Year 7 maths - what is 'normal'? Speak to tutor/HoY?

(40 Posts)
Takver Wed 02-Oct-13 08:32:16

Sorry, a bit long, but don't want to drip. DD is finding maths very boring. She's shown me her target - which is the same she says for the whole group - and for this term it is (don't have her book here, but the sense of it) 'revise level 4 & get more than 70% in a test on this at the end of term'

She was assessed at level 5 in primary (teacher assessments not SATs here as in Wales), and says the work they're doing is stuff they did in year 4 - 5 at primary, and they aren't zipping through it, but going at a similar speed or slower. (They're working on area - quadrilaterals / triangles etc - pages and pages of working out the area of a rectangle.)

They're setted, she's in the top set (of 4 I believe), and she says as far as she can see she is one of the slower to do the work if anything - she has issues with writing/handwriting which slow her down a lot. So it seems unlikely that they have an intake that is particularly poor at maths.

As far as I can see, they're not even going to start doing work she did last year in primary until next term, so its going to be yr 8 until they do anything new. Its sad as maths has always been one of her favourite subjects, and I think she's just going to get massively put off.

Is this normal - do they usually do masses of revision and nothing new in yr 7? Sorry for the essay!!

lljkk Wed 02-Oct-13 09:46:17

I would chat to HoY about it. Shouldn't be purely revision.

Takver Wed 02-Oct-13 09:58:47

It seems excessive, doesn't it. When she moaned to start with I assumed they were just being gentle the first few weeks, but a term covering work from 2 yrs ago seems going a bit far!

lljkk Wed 02-Oct-13 10:05:37

how big is the yr group? I just have a funny feeling I've read something similar about Welsh secondaries before.

Bluebell99 Wed 02-Oct-13 10:09:01

I've had a similar thing with my dd who has just entered yr 7. She was given a target of 5c for the end of yr 7. However she left primary at 5a (which was the highest level she could have got as her primary didn't teach level 6), I checked with school and was told it was an admin error and her target should be 6c , possibly 6b. So I would say worth checking with the school.

Takver Wed 02-Oct-13 10:09:57

80 in the year, so small but not tiny. I did quiz dd a bit, and she is convinced that the others in the group are finding the work equally easy if not more so (as in, they can all write faster than her, so finish it sooner!)

Takver Wed 02-Oct-13 10:10:38

The whole class has the same target apparantly, Bluebell99 (which also seems a bit odd?)

lljkk Wed 02-Oct-13 10:11:10

that alone is worth a phone call to query, Takver.

Takver Wed 02-Oct-13 10:12:49

I will query cautiously, though lljkk, DD has been known to be wrong!!!

noblegiraffe Wed 02-Oct-13 10:19:26

Revise level 4 seems an exceptionally odd target for a child in a top set who is already a level 5. Ofsted would say 'where is the progress?'.
I would definitely query it.

Area of quadrilaterals would be fine for Y7: parallelograms, kites, trapeziums. Pages of rectangles, however, is not fine, it's a waste of time.

Takver Wed 02-Oct-13 10:24:27

I will definitely query, I think. The target I think specifically, as you say noblegiraffe, it seems like going backwards.

NoComet Wed 02-Oct-13 10:32:57

Worth an Email (Emails always being the best way to catch teachers. Even the pupils Email their teachers if they want to ask questions needing thought).

To HoY/progress leader and head of maths I'd have thought.

Sadly not uncommon for maths targets to seem low, DD2's top set one wasn't ambitious, but it wasn't as low as that.

(DD1 got put in the wrong set, so she spent a year twiddling her thumbs, but that's a long story)

Takver Wed 02-Oct-13 10:35:27

To be honest, I don't really care about the target, but I don't want her to be bored & put off maths

NoComet Wed 02-Oct-13 10:37:56

Yes, first set1 HW if Y8 was area of parallelograms/trapeziums. Very unusually DD2 asked for help. Normally I haven't a clue what's going on.

NoComet Wed 02-Oct-13 10:46:22

Couldn't agree more the targets cause far more trouble than they are worth, but Ofsted insist DCs have them and know what to do to reach them.

So teachers do tend to mention them.

Makes no sense when they are pulled out the ether and are stupidly low (normal state for DD2 except for science which is idiotically high confused)

I wish I could say GCSE ones were better, but if DD1 gets the number of As she's predicted, I'll eat my hat. (Targets are off CATs tests and there seems to be very little adjustment for her dyslexia or the fact that VR/NVR marks don't mean you can draw or act!)

mamicar Wed 02-Oct-13 10:52:56

ds1 is in year 7 in Wales too. they have been put into sets based on assessments they did back in year 6. ds is struggling though due to issues with his handwriting.

Takver Wed 02-Oct-13 10:53:33

Isn't a trapezium / parallellogram just the triangles + the rectangle?

I don't know dd's targets for any other subject, not sure if it is the same focus under ESTYN as for OFSTED. (As far as I can see their 'school banding' into 1 - 5 for success simply parallels average FSM numbers, so I suspect there isn't much value added calculation going on.)

noblegiraffe Wed 02-Oct-13 11:30:01

Parallelogram is half base x perpendicular height
Trapezium is half the sum of the parallel sides x the distance between them

Or you could split them into triangles and rectangles but that takes longer and you don't always have the required lengths.

Takver Wed 02-Oct-13 11:35:05

Thanks, Noblegiraffe - Long time since I've had the need to work out the area of a parallelogram or indeed a trapezium smile

(Which brings back funny memories of a group of older ladies of my acquaintance sitting round a table trying to remember how to work out the area of the surface of a cone in order to buy a piece of pond liner the correct size to make a waterproof layer in a turf roof hut - you never know when in your life these things will prove useful grin )

noblegiraffe Wed 02-Oct-13 11:38:58

You need the song to the tune of Pop Goes the Weasel

Half the sum of the parallel sides
Times the distance between them
That's the way that you can find
The area of a trapezium.

Then you'll never forget it again!
Or you could try to remember 1/2(a+b)h which is less fun. smile

cakeandcustard Wed 02-Oct-13 11:47:17

noblegiraffe area of a parallelogram is base X perpenicular height grin

I think more generally there is,a huge issue with a dip in level of maths education in yr 7 which puts a lot of kids off. They come out of primary top rate & secondary schools don't do enough to capitalise on that.

outtolunchagain Wed 02-Oct-13 11:49:00

My ds3 has just gone into year 7 and is top set of four in a similar size year group .

He has always loved maths and had a very dynamic maths teacher for the last 2 years ,so part of the problem I think is that it's just a drier teaching approach however he has done Venn diagrams and sequencing ( a bit of Fibonaci etc) and is now revising decimals .If that's any help.

noblegiraffe Wed 02-Oct-13 12:08:16

Oh god, thanks cake, yes, base times perpendicular height. blush I must have been distracted by the talk of triangles. I do know really!

Takver Wed 02-Oct-13 12:09:30

It is, outtolunch, thank you. MN is great for this sort of thing, isn't it. Its so hard to know otherwise what is normal when your last experience of secondary school was in the 1980s grin

dingit Wed 02-Oct-13 12:28:00

I had this with my dd in yr 7. I emailed in ( can't remember what they said) but then the pace shot up and she sat her GCSE at the end of year 9. She got an A ( only 3 got A*) and is studying further maths, and will resit for an A* in November. What I'm saying is, it's early days, and I'm sure the work will get harder!

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