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If your child went to a older year for lessons, what did you do when they reached that year?

(25 Posts)
wineoclockthanks Wed 13-Apr-16 09:59:19

Bit of a clumsy title, sorry!

DS is very strong at maths and when in Year 3, he joined the Year 5 maths classes and now in Yr4 he's been doing Y6 maths.

The problem now comes that after the SATS, Year 6 basically cruise until July and he still has 2 more years at Primary school when he will be effectively repeating 2 years of maths.

The school are suggesting he stay with his year group and sit in the corner alone doing extension papers. We have a number of concerns about this but I was hoping someone had been in a similar situation and could share their experiences so we can make some constructive suggestions to the school.


var123 Wed 13-Apr-16 11:03:40

My DCs schools would resolutely have refused to move children up and down a year whether for all lessons, or just one. So, I don't have experience of that bit.
However, I do have a lot of experience of having a child who has long since mastered the year's work before the year starts.

I think the short answer is sideways stretching but this relies upon:-
1. The teacher having the skills to do it. You only need a C at GCSE Maths to get into teaching college, so if your son is unlucky enough to get a teacher who scraped her GCSE, then she's not likely to have much maths knowledge outside the NC curriculum.

2. The teacher having the time and inclination to do it.

Basketofchocolate Wed 13-Apr-16 17:05:26

Mine has done so for R to 1, then 1 to 2 and now in Yr 2 stays in 2 but with work at Yr5-6 with another child.

Am not sure when he moves to the next school in Sept to Yr 3 what will happen as has covered a lot of Yr 4 already.

irvine101 Wed 13-Apr-16 17:20:30

I only have partial experience of this. They used to send my ds 2 years above since reception until last year, but always stopping mid year due to disruption with time tables every year. He never completed any year properly in same setting. This year they given up sending him up the years, said they will differentiate within class. I don't think it's happening. Now I just give him resources at home to work at his level.

LifeIsGoodish Wed 13-Apr-16 18:04:46

Ds is one of the top 3/4 mathematicians in his class (Y4). I don't know exact levels, as the school won't give us that information or move children out of their year groups. But at home he is happily working his way through a Y7 revision workbook that he found lying around. Probably belonged to one of his elder siblings. He can't do everything in it because he hasn't been taught it yet, and TBH I'm wary of teaching it to him in case he then gets bored later on. However I may have slipped up on the 'not teaching' a few times, because he keeps telling me "we learnt XYZ in maths today. I already knew it."!

Some of the other child love getting harder or longer papers, but ds does not. So in class the teachers get him to focus on strengthening his weaknesses, which are mostly concentration, presentation (including how to write down his thought processes) and mental maths. He also supports other children, which he enjoys. I'm wary of pupils being TAs for their peers, but in ds's case it is a very effective strategy, as helps him to retain focus on a task and to articulate his thought processes in maths.

They try to take the group of high ability children out of a maths lesson from time to time to give them an extension activity which isn't just a harder paper, but a hands-on exploration which gets them to discover things for themselves.

irvine101 Wed 13-Apr-16 18:24:07

Apart from our beloved khan academy and ixl, we regularly use nrich ( ), which you must know already. There is sister site wildmaths( ) as well. And I recently found this site through other poster.( )
There's also ( ) has been suggested by other posters, and ( ) afterwards.

DixieNormas Wed 13-Apr-16 18:26:00

mine went to the local secondary one day a week in year 6

Chasingsquirrels Wed 13-Apr-16 18:35:25

Ds1's yr 6 class teacher (in a mixed yr 5/6 class) contacted the local secondary to get the resources to extend ds1, he had a session with the class teacher towards the end of the maths lesson with what he had done and prep for the next lesson, then the next lesson he got on with what they had been through while the teacher did the main maths lesson with the rest of the class. It seemed to work well and ds wasn't bored at all.

