Can i ask what level your yr 5 child is at maths?

(56 Posts)
plum100 Mon 24-Feb-14 22:14:23

As im a bit worried.

Dd was a 3a at both parents evenings - nov and march in yr 4. She is now in yr 5 and is still a 3a.

My worry is she has not progressed at all in year. Dh says he thinks the jumps between levels at this age are quite big.

The guide says she should
Move up a level every two years so he could be right.

Its says ahe should be a 3a/4c by the end of this year - thats the average apparently - but there are loads of children in her class working a much higher than that.

Can i ask what your views are ? Thanks

plum100 Tue 25-Feb-14 15:56:50

Great thanks i will hVe a look T that site xx

Perpelxedandoverwhelmed Tue 25-Feb-14 16:51:18

Hello,
Ds was a level 3 at the end of year 2. By the end of year 3 he was a 3a, where he has remained. At the beginning of year 5, we decided that some kind of intervention was necessary and we got a tutor once a week. His recent test results (taken before half term) came back as a 4b.

I know tutoring isn't for everyone, but in this instance it really seems to have helped his confidence, which in turn has boosted his performance. I think his basic numeracy was quite good but he had trouble deciphering what the questions were asking him to do.

Elibean Tue 25-Feb-14 17:06:27

Just to add - I do really think maths is a subject where spending a lot of time getting 'solid' on basics makes all the difference later on. So perhaps a long time spent on Level 3, if it's being used to consolidate, is worthwhile?

I've had several experiences of dd1 seeming to be 'ages' on a level, then jumping through the next level or two quite quickly. Her KS1 sats were 2a, but she is now a 5c (Y5) - having spent ages on 3a, iirc, then whipping through level 4.

Elibean Tue 25-Feb-14 17:07:22

Incidentally, I do see a lot of kids 'fly' in Year 6, with maths.

Most of dd's Y5 class are 3a-4a, with some above and below.

plum100 Tue 25-Feb-14 17:09:32

I have been thinking of tutoring - i think dd would so benefot from 1-1 - i do try at home but i think she would take more in if she was in a more formal setting .

Elibean Tue 25-Feb-14 17:17:45

dd was having panics and tears over maths homework in Y3....even though she seemed, in school terms, to be doing ok. So we gave her a term's worth of tutoring with a lovely tutor who really knew how to boost her confidence - which was the main problem, along with a few gaps in basic knowledge.

It did make a huge difference, tbh.

Perpelxedandoverwhelmed Tue 25-Feb-14 17:26:04

We tried to tutor himself ourselves (I'm a former English teacher) but found we didn't really have the patience or skill set , to explain to him in a way that he could understand. We found the tutor by asking his teacher for a recommendation. I have to say, we've been impressed with the improvement he has made, both in terms of ability and confidence.

schilke Tue 25-Feb-14 22:01:26

I know how you feel plum. Dd1 got a level 3 at end of yr2 - personally I was very suspicious of this as maths has always been her weaker subject. She is now in year 5 and in October we were told she was a 3a. We have a parents evening soon and I am hoping she has moved up! I am not usually fussed about levels, but have committed the cardinal sin of comparing her to her brothers!

It doesn't help that dd1 is hysterical about maths and thinks she's hopeless.

PottyLottie123 Wed 26-Feb-14 00:02:38

Sorry for long thread, touched a nerve......My DD was 4b maths assessed by a mock SAT paper at the end of Y5 and in a recent mock SAT paper in Y6 got 4b again. Her class has a "booster group" of children who are getting extra tuition within school time to try to get level 6s. I am not in the least bit jealous of this as my DD could not cope at this level. I also believe every child should reach their full potential so am glad the top group get challenged, BUT: the mock SAT revealed that a large group in the middle of the class have not progressed in the test since July in Y5. DD says that the teacher sits with the "booster" group in maths and the TA sits with the lowest ability group. When the Head takes the "booster" group out for maths (whole lesson, 6:1 pupil/ teacher ratio), it is on the TA's day off and so the teacher sits with the lower group..........basically if you make the magic government decreed level 4 by Y6, are not struggling below this (Ofsted won't like that); are no trouble and well -behaved but are never going to "set the world on fire" with a possible level 6 (Ofsted would love that) you are kind of, well, left to it.

I raised my concerns and they were refreshingly honest, "Yes, we're glad you brought it up, it appears we have let them "tick over" and need to address it". At no point over the last six months did I think she was "ticking over". I trusted that "fine" and "where she should be" was what it meant when I was a teacher and left them to it. Silly, silly me.

