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to be worried about how my DC are being taught in Maths?

(56 Posts)
GraduationBear Sun 03-Jan-16 13:39:37

The school are following the SEAL approach (Scotland) and it seems to be The Big Thing.

My concerns are
- they don't seem to be doing any actual work
- there is very little actual teaching involved

In more detail, DD says that they do games to start their lesson, and then start to work in small groups or on their own. She says that the teacher barely ever does a lesson. Instead the teacher works with the small groups or individuals, but she hasn't worked with DD for ages. I asked for clarification before Christmas and got a very sharp reply that the children are supposed to explore numbers on their own.

Which is all very well and good, but producing endless posters of ten frames really isn't teaching my DD anything.


UndramaticPause Sun 03-Jan-16 13:53:08

Sounds lazy to me but I don't know what SEAL is.

mrtwitsglasseye Sun 03-Jan-16 13:54:02

I'd be thrilled if my dd's school took that approach! But then I'm all in favour of child led learning rather than adult led 'teaching'.

AliceInUnderpants Sun 03-Jan-16 13:54:46

I haven't actually heard of this so not sure if it's something being done in our schools.
Did you not have some sort of parents' information evening before it was implemented?

GraduationBear Sun 03-Jan-16 13:55:33

Really? Thrilled?!

I completely understand child led learning and how important it is, but surely there has to be an element of teaching in there too.

GraduationBear Sun 03-Jan-16 13:56:16

Yes, we had a parent's evening where they told us all how wonderful it was without telling us what it actually is/does, IYKWIM.

LaurieFairyCake Sun 03-Jan-16 13:57:04

How old?

If primary it sounds great. If secondary I'd be wanting to reassure myself by looking up the outcomes for the method.

GraduationBear Sun 03-Jan-16 13:58:53


UndramaticPause Sun 03-Jan-16 14:02:01

How do they learn new concepts or even know if what they've discovered is correct?

Scarydinosaurs Sun 03-Jan-16 14:04:21

Total bollocksy way of teaching. I would be wary of a school adopting this approach.

Fairenuff Sun 03-Jan-16 14:05:22

Maybe they spent the first term consolidating what they had already learned and putting it into practice? You really need to ask for an appointment to find out more about it though.

GraduationBear Sun 03-Jan-16 14:05:30

Exactly! They have been working on these number posters since August.

You put a number in the middle of the worksheet, and then in each corner you draw it in a different way.

DD is bored silly and not learning anything.

dementedpixie Sun 03-Jan-16 14:07:36

Never heard of SEAL and both my children are at school in Scotland.

HotterWok Sun 03-Jan-16 14:08:13

Sorry what is a ten frame? I think YANBU, maths is ill suited to child led learning, maybe try the Khan Academy?

museumum Sun 03-Jan-16 14:08:56

Having googled I think it sounds good. Developing an actual understanding of maths and numbers rather than just the ability to follow a single method for getting an answer.
I have a maths degree and really despair often of the way some children are just taught maths like following a recipe and not really understanding how maths works.

museumum Sun 03-Jan-16 14:09:26

GraduationBear Sun 03-Jan-16 14:09:52

A ten frame is a 2x5 table for dots to be put in.


= 10


= 6

I haven't even got a clue what she is supposed to be learning. I can't make head nor tail of the curriculum.

Heatherplant Sun 03-Jan-16 14:10:32

Are you in a position to pay for some private tuition? I'm dreading DS going to school after hearing about stuff like this!

EddieStobbart Sun 03-Jan-16 14:11:39

DD1 is 9, we're also in Scotland. She says they play games and also work through sheets. From what she says and looking at her books at drop-in days at school it doesn't really seem much different to the approach I was taught under 35 years ago.

We make her to 10 minutes of times table practice every night though.

GraduationBear Sun 03-Jan-16 14:12:24

I have a maths degree and really despair often of the way some children are just taught maths like following a recipe and not really understanding how maths works.

Part of the explanation at the parent's evening was that children often do the algorithm of addition or subtraction without understanding place value etc. I understand that, and I understand that this is supposed to remedy it. But it seems to me that DD is so bored of the SEAL exercises that she doesn't think about what she is doing either.

lostInTheWash Sun 03-Jan-16 14:12:41

Haven't come across SEAL - but had DC experiencing very poor maths teaching in Primary. We used - one of the many on-line maths programs at home - £10 a month per child. There are lots of out there and the Khan Academy is a free one that we'll go back to at some point.

Their old school took years to notice their considerable improvement - we've moved since and despite having little choice and getting a supposedly poorer school the maths teaching is I believe some of the best available and they are in a position to take full advantage of it.

ilovesooty Sun 03-Jan-16 14:13:45

Can't you make an appointment to discuss it at school?

GraduationBear Sun 03-Jan-16 14:14:29

Khan Academy looks fab.

I was even pondering the dreaded Kumon.

EddieStobbart Sun 03-Jan-16 14:14:44

I showed asked DD if she knew what a "ten frame" is and showed her the 2x5 dots - she says they don't get taught like that. We're in Edinburgh.

lostInTheWash Sun 03-Jan-16 14:16:14

Actually my DC current superior maths teaching at school does involve games, warm up and work sheets - it also involves worked examples and lots of practise.

I know because they've had parents in several times in the first term there to explain what they were doing and why and were more than happy to talk about it all in parent teacher conference as well.

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