# Talk

## What maths can your 7 1/2 year old actually do?

(40 Posts)
TwoPlusTwoEqualsFive Thu 08-Sep-11 09:09:15

Sorry if similar question has been asked before but not happy with current school (not UK) and want to know if this is "normal" or what an average-ability child should be aspiring to at this age:

- Basic addition, numbers up to 20. Recognises units of ten 20, 30, 40 etc. but can't add them
- Basic subtraction, numbers up to 10. Struggles with anything above 11.

That's it.

weegiemum Thu 08-Sep-11 09:13:49

More than that!

Times tables 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, numbers up to 100 addition and subtraction.

She's just started primary 4 (yr3) in Scotland. We had homework this week - numbers to 1000 place (in top maths set). She'll be 8 in Nov.

TwoPlusTwoEqualsFive Thu 08-Sep-11 09:25:17

as I said I have serious misgivings anyway and the maths teacher in particular. Does your dd find these things relatively easy?

munstersmum Thu 08-Sep-11 09:29:51

Not a teacher - have a feeling that what you describe would not be 'average' for a child at end of KS1 ie been at school 3 years.

DS 7 last month can do all times tables up to 12x12. I know whole class Yr2 just started on fractions before the summer break. Telling the time.

newtermnewname Thu 08-Sep-11 09:32:29

DD is also 7 1/2. I'd say that she can, reliably -

X tables of 2,3,4,5,6,7,9,10,11
division facts for most of above
place value to ten thousands
add and subtract numbers up to 100 in her head and on paper using a variety of methods for larger numbers
solve one and two step word problems
tell the time to 5 minute intervals

weegiemum Thu 08-Sep-11 09:38:15

Forgot to mention time.

Dd2 can el the time to the minute using a clock in our dining room with no numbers.

From what I said - she isi now on 6, 7, 8, x tables.

Her maths is held back slightly by the fact she is bilngually educated (English/Scots Gaelic) so she also has to learn all the terms in a foreign language. But my P7 (Y6, age 11) dd1 iis already doing algebra, so they do catch up!

Francagoestohollywood Thu 08-Sep-11 09:40:32

Where are you Twoplus?
A 7.5 yr old child would be in their second yr of primary here in Italy, and this is what they learn in their second yr:
- they master addiction and subtraction (like 73 + 12) etc
- Hundreds
- time tables (1,2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
multiplications
- solving problems with addictions, subtractions and multiplication
- interpret graphics and statistics

And other stuff, I can't remember

Francagoestohollywood Thu 08-Sep-11 09:41:17

And of course tell the time, though here it is considereded part of the History program

TwoPlusTwoEqualsFive Thu 08-Sep-11 09:42:54

Now I'm really worried. I've just looked at the national curriculum guidelines for the country I'm in, and there is no mention of multiplication for the first year. Maths is actually number 5 on the list of subjects, it looks like it has a really low priority. Then I looked at the UK national curriculum and it's far more comprehensive. I just wanted to check that what's on the UK NC actually corresponds with people's real life experiences.

Primary school only starts at age 6 here so she's only been at school a year, but I was kind of hoping that as they start later they would find it easier to grasp concepts because they're a bit older, not that they just don't learn stuff, IYSWIM.

Are your schools regular state primaries? I'm sorry for all the questions but I need lots of ammunition in my battle to get the education I want for my child.

TwoPlusTwoEqualsFive Thu 08-Sep-11 09:47:34

thanks franca same country as you. (I've namechanged about a billion times). I need to establish whether it's the maths teacher that's useless (I have suspicions as nobody has anything good to say about her and she is less than forthcoming when you ask her things), or whether it's DD who's no good at maths and needs extra help. I also struggled with maths but have very clear memory of learning times tables off a wall chart at age 6.

Francagoestohollywood Thu 08-Sep-11 09:48:52

No, they don't do multiplications in the first year of primary here in Italy too. Why would they? They do it in the second yr.

They do catch up. Where are you?

munstersmum Thu 08-Sep-11 09:49:40

DS is in a village state primary but as I said just entering yr3 ie his 4th year at school.

Your DD has only been at school 1 yr. Kids here in the first year don't tend to learn multiplication either. They may pick up pace down the line. Guess it depends on if you are coming back soon or can play the liong game of will she be at a good level at say age11?