Go in and ask, make sure that everything really is "fine". If I could get back the last six months and be less trusting and more "sharp elbowed", I wouldn't be worried about her progress (or lack of it) now. I am not bashing my DD's teachers, I respect them tremendously and they are very good at their job, they are just allowing the stress of Ofsted driven targets (got to get some level 6s, got to get the bottom group to a 4c.....) and the relentless push towards an "outstanding" Ofsted grading to influence where their teaching goes and how fairly they share out their time. With equal extra input, who knows where the middle group could have got to?

Schools end up like sausage factories.....you put this national curriculum in, squeeeeze the handle, and as long as a minimum level 4 sausage and a few level 6 sausages come out the other end, who cares if all we did was teach to the test, concentrate on the bookends of the class and lose sight of school being fun and fostering a love of learning any more?????? Trouble is, teachers, parents and the poor kids all have no choice other than to keep playing this bloody stupid game!!!!!!

I taught in state primary schools for a loooonnnggg time before having my kids, I was determined not to be a "pushy" parent or hassle good, over - worked teachers, but sometimes stuff just has to be said. Equal access for all.

TheRoadLessTravelled Wed 26-Feb-14 00:25:45

The key thing here is that he is 'exactly where he should be' - which translates to 'he is at the minimum expected level'

Now if you think your DS's ability is avg or below, then being exactly where he should be might please you. However if you think DS is bright, then 'where he should be according to national expectations' is below 'where he should be'

Ie if he is bright then he is not doing well. If his ability is below avg he is doing well.

When school tell you about levels they're comparing to national execrations - not to what your DS is capable of.

IneedAwittierNickname Wed 26-Feb-14 00:30:47

Ds2 is level 3b ( I think)
Although he may have progressed to 3a.
He's been level 3 since year 3.

Soveryupset Wed 26-Feb-14 07:56:36

I agree pottielottie although in our school the top set children were the ones totally ignored as the school states they do not teach or sit the children for level 6.

Elibean Wed 26-Feb-14 10:09:08

Potty good for you for addressing this now, and I hope you're not giving yourself a hard time - everything you say makes sense and I suspect is echoed across many, many schools sad

My dds' school had a dip last year with their 'middle achieving' group at SATS and the Head is still kicking himself. It won't happen again, nor should it - they did 'ok' but not as well, in terms of individual progress, as the upper and lower ability groups.

This is the kind of thing that tracking software should really help with...

wheresthebeach Wed 26-Feb-14 12:53:20

In our school the top set get endless help and extra lessons, so do the bottom. My DD...in the middle...left to it and basically ignored as 'everything is fine'.

What makes me really cross is that she had been doing really well in maths until last year. She said there were issues - school said no probs. So we reassured her. Then her report came out. Oh...wish I'd listened to her, not the school.

Now playing catch up. Sigh. On the plus side we've found that doing a little every day really does help.

plum100 Wed 26-Feb-14 14:05:28

Seems like there is lots of us in the same boat. Potty - thats exactly what i have to th - that i think she is jut left to get on with it.

We have parents eve next week - at the last one we didnt really get told much about her maths as the split across the whole year so she is actually with the other teacher but i am going to make an appt to see her aswell.

Spaghettinetti Wed 26-Feb-14 14:26:21

I'm a former primary school teacher and to be honest, your child should be making two sub-levels of progress each year. That said, the jump between year 4 and 5 is quite a big one. Most children make a lot of progress in year 5 and 6. In terms of teachers teaching at the right level, teachers are required to differentiate. This involves preparing work for target, on-track and more able pupils at a level that is right for them. I would never prevent an 'on-track' pupil from attempting work intended for 'more able' pupils and would always give them the option of extending their learning and I hope that other teachers do the same - after all we are all flexible in our learning and understanding; it's not a case of being good at maths or not, some things we 'get', others we don't.

Filling in the gaps is also important. I once taught a child who was considered a maths whizz kid in year 4, but when I taught him in year 5, it was obvious to me that there were some quite big gaps in his basic knowledge. To his parents, it must have looked like he wasn't making any progress, but he was, it was just 'horizontally' rather than 'vertically' if you get what I mean.

Something else that needs to be considered is exactly what the teacher is basing their assessment on. It may be that a lot of year 4 was spent on shape and space, in which your child achieved good marks, and that up to now much of the work undertaken has been calculations based (and therefore of a different nature). Are your child's marks based on formative (general work) or summative (test based) assessment? Often a child's true potential isn't realised until they are put on the spot in test conditions...

