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how can my 11 yr old sit his maths gcse?

(18 Posts)
charlize Tue 10-Feb-04 14:06:37

Any advice or experience of this?
My ds who is in yr6 is very advanced at maths. As you know I've been harping on about his 11 plus for months now but now that it is all over he has still been pestering me to keep studying maths at home.
At his request I bought him some gcse maths books and he has taught himself a lot of the work to my amazement. He is asking me if he could sit his gcse exam next summer.
How would we go about this? Would it have to be through the school?
He seems very eager and although I have never saw the point in sitting exams early I think it would be a wonderful confidence boost for him.
Also if he did sit the gcse at 12 what then??
Surely he would be wasting his time in normal maths lessons.

Slinky Tue 10-Feb-04 14:16:23

My DH took all of his "O" levels a year early at the end of his 4th year at Secondary.

He passed all of them - teachers/parents delighted etc.

But none of them thought about what he would do with his final year at Secondary. He was allowed to leave as he had only just turned 15 - was 15 in the May, sitting exams in June.

So he had to still attend school for the 5th year - but he wasn't required to attend any lessons. He used to just "doss around" school. After a while, boredom kicked in and he started getting into trouble.

Slinky Tue 10-Feb-04 14:17:08

sorry - just re-read that!

I meant to say "he WASN'T allowed to leave school as he had just turned 15!.

charlize Tue 10-Feb-04 14:21:00

Hi slinky. Couldn't he have gone straight on to A levels?

Jimjams Tue 10-Feb-04 14:21:56

He can sit his GCSE as a private candidate- but he would have to find a centre willing to let him do the exam there. (The school may do, or they may be totally against the idea). Does Maths GCSE have a coursework element? If so that can be difficult to do without the agreement of a centre.

First step perhaps is to talk to the school.

You may be better off looking for other ways to extend him though. There is a lot of choice online- especially from the States. It may be more rewarding as well- and teach him to really think and explore maths in depth (GCSE isn't necessarily the best way to do that).

I do know someone aged 14 who is going to be doing an OU computer course, but he had to get special permission from the OU- each case is looked at individually.

Galaxy Tue 10-Feb-04 14:21:59

message withdrawn

Slinky Tue 10-Feb-04 14:22:39

Nope - he did go on to do "A" levels but he couldn't start those until he was 16 and left school.

Had to go to a separate college for those though - his school didn't have a 6th Form attached.

SoupDragon Tue 10-Feb-04 14:31:15

Are there any evening classes for GCSE maths?

charlize Tue 10-Feb-04 14:35:44

Thanks galaxy :0 Iam really proud of him but I also don't want him to race too far ahead with exams and studying I want him to stay my little boy for a bit longer.
Thats very intersting jimjams about the ou course. My dh is thinking of starting one in maths. But first dh is considering resitting a level maths just so he can then help ds when the time comes. He already has a D in this but wants to try for an A.
Ds attends a maths workshop once a week in the evening. I wonder if they could help?
Thats a good point also about coursework. I have no idea if this is required. I know a large chunck of english is coursework though.

charlize Tue 10-Feb-04 14:38:53

Soupdragon, do you mean in a college? There are always resitt classes in colleges in the evenings but not sure how 11 yr old ds would feel sitting with late teens and twenties. He is quite shy anyway.
Can you imagine what they would be thinking. Whos this little upstart.

CountessDracula Tue 10-Feb-04 14:46:19

Slinky how silly, I did my O levels when I was 15 and went straight on to A levels, starting the courses when I was 15 too. Sounds like bad organisation on the part of the school to me.

Charlize maybe he could then take up something else instead of maths and get an extra GCSE? Or you could get him private tuition in maths and he could sit an early A level, prob is what does he do then?

Janh Tue 10-Feb-04 14:52:16

There have been several brilliant children at the grammar school here who started at 10, and took GCSEs at 15 and A levels at 17 - one then went straight to Oxford to study medicine - maybe things are organised differently now?

