly academic private school and we didn't do it until Lower 4, which is now year 8

trinity0097 Sat 11-May-13 06:06:51

Year 8 work for the above average, yr 9 for the rest.

mrz Sat 11-May-13 06:51:06

It was never on the primary curriculum to be taken off Dancergirl it's level 7 of the NC

ProfYaffle Sat 11-May-13 07:10:41

High School here too, in the 80's so not a recent change.

BooksandaCuppa Sat 11-May-13 08:14:50

I did Pythagoras in last year of primary, and indices and all sorts of things I didn't re-encounter until third year of secondary.

Ds did it early on this year in year 7 (top set) but when I looked up the level descriptors, it seems all the topics they're doing are all the level 7 ones. He's done most of the algebra - not level 8 bits - etc too. Am a bit concerned they've missed out some level 6 bits but I'm sure the teachers know what they're doing...

CouthyMow Sat 11-May-13 08:23:56

That's lvl 7 work. My 11yo DS1 covered it earlier this year, as extension work. So it is normally taught when they hit NC lvl 7.

BooksandaCuppa Sat 11-May-13 08:24:38

I loved my last year of primary school...just four of us taught maths every day in the Head's office.

It did make secondary maths very boring for a few years (and yes, we were set, just expectations were lower then).

CouthyMow Sat 11-May-13 08:25:39

DD is in lowest set Y10 and has only just met Pythagoras.

DS1 has done something called Euler's theorem too, that went right over my head!! (He's a Maths whizz, but can't draw for toffee)

ProveYourLoveToMe Sat 11-May-13 08:25:56

Year 9 or 10 back in the mid 90s.

Yakare Sat 11-May-13 08:26:16

Grammar school in the 70s. We did it in the 3rd year (with Mr Palmer).

Back in the days when teachers and schools had real autonomy.

BooksandaCuppa Sat 11-May-13 08:27:00

I must say I was surprised when I looked it up that Pythagoras was level 7... I think it's an easy concept to grasp (and apply) and I think ds already knew all about and understand it before he did it at school (he has loads of maths books - theory ones not workbook ones!)

CouthyMow Sat 11-May-13 08:27:19

Hadn't read Mrz's post when I posted that it was lvl 7! grin

CouthyMow Sat 11-May-13 08:29:33

DS1 did Fibonacci in Y4 too. Lvl 7 Maths is about my limits, so God knows how I'm going to help him with his homework next year when he goes to Secondary...blush

I need to improve my Maths for that reason alone!!

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Sat 11-May-13 08:30:21

Yeah, I learned that in primary, I think. I'm nearly 40.

Never ever used it in my whole life, outside a maths class or exam. In common with about 80% of all things learned at school. grin

In fact, the only time I ever or have ever used it after I left school is to say the words the square on the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the areas of the squares of the other two sides

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sat 11-May-13 08:31:54

Yep, did it in secondary school.

spanieleyes Sat 11-May-13 08:33:09

Actually the primary curriculum is increasingly "taking on" parts of what was the secondary curriculum for a couple of reasons.
1) both the Renewed Framework and the "New" curriculum brought objectives down from Year 7 into Year 6 ( and below!) The new framework for example will include angles on vertical lines, co-ordinates in four quadrants, construction of pie graphs, volume of cubes/cuboids, area of parallelograms, multiplication and division of fractions as objectives for year 6. Currently these are taught generally as extension activities for the more able, they will now be covered by all.
2) the need to achieve higher and higher levels with more and more of the year group, we are now expected ( in my county) to have at least 35% level 5's and 10% level 6's. So higher level objectives are routinely being covered.
Far from being "dumbed down" the primary curriculum is becoming overloaded!

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Sat 11-May-13 08:34:07

After reading all the posts, I am doubting myself now. grin I am fairly sure we had to work out triangles at junior school. We did it with squares. (I know that sounds really weird. But I am convinced we had to colour squares in to find out about triangles) hmm

spanieleyes Sat 11-May-13 08:35:27

In fact, the only time I ever or have ever used it after I left school is to say the words the square on the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the areas of the squares of the other two sides
Ah, but can you prove it and do you understand why!!
You can train a monkey to do it, but you need to teach a child how and why!

StuffezLaYoni Sat 11-May-13 08:40:19

Regarding autonomy and the primary curriculum: I'm lucky enough to teach year six in a single form entry junior school. Our results are excellent and our Head takes the attitude of "keep the results good, keep the children and parents happy, keep your books and work looking great and you can pretty much do as you please."

I have been able to extend my children so much this year - particularly in Maths. It wouldn't occur to me not to extend them if they were on a roll, simply because it's something usually covered in later years. This is in stark contrast to my previous school where I had my planning ripped to shreds by senior staff who believed Maths Makes Sense was the way forward. They are now in Special Measures.

CecilyP Sat 11-May-13 08:42:30

I learned it in 2nd year in a top set in grammar school.

I have no idea what age you are, but before the national curriculum there was no 'primary curriculum' for it to be taken off. If you did it at primary, it was probably up to an individual teacher providing an extension activity for pupils who were good at maths.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Sat 11-May-13 08:42:56

I have never needed it. I can remember nothing about it other than you work out the square of the two sides, add them together and that gives you the other side. I can't remember why it works (not that I care) and the last time I ever used it was in school and the next time I use it will probably be when my kids bring it home as homework grin

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