Teachers used to follow the Primary National Strategy for Maths, this was archived by the government in 2011, but if you really want to get your head around roughly what your child should be learning in each year, it's worth having a look at as many teachers still use it as a guide.

If your child is struggling with word problems, may I suggest that you have a look at as many as you can with them. You can find loads online or ask your child's teacher to give you some. Work through the problems, circling the key vocabulary that your child needs to interpret the question (to be honest they should do this at school). Once your child is confident with key phrases and the operations that they relate to, try making up some word problems of your own and ask DP to solve them...

All the best!

sillylittleperson Wed 26-Feb-14 14:32:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PottyLottie123 Wed 26-Feb-14 14:41:05

Thank you, Spaghettinetti, I too taught in primary for 17 years and agree with you totally. Schools vary widely with their expectation of how many sub-level's progress they expect, (2 per year seems a lot for KS2 in some areas) but no progress for my DD after doing so well plus having such good teachers this year is what raised the alarm for me.

Also the Head said in a parent's forum meeting that they are going for "accelerated progress" (oh, dear...........new initiative and buzzword here we go again) and that if you miss a target (DD has missed 4A three times now in 6 months!) they add the next one on top so that your target becomes 5C......Tell that to the teachers, none of the above has happened and I'm not even sure that that would be doable for every child....... sausage factory time again!

Plum, Elibean, Wheresthebeach......looks like there's quite a few of us across the country. Also playing catch up now, but would have had no idea if my daughter hadn't told me she was fed up of getting no teacher time in maths and said, "Mum, what's wrong with my group? Why don't we matter as much?" Out of the mouths of babes......

wheresthebeach Wed 26-Feb-14 16:30:28

According to DD teachers get frustrated if questions asked and kids are told not to ask questions. So...she doesn't ask...doesn't get it either. Now asking us as DH is,thankfully, good at maths.

Impatientismymiddlename Wed 26-Feb-14 17:12:31

My year 5 child is currently on level 5a, but he is the most advanced in his class for maths.
I don't think its worth comparing to other children as each child has their own capability level and a 3c will be a huge achievement for some children in year 5.

putri Wed 26-Feb-14 18:03:44

My dd is average in everything else but she does really well in maths. Is a the highest or c? But at the end of year 3 she was the lowest of the 4 level. She was mid 3b Dec of year 3 and I started working with her using workbooks that you can buy anywhere, e.g. Waterstone. I continue to work with her but not as much and last parent meeting she's at the low 5. My dd is weak on story problems and I actually use a problem solving book below her level so that she can just focus on the sentence and understand what to do to solve the problems. I am almost sure dd's teacher said year 5 is suppose to be in the 4 range by end of school year.

If you're comfortable with basic math, spend 30 minutes a couple times a week on work that your child is struggling with using the workbook purchased. There are many worksheets you can find online too for free. I have apps on the iPad too.

plum100 Wed 26-Feb-14 21:56:34

Well we sat and did a bit tonight - shes seems to have place value secure. We moved on to estimating. She struggles to know that you dont hVe to just guess anwers - that there is actually a way to work out whats halfway between two numbers.

I feel really sad for her. She is so level headed and lovely. She just doesnt seem to know basic maths terminology and how to work out things - but she knows her xtables inside out.

PottyLottie123 Wed 26-Feb-14 22:20:52

Plum, I know exactly how you feel. Part of it is because the jam packed maths curriculum forces them to go WAY too fast, even in KS1, before basic concepts are secure. They struggle later because their basic numeracy skills just aren't consolidated in KS1 before they move on yet again. Too much too soon in the erroneous belief that teaching mountains of new stuff will drive up standards. Some of the content could be left until they are older. Like it used to be. (Should have chosen the username educationdinosaur" LOL) But that's a whole other thread!.......

cingolimama Thu 27-Feb-14 08:46:36

Potty hits the nail on the head! Basic numeracy skills aren't emphasised at all.

OP, just a thought, but you might want to look at some website based programmes, which have turned it around for my DD. For numeracy I highly rate komodo and mathsfactor.

wheresthebeach Thu 27-Feb-14 13:29:41

Agree about basics. We're working on subtraction. DD says they don't really do it at school??? confused. Her times tables are amazing but she still needs to be able to add and subtract (I think...).

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