The problem came in yr 7 when the didn't set and he was in a mixed ability class with no differentiation. It wasn't until Feb when we had a parents evening and I talked about the yr 6 position that his teacher even knew about it!
I also expressed that he was bored, and things improved a little, he was given more extension work

Now in yr 8 they are set, and it seems much better

irvine101 Wed 13-Apr-16 19:11:00

DixieNormas and Chasingsquirrels, I wish the situation was same as your dc's school.

Couchpotato3 Wed 13-Apr-16 19:17:09

My DNephew was in this position. His school drafted in some sixth formers from a local secondary to give them some extra maths sessions. It was a win-win as the sixth-formers used this as a 'community service' activity for their cv/personal statements. Now he is bored and coasting in Year 7 maths.....
Unfortunately this is likely to be a recurring problem, however the teachers at secondary school will have a higher level of maths qualification so may be better equipped to stretch your DC.

DixieNormas Wed 13-Apr-16 20:16:41

I think we were probably lucky, it wasn't a fantastic ofsted primary or anything they went up to good just as ds was leaving. All the primary schools in the area did the same thing, there were quite a few dcs going one day a week.

They put them in sets as soon as they were in year 7 too, ds2 is in year 8 now and doing really well

SugarMiceInTheRain Wed 13-Apr-16 20:26:05

Sat repeating stuff and doing loads of 'extension' work around that topic for the next 3 years hmm We do extra maths with him at home just so he's learning something. Can't wait for him to start secondary school in September, so that he has the chance to be stretched a bit for a change. Apparently the new curriculum changes mean that they have to keep them all where they are and not let them go up for any lessons, but just stretch them horizontally if you know what I mean.

var123 Wed 13-Apr-16 20:51:54

Ds2 is in Y7 and Ds1 is in Y9. I thought secondary school would stretch them too, but it doesn't.

At parent's night last month, the Y9 maths teacher told DS1 that she knows he's been unchallenged this year, and she expects that he'll be unchallenged for the next two years too, but not all of the A level will be easy (although most of it will be).

That's what she volunteered - I don't ask any more. I've realised that its futile.

Looking back, I think the main thing i wished I'd warned my seven year younger self was to not have expectations of work that challenges the DC and to look out for the perfectionism that falls out of being asked to do the same thing again and again until the child begins to make up a challenge for themselves of getting 100% scores 20 times in a row and doing the work in 1/4 of the allotted time. Its not good for them to feel a failure if they "only" get 98% one time.

irvine101 Wed 13-Apr-16 21:33:07

Only thing I really worry about with letting him get on with his own learning is his knowledge is very patchy. One of the poster on primary gave me a link to old NC level 6,7 and 8 maths. He can do some of them very well, but haven't got a clue with something. And I don't have enough knowledge of maths to help him to cover everything. It is very scary.

yomellamoHelly Wed 13-Apr-16 21:54:47

I'd prioritise doing extension work in maths at home yourselves.
My ds's primary wouldn't move him up (though doubt it would have helped much) and the teachers just didn't have the maths skills to stretch him. Often their solution would be to set him a much higher number of questions than everyone else as he was done so quickly. He found it really demoralising.
Ds did KS3 maths at the end of year 4 and in year 5 at home. Started GCSE (foundation) in year 6.
Has done higher this year (7) and has started on further maths. The more he does the quicker he picks things up and we're moving through it pretty quickly. This is backed up (for the first time) by what he's doing in class (but he wants to continue at home).
His primary put him in the highest set in year 6 for what it was worth and he's setted again this year. It's only this year (7) that he's with others at the same level as him. I like that he's getting a bit of a reality check as to his ability. They move on to A-level next year. Result is that he lives and breathes maths at the moment.
A number of his peers relied on tutors to challenge them (and help them go super-selective / independent...). We couldn't afford that route.

yomellamoHelly Wed 13-Apr-16 21:59:13

Var123 's comments ring a bell too. Ds became obsessed with constantly getting 100% in everything all the time to the extent where he would get horribly upset because he'd made a silly mistake and dropped a few percent. Is only now at secondary that he's starting to calm down on that front.

sunnydayinmay Wed 13-Apr-16 22:03:13

Our primary was fantastic. DS was in year 6 for maths in year 4, top set year 6 in year 5, and an extension class with a secondary teacher twice a week in year 6. He is now top table, top set at secondary.

