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Maths GCSE in Primary

(407 Posts)
winterisstillcoming Sun 13-May-18 21:49:48

Hey everybody, I was wondering if you could help clear something up for me.

I was speaking to my SIL yesterday who told me her Y5 son is revising for his maths GCSE. He is at independent school. I said be careful only the first attempt counts. As a trustee of an Academy trust that has recently decided not to put students forward early for this reason, I thought I knew what I was talking about. Apparently not according to my SIL.

So was she correct, and is it an independent school thing that students are allowed to resit? Which puts my Trust's students at a disadvantage??

She was so bloody patronising too. And she got my nephews GCSE text books out at a family wedding.confused

ScarlettDarling Sun 13-May-18 21:56:18

I've never heard of the not being able to resit... surely that can't be right?

ScarlettDarling Sun 13-May-18 21:57:05

Mind, I've never heard of y5 children doing GCSEs either, so what do I know?!

Opheliasgoldenwine Sun 13-May-18 21:59:29

I'm sure you can resit?!

upsideup Sun 13-May-18 22:00:25

I think its normal for you to be able to resit maths GCSE

Judashascomeintosomemoney Sun 13-May-18 22:01:06

Well I don’t know the answer to your specific question but I thought that now if you fail GCSE maths you have to do multiple resits til you pass, so how can only your first attempt count?

AChickenCalledKorma Sun 13-May-18 22:02:24

I think resits don't count in the league tables. Which would be why your school has changed its practice.

OutsideContextProblem Sun 13-May-18 22:05:26

Nothing prevents you from resitting. Only the first attempt counts for school league tables, but that’s no skin off the child’s nose and a primary school doesn’t care either.

The most competitive universities may get fussy about retakes but this is clearly an unusual situation so they’d probably cut him some slack if he “only” gets a 6 this time and has to get his 9 later.

NaughtToThreeSadOnions Sun 13-May-18 22:05:41

Surely any one is able to resist pretty much any GCSE, what do you mean only the first attempt counts? For what?

In fact n some professions I s not uncommon for people having to resist GCSE maths and English at a much later date as they demand a C or above.

While I think exams over several years are less respected by universities, I don't think resetting GCSE maths is going to disadvantage any one.

Theimpossiblegirl Sun 13-May-18 22:05:46

A year 5 sitting the new GCSE must be amazing at maths- my bright 16 year old just had a total wobble as GCSEs start tomorrow. I wouldn't wish this pressure on a younger child, they have to know so much compared to when I sat my GCSEs.

TeenTimesTwo Sun 13-May-18 22:06:41

I know this one (I think).

The resit counts for you, but not for the school.

So if you take a GCSE maths in y9 and get a 5, then retake in y11 and get an 8, it is the grade 5 that will count for the school stats.

But for uni applications you have to detail whether something was a resit so taking in y5 (totally ridiculous) will have to be declared on uni forms.

Anyway, it is totally ridiculous to put a 10yo in for GCSE maths. It is boasting rights only imo. They should be widening knowledge of stuff not on the GCSE maths curriculum or looking at maths Olympiad questions or stuff like that.

I bet @noblegiraffe will have an opinion!

Coolaschmoola Sun 13-May-18 22:07:33

I teach GCSE in FE. 99% of them are resits.

I have never heard of only the first counting - if that were true I'd be unemployed!

TheSecondOfHerName Sun 13-May-18 22:07:48

Students can definitely resit Maths GCSE, because Further Education colleges offer it alongside Level 3 courses.

However, I don't understand the benefit of taking it in Y5. Even if he gets grade 9, what will he do after that? Will he take A-level Maths in Y7 or Y8? Then what? His school will be expected to keep teaching him Maths until he is 16. If he wants to study Maths at university, he needs to keep studying Maths until he is 18, in order to retain the skills.

Numbkinnuts Sun 13-May-18 22:08:49

Why on earth put a Yr 5 through a GCSE maths ?

TheSecondOfHerName Sun 13-May-18 22:10:05

As TeenTimesTwo says, this attempt will have to be included on his UCAS form, whatever grade he gets.

Haskell Sun 13-May-18 22:11:32

Anyone can resit, but only first entry counts for performance tables, which of course don't include independent schools.