I also know a boy who took GCSE French very early, because he'd done a 6-month exchange while at primary school - but I'm not sure what he did during French lessons, so that's no help to Charlize.

There is coursework for maths GCSE btw. ds1 had to do predictions, surveys and write up a report, with graphs. (Forget what it was about.)

Slinky Tue 10-Feb-04 14:52:30


I know! Still infuriates DH now - by all accounts the school was pretty c***, so I think DH scared them a bit by being brighter than average Weren't too sure how to handle him!

This was way back in 1981 so hopefully things have changed!

From my education, I was pretty hopeless at Maths so asked if I could swap my Music class for an extra class in Maths (both classes were my Year Group). I was told no!!

As I was in the top group for French, I was then offered a German lesson in place of Music. Jumped at it (hated music) and although I loved German and got an 'O' level, I think it would have been more beneficial for me to have had that extra lesson in Maths.

Janh Tue 10-Feb-04 14:55:36

Also, some of the best Maths students used to take the GCSE at the end of Y10 (when the prodigies would be only 14) and then take Statistics GCSE in Y11 - but they've stopped doing that since Tech became compulsory - not enough time.

charlize, I would wait until you know which school he will be going to, and then ask their advice.

Oakmaiden Tue 10-Feb-04 16:55:23

To be honest I can't help thinking that the "what will he do during maths lessons if he has already done the GCSE" is a bit of a red herring. If he is GCSE level, then he is going to be bored in those classes whether or not he has taken the exam. If he has a high aptitude in maths then it is the school's responsibility to ensure that he receives appropriate tuition (hollow laugh). SOme will though - I do know of one school who hire a maths tutor to come in and give seperate maths lessons to a child who is *way* above year level in maths.

Hulababy Tue 10-Feb-04 17:04:34

Have you asked your DS's next school about their gifted and talented policy? All schools should have one, along with their SEN policy. This should allow for the most able pupils to have differentiated syllabuses which would allow for early exam entrance. However, a school would have to find staff to teach your son which may be more difficult to organise. Obviously very few pupils would be in his position so he may even require one-to-one. Not sure how that could be arranged. If he did that early then I guess the next step maybe to either concentrate on his other subjects for the rest of the time (in his maths lessons but working on different work to the rest of the class0 or for the differientaited lessons to continue whilst he did AS.

Not had time to read this but it is the government's standards sites info on gifted and talented policies in schools.

charlize Wed 11-Feb-04 10:58:04

Thanks everyone for all your advice.
Hulababy Thats very interesting about the gifted and talented policy I will defo ask about it at next parents night which is coming up in a couple of weeks.
Not sure though if I would want him segragated from his peers or made to feel different. Perhaps its best if he carrys on as normal but develops his talent outside of school in some way.
I have been reluctant to mention any of this to his teachers before as I didn't realise how advanced he was in maths till he attended this maths workshop. I knew he was top of the class and always gets 95-100% in maths exams but I thought this was usual.
I am now thinking that his school have been not stretching him at all and giving him work that he himself calls babyish can't be right.
I shall have a good talk to his teacher I think>

kiwisbird Wed 11-Feb-04 12:02:11

My son aged 10 is a gifted adn able student dxd through child psychology testing asked for by his school so they could better cater for his skills, he like your son excels in Maths and science and literature too, he is alos paino and violin and guitar, plus an able footballer and a talented artist.. Bloody exhasting aren't they! Never stops talking! we were advised against putting him up a class as it could affect him socially, instead he goes into extended groups within the school, he sats last yrs 11 + (Sats) mock up paper in Maths and gained 97% correct answers. Also in Englsih he gained over 90% too. These are only 2 he was allowed to sit and he is not permitted to sit the 11+ early at his school. He is very happy at school and has wide ranging out of school activities to reduce his boredom threshold. If he gets bored at school, they quickly deal with it, by setting advanced work within his age groups setting (yr 5)
We were warned about early sitting of GCSES for this reason, if they score poorly for any reason this result stays with them... If there is a way aorund this I'd be keen!


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