End of Year 8 School Report - DS is level 3a at maths...help

(14 Posts)
jodee Sat 27-Jul-13 17:00:09

His target at end of KS3 is level 5 - I am worried, that's low for end of KS3 anyway and I am concerned he won't get to that stage.

Had DS assessed for private maths tuition last weekend, I don't have all the results to hand but the assessor said DS was 2 years behind! He is at an outstanding secondary.

He struggles with Literacy and processing information, but is in the top 90th percentile for non-verbal reasoning so has other strengths, but I feel he is getting left behind in the bottom set of maths where there are behavioural issues. He is SA+ so has TA time but the TA in maths seem to have their time swallowed up by more challenging children.

Now I don't have a crystal ball, but are there any experiences here ofchildren being so behind at maths at this stage and catching up to at least get a GCSE C grade (with or without extra tuition)?

Thank you!

TeenAndTween Sat 27-Jul-13 17:12:14

This is a long way behind. I would say more than 2 years behind. 2 years behind would be 4b (ie where he should have been end year 6). This is more like 3 years behind. What did he finish year 6 on?

There is some hope. My DD1 was a 2a in maths end y4, and finished y6 on 4b. So she made almost 4 years progress in 2 years. She was behind due to early life experiences and schooling disruption rather than lack of ability.

However this was only achieved with a massive effort on mine and DD's part. We did 60-90 minutes maths a day every day during 2 summer holidays, plus additional at weekends and half terms, and also after school, especially if a new topic was being introduced she didn't get. Luckily I am v. confident in maths and DD was willing to work to catch up.

Sorry, I don't think you've a hope without some kind of tuition. School won't be able to do it unless he drops a subject and has 1-1 there. You need to go back to KS2 work, fill in the gaps, and progress from there.

Has he been assessed specifically for dyscalculia? If not, it's worth looking into as more specialist tuition might be available.

KingscoteStaff Sat 27-Jul-13 19:51:05

3a is average for the end of Year 5, so that makes him 3 years behind. He will need help from you or a tutor to unpick exactly where the gaps in his understanding are - at the moment he may be building a muddle on a muddle - not helped if there are behavioural issues in his Maths set.

jodee Sat 27-Jul-13 20:15:30

Thank you everyone, teenandtween I will dig out his end Y6 results and let you know. The assessor thinks we need to go back to KS2.

DS is dyslexic, but afaik badkitten dyscalculia hasn't been mentioned in his reports (I have a Paed appt some time in Sept I think, will raise this). Perhaps I should look for more specialist tuition in any case?

kingscote the assessor said last week that it appeared DS hadn't grasped the basics or he had learned them but forgotten them, back to DSs processing issues again, and the basic building blocks weren't there.

I so feel for DS, he has come on leaps and bounds in literacy, but of course he is labelled as stupid by some pupils who think he must be thick as he gets literacy support instead of learning a language. His confidence needs a boost; I'm not sure how he would feel about getting special maths help in school as well, more ridicule, but I will speak to SENCO in Sept.

I will get hold of Y6 results and the assessment results and post again.

KingscoteStaff Sat 27-Jul-13 20:26:28

Have a look at the BBC Bitesize KS2 games. If you play them with him, you should be able to make a list of the topics where he struggles, and then focus on them. There are lots of KS2 study books at WHSmith.

forehead Sat 27-Jul-13 20:34:51

I thought that some schools had One to One tutors , who are usually retired teachers .
I don't know how confident you are in maths, but I would suggest that you spend some time during the holidays revising timetables , adding , subtraction etc.
If a child does not grasp the basics, they will be unable to progress. You cannot rely on the school.
I think that you may have to do what Teen did, work at home with your ds

nkf Sat 27-Jul-13 20:47:29

He needs one to one tuition and masses of encouragement. Sorry, but there's so much ground to catch up on. Find him a tutor. The right to one intervention can work wonders. Good luck.

I would absolutely read up on dyscalculia, especially if there is such a disconnect between his maths and his literacy.

NoComet Sat 27-Jul-13 23:45:13

The processing and short term memory problems found in some dyslexics cause trouble with some aspects of primary school maths.

Like your DS, D1 has a very high NVR score, but only a passable L4 SATs score and a below average numeracy CAT.

She has never learnt her tables, is fairly slow at arithmetic and at 15 still has to really concentrate to read an analogue clock. These things really mess up KS2 maths assessments. Short term memory problems make the metal maths paper really difficult and I suspect cause problems with the numeracy CAT questions (that's hard to prove because non teachers cannot get hold of a paper).

Consequently she got put in set 3 out of 4 for maths.

However, DD is a very confident child, she knows her weakness and she knows her strengths, she knows she can do algebra and understand the concepts behind most kinds of maths. She worked incredibly hard and is now some where near the top of set 2 of 6 and hopefully on track for a B at least.

Your DS starts from a lower starting point and I think it will take a good tutor to find his strengths and give him the confidence to realise that the bits of maths dyslexia effects is not the whole story. If he can solve logical NVR questions he should be able to follow a lot of maths methods too.

I have no idea how much a tutor can improve maths grades, but I do know tuition in Y6 helped DD2s quiet friend gain the confidence needed to get into the top set in Y7.

With maths confidence is more than half the battle. If you are in a group who feel maths is difficult and not for you it's very hard to see a way to improve. Sadly teachers pigeon hole DC too.

I wish you and your DS all the luck in the world, because I think there is a long way to go before teachers understand the complex interactions between dyslexia and maths. Until they do many DC will not get the help they deserve,

noblegiraffe Sat 27-Jul-13 23:54:42

The stats are that only 25% of those who get a level 5 in Y9 go on to get a C at GCSE (this was also before linear, harder GCSEs, and it would be more likely those with a high level 5). A student on a level 3a in Y8 is also not very likely to get a level 5 in Y9.

It is incredibly unlikely that a C is achievable from the bottom set with those levels without some sort of major intervention.

Here is some info on dyscalculia.
www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/about-dyslexia/schools-colleges-and-universities/dyscalculia.html

Kez100 Sun 28-Jul-13 11:53:03

My daughter was no natural mathematician but she still managed level 5c by this stage.

I suspect there is something underlying, especially if it is out of kilter with his other subjects.

Ensure he is tested for dyscalculia. Then choose a tutor - because if he has dyscalculia he may be better with one who can teach children with that issue. I know my sons dyslexia would not have been helped with more of the same, he needed a different approach.

But yes, get him a tutor.

Keep on top of his school progress too - if he improves with the tutor, make sure the school recognise and ensure he is in the right set.

Do not pressure him to get the C at age 16 if it is shown he can't. He needs to try and get progress, first and foremost. Then, sixth forms and colleges will allow resits, and he can try to continue progress and get his c grade there. Whatever, he needs positive reinforcement not negative.

cory Mon 29-Jul-13 11:03:15

I would also have a word with the school re the bullying. If your ds is feeling uncomfortable about taking up extra help re to teasing the school need to know so they can deal with. It is their job to ensure pupils know this is absolutely unacceptable.

BalloonSlayer Mon 29-Jul-13 14:15:26

Does he have a reader/scribe for assessments? Did he have one for his recent assessment, the one he got 3a for?

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