I did pick the secondary specifically because of how they set maths though.

insan1tyscartching Wed 13-Apr-16 22:17:50

Ds's school arranged for a maths teacher from the neighbouring secondary school to set work, mark and teach ds a couple of times every half term.He was year three when he had exhausted what primary school could teach him.We have his certificate that says "for loving maths so much and producing more work than we can keep up with" Of course this happened in the mid nineties don't suppose there is that option nowadays.

mrsmortis Thu 14-Apr-16 13:46:02

My Y8 DNephew has been set up with a mentor from the maths department of a local university to keep stretching him on the maths front (initially because he'd come up with what his maths teacher thought was a new and novel theory relating to number theory and they wanted it checked by an expert). In primary they didn't have the facilities to stretch him like that but they did make sure he got places on the county G&T days for maths and his extension work was sideways (e.g. cryptography, game theory, etc). It did help it was a small village primary where parental involvement was encouraged so the fact that he had a maths graduate for a grandfather and 3 graduate engineers in the family to suggest sideways interests for him was considered a good thing.

teeththief Fri 15-Apr-16 21:42:04

DS (now y6) was sat with the top year 6 set from year 3 onwards. Repeated work every year and, now he's year 6, we've been told the new cirriculum means he has to show 'mastery' in everything they need to know - which he can do but they're only testing the mastery one topic at a time so aren't extending him at all or teaching him anything new. It's beyond frustrating

irvineoneohone Fri 15-Apr-16 21:58:38

Same here, teeththief. At parents' eve, we've been told his targets. I said he can do that already, and teacher said, well, we haven't cover that yet. sad

var123 Sat 16-Apr-16 07:05:30

I experienced the same problem (just re-doing stuff long since mastered) before the new curriculum came into force a year and a half ago. I think the new curriculum has made it worse because it gives teacher more to do with the less able but it doesn't insist that the more able to be allowed to develop.

There's not much you can do about IMHO. If the teacher wants to go above and beyond what the government is paying her for, then she's probably already doing it. If she doesn't (or can't because she has so much other work to do), then your child will be left proving and then re-proving their mastery of a skill/ piece of info.

Frustratingly, the teacher will write in a report that your child has made progress. its frustrating because you both know she's playing with words to hide the truth. She'll justify it by pointing out that you DC achieved a higher level than ever before in a test and she'll look at you like she doesn't know what planet you are from when you point out that its only because your Dc was never allowed to sit a test at that level before but was able to do all the things in the test for at least a couple of years.

Ofsted will be content because the records show progress. Its a case of lies, damned lies and statistics.

teeththief Sat 16-Apr-16 19:49:57

DS' teacher apologised to me earlier in the year var123. She knows how frustrated I am but pretty much said her hands are tied with the whole having to work through the mastery of every single topic. We've also been told they can't say a child is working above expected levels in maths any more and that they can only be 'at expected level' or 'working towards expected level'. All the work DS has done over the last 3 or 4 years obviously counts for nothing sad

Ive given up hoping anything will change now and we're keeping our fingers crossed for secondary school

irvineoneohone Sat 16-Apr-16 20:27:35

"they can't say a child is working above expected levels in maths any more and that they can only be 'at expected level' or 'working towards expected level'. "

I think my ds's teacher said something similar. I didn't really understand it.
Why the child who is obviously working "above" cannot get it? It's very confusing. Does that depends on each school? Can any teacher clarify this please?

teeththief Sat 16-Apr-16 22:42:49

I just found this on the website which confirms they can't be beyond expected levels in maths

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