OutsideContextProblem Sun 13-May-18 22:11:54

I do think that the schools who made major changes to their exam policy as a result of the league tables changes on resits were showing themselves up terribly as having acted against the best interests of their pupils. Either taking early is in the child’s best interests or it isn’t. The league table rules should not come into it. And yes I know that the schools found themselves under terrible pressure but it doesn’t make it right.

AChickenCalledKorma Sun 13-May-18 22:13:53

My eldest had a go at some GCSE maths at that age. Maths is her thing and she enjoyed the challenge. Sitting the exam for real would have been way too much for her, but I can imagine that some extremely able young mathematicians might give it a shot.

There were young teenagers playing concertos on the BBC this evening (Young Musician 2018). It's not that different.

winterisstillcoming Sun 13-May-18 22:34:15

Thank you all so much for your help.

Agree with you all re: sitting them at primary. WTF? I'm feeling so sorry for the little guy. My OwnDS (y3) is gifted and talented at maths and is just concentrating on having fun with his little friends and learning about all sorts.

Argh of course now I get it it's all about the bloody league tables.
And of course primary schools will enter the kids if they can charge the parents accordingly as it doesn't affect their league tables. Interesting.

I WILL be asking questions at my next trust meeting and asking WHY gifted children are not with sitting early so they can do further maths etc. Feeling a bit misled by my exec. Head.

Also v. Interesting about uni applications.

Honestly SIL's a nightmare. Banging on about private school. I guess she's just proud of her son (I am proud of nephew too).

But she's right tho isn't she? Bugger.

Numbkinnuts Sun 13-May-18 22:38:07

It should be what is right for the child not school or parents.

winterisstillcoming Sun 13-May-18 22:54:06

Agree numb, which is why I'm not liking this trust wide policy. Especially when I'm being preached to about personalisation of learning by HTs.

Every day is a learning day.

noblegiraffe Sun 13-May-18 23:57:25

I WILL be asking questions at my next trust meeting and asking WHY gifted children are not with sitting early

Because it’s a terrible thing to do as general policy, and it’s the reason the DfE introduced the ‘first time counts’ policy for the league tables, to put a stop to it. Schools were routinely entering their whole top set for GCSE early, the kids were coming away with lower grades than they might have done in Y11 and weren’t being offered the option to resit to improve a B to an A or A to an A*. They spent Y11 concentrating on other subjects, which was then a disaster for A-level maths, or they started (and mostly failed) A-level maths modules.

First time counts policy for league tables doesn’t apply, I believe, to GCSEs sat in primary school. Secondaries don’t have control over that.

NaughtToThreeSadOnions Mon 14-May-18 00:31:19

noble i get that your the expert, but as a blanket policy not to allow children who are cabable and ready to sit early (and im not talking year 5 early) is also a bad idea isnt it? It means children dont feel streched or like maths is worth it.

I have no experince of it with maths but surely the whole idea of indervidal needs is that blanket policies either way dont work partically well

meditrina Mon 14-May-18 07:43:02

It's not all about league tables, because independent schools don't feature in them in the same way (no SATS, no baseline tests, taking exams which aren't approved for inclusion etc). Also, primary schools don't report on GCSEs, so it wouldn't be in the league tables even in the maintained sector.

Maths prodigies sometimes take the public exams early, just for fun, and usually (if there can be a 'usual' for such a small group) do extremely well. (And I wouldn't think it unusual for top set maths at top of primary to be capable of passing a foundation level paper, especially if extension/enrichment work at that age has covered more topics so they can tackle pretty much the whole paper)

noblegiraffe Mon 14-May-18 07:47:06

You can be stretched and not sit maths early. The OP mentioned further maths. At my school top set sit GCSE maths and further maths in Y11. There’s no need to sit maths early to sit further maths. It means that the ‘weaker’ students have the extra time to get their maths up to the highest grade they can and if they are looking like the further maths is taking too much effort, they can drop it and concentrate on their maths. It is especially important now with the grade 9 that students sit at the right time - no one knows where that grade boundary will be as it’s a competition, so it would be quite rare to enter a student totally confident that they are going to get the top grade.

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