Maths - difference between primary and secondary? which is more interesting?

(21 Posts)
sunsout Sun 23-Mar-14 09:17:03

My dd (summer baby) will be going to secondary school this Sept. She never like maths much despite her basic knowledge is reasonable but she just find it boring. I think she will reach lever4 sat. Just wondering if maths will be different in secondary school. Do any your dcs or pupils find maths more stimulating in secondary schools and develop more interest in the subject since. Just wish there is still some hope for my dd.

AnneOfCleavage Sun 23-Mar-14 09:21:08

Watching with interest as have a similar DD.

richmal Sun 23-Mar-14 10:20:19

Maths needs practice, like playing a musical instrument; the more you can do it, the more interesting it becomes. I think there is still an assumption that maths and science is for boys and English and art subjects are better suited to girls, which is a self fulfilling prophecy.

At any level maths can be taught in an interesting or a boring way. It becomes boring if it is taught in such a way that a child has not understood it. Has your dd tried Khan academy? It makes maths clear and therefore interesting.

sunsout Sun 23-Mar-14 10:38:23

The problem is she finds it boring to start with so it is very hard to persuade her to do more than necessary. I honestly have tried many things already but she doesn't want to engage. Now I am hoping she will meet a very good maths teacher who will help to change her attitude to toward the subject.

grants1000 Sun 23-Mar-14 11:44:40

DS is in Y7 and he happens to love maths (literacy is a whole other issue) however he loves the way they teach it, small groups problem saolving sometimes, mental maths, class activity and discussion. I get the impression the learning is more active, fun and engaging. I think most maths teachers in 2nd educ are also men, which helps for some reason!

sunsout Sun 23-Mar-14 18:45:31

Any more responses? People are more interested differences in feet size than maths?!

PleaseNoMoreMinecraft Sun 23-Mar-14 20:08:23

I know sunsout that's what it looks like! I wish I could help, I've got a DS in Y5 so I'm watching with interest smile

AtiaoftheJulii Mon 24-Mar-14 09:47:45

In secondary school she'll be taught maths (probably, lol - see crossover subject thread!) by someone who's actually good at maths, which not all primary school teachers are. So hopefully they will be able to make it much more interesting. And there is less ploddy arithmetic involved and more ideas, which might appeal more too.

sunsout Mon 24-Mar-14 10:02:36

Hooray got a reply!!!!!!!

Sunnymeg Tue 25-Mar-14 14:13:06

DS has enjoyed Maths a lot more since he started Secondary. The main advantage is that his teacher has a variety of ways to explain what they are learning. At primary they normally only teach Maths in a certain way. DS had one year at primary where his teacher had Maths as her degree and he loved it that year, but got bogged down in other years when if you didn't get it from the teachers explanation it was tough luck.

sunsout Tue 25-Mar-14 14:17:23

So there s stii hope. thanks Sunnymeg

Marmitelover55 Tue 25-Mar-14 15:53:56

DD1 is also in year 7 and is enjoying maths for the first time. She has 2 teachers, and she particularly likes the style of one of them. Her results are improving significantly too smile

sunsout Tue 25-Mar-14 17:46:08

thanks Marmite, my dd s only level 4 I'm maths hope she ll do better.

sunsout Tue 25-Mar-14 17:51:17

sorry re typos as using smartphone to type isn't easy.

sunsout Wed 26-Mar-14 14:57:29

After SAT or over summer what can I give dd to do that will help prepare her for year 7? Anyone?

ThreeTomatoes Wed 26-Mar-14 16:30:35
RosemaryandThyme Wed 26-Mar-14 17:07:57

I'm a primary maths HLTA, primary school maths does have the scope to be really interesting, lots of practical investigations, fun and useful manipulatives, a plethora of outside activities and resources etc.
However more often than not there is too much adherence to text books and interactive white boards and classroom enviroments that foster competition between children.
A child in Y6 who "might" get a L4 is a child who has been in the lower 25% of the class for probably the full seven years of primary. This would kill the enthusiasm and willingness of anyone.
If this were my child I'd be signing them up for six months of intensive KipMcGrath, Kumon would be too slow a progression route, then child will go to secondary and be out of the hell that is bottom set secondary maths.

sunsout Wed 26-Mar-14 18:18:57

Thanks Rose,

I d enrolled dd on KipM in y3 and half way y4 but not much improved and then private tuitions for 6 months but she just doesn't have the interest. The problem also the school never give homework to bring home so I never have any idea what she is doing in school. The annoying thing is in y5 in the top set every kid was given a homework book to keep and work at home and school but not any kids in the middle or bottom sets. That really annoyed me. As I said she has the knowledge and skills but she just disinterested in maths. Sorry to all the very good primary school teachers but I believe she had very unpleasant maths learning experience in her earlier years so that she has developed very much a mental block about the subject. Tbh I am very disheartened by it all.

RosemaryandThyme Wed 26-Mar-14 19:03:22

It's exactly this sort of situation that pushes me to improve the lot of the children I'm priviledge to work with each day.

Treating children of different abilities differently in terms of home learning and books etc is so very wrong on so many levels, I feel for the children.

Our Head proposed buying lovely sets of shinny books and embossed home learning journals for the top level maths group - staff response was that you either buy them for all children or not at all.
He bought the shinny books for all, and TA's got together and designed and made our own journals for the children. It would really have stuck in my throat to hand out sets of nice things for only a select few.

An alternative approach to maths might suit your child, maths itself is only ever a tool to problem solving, no matter how complex the maths or sophisticated the formula.
Perhaps your child would be happier to pick-up maths through art (tessellation, 3D modeling, trig ), construction (measuring, perimeter, area, volume) cooking (conversion measures, capacity, scale reading) Geocaching (co-ordinates, angles and degrees).
In this way the focus is off of maths as calculation and more on the project and item production.

sunsout Wed 26-Mar-14 19:57:40

Why any decent caring HTs would even suggest giving extra privilege to the already privileged top set kids and ignoring the rest. Sometimes I almost want to cry. Anyway we are very looking forward to leaving it all behind and to a new fresh start. I just want to help her to prepare as much as possible in the next six months. But I really finding it very tough going to even keep up my own will at times. That's way I came here to seek advice and hope to hear some positive real life changing stories fellow members.

BackforGood Wed 26-Mar-14 20:55:58

I don't think there's a simple Primary / Secondary divide.
I have 3 dc (17, 15, and 12) .
It depends so much on being lucky enough to have an individual teacher who inspires them.
My dd used to love maths, and has got really, really frustrated with it at her secondary school, as - probably the opposite of everyone else's experience - they used to 'set' for maths in the Junior school, but they don't in the secondary, and she has spent 4 yrs being frustrated at having to sit around with nothing to do whilst waiting for the poor teacher to try to get some dc to grasp concepts she got 6, 7, or 8 years ago. I'm hoping her experience is very unusual though.

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