Francagoestohollywood Thu 08-Sep-11 09:50:24

So your dd did prima? I wouldn't worry, they take it slow in prima, and then in seconda they learn all the time tables by heart and do multiplications in line etc.

Francagoestohollywood Thu 08-Sep-11 09:54:53

Two, my dd starts seconda on Monday and they only did numbers up to 20 with addition and subtraction.
My ds will start quarta and I know that in seconda they work a lot. I think it is good that they take it slowly the first year, though some teachers move faster than others. It also depends on how the class responds. I think dd's teachers move more slowly than ds because they have a higher number of pupils (thanks to Mrs Gelmini ) etc

DeWe Thu 08-Sep-11 09:57:45

We're a mathematical family, so I may be overestimating average, but that looks roughly where I'd expect an average yr1 to be at the end of the year.

TwoPlusTwoEqualsFive Thu 08-Sep-11 09:57:46

actually I haven't been worrying too much, thinking it's ok she'll catch up. But over the summer holidays she just refused to do any maths homework - and it was really simple 2+2 stuff - saying she hates it and doesn't understand it, the teacher shouts and she doesn't see the point.
Other mums seem to have a similar attitude to me i.e. not stressing too much about the 1st year but it's more what we don't say about the teacher than what we do say... I know of one mum who has a child at the school but enrolled her 2nd child elsewhere because she didn't like the maths teacher. Trouble is I chose this school because our local one is even worse.

TheSmallPrint Thu 08-Sep-11 09:59:38

My 7.5yo DS is doing stuff as others have listed above but he has been at school for three years already and has just started his fourth year. If you are concerned - and have the time- why not get some books like this and do a bit at home with him? These are really nicely done books which make it quite fun.

TheSmallPrint Thu 08-Sep-11 10:00:17

NB. There are lots of different publishers of these type of books - I am not promoting this one!!

TwoPlusTwoEqualsFive Thu 08-Sep-11 10:03:51

thanks smallprint I already have similar carol vorderman workbooks and a copy of the KS1 papers. She can't understand a lot of the stuff in the KS1 workbook so haven't even tried the tests yet. Also DS who's 18 months younger is extremely bright and can already do most of the things DD can which just makes her feel bad ... perhaps she needs a private tutor

ForYourDreamsAreChina Thu 08-Sep-11 10:05:51

I am also in the same country as franca and you, OP, and also a namechanger. My child is the same age, give or take, and did all that franca listed plus started on some division stuff at the end of last term.

My child's maestra prevalente is a maths graduate and it is her thing though, so she might be pushing them above and beyond the curriculum. (no bad thing as maths is so not my thing!) but I'd certainly be questioning why your child is doing what seems to be so little.

It's hard to compare an Italian primary with a UK one as regards "years", as the children my child's age in the UK are just starting year 3 (if we don't count reception, in which case it would be their 4th year of full time education) so to look at what a UK child would be doing, I'm guessing we would need to look, not at what a yr 1-2 child would be doing, but what a yr 3-4 child would? Which surely would be a heck of a lot more than what the OP's child seems to be doing?

ForYourDreamsAreChina Thu 08-Sep-11 10:08:31

Another thought, what coursebook does your daughter use OP? My child's coursebook for maths is part of the Scopro series by Giunti and they had one for the first year and one for the second year. Even the first year one (IIRC) went way beyond what you have listed and they finished all of that some time before the end of prima.

It sounds to me to be more that the teacher doesn't care much for maths so doesn't really push it (which I can understand, because I'd be the same) but it's not helping the children.

izzy1020 Thu 08-Sep-11 10:08:54

My child is age 7.2 and cannot do all the times tables as stated above. Nor is it an expectation for the end of year 2/start of year 3.
i think considering your child has only been in school 1 year it would almost certainly not be an expectation for your child.
Mine can count forward's/backward's in 2's, 5's and 10's, mentally add/subtract numbers up to 20, on paper add/subtract numbers up to 100. My child can do division by explaining it as sharing. eg 20 shared by 4.
I have no reason to worry they are behind(report says spot on) as I have 2 elder children who have achieved very well at primary and secondary so please don't worry.
Here is a link to a list of objectives for each UK year group www.counton.org/resources/numeracy/pdfs/keyobj.pdf

AgonyBeetle Thu 08-Sep-11 10:18:21

There's a lot of differentiation in UK primary schools. My dd's Y3 class (age 7) will have children who can read big fat books fluently, right down to dc who are struggling with three words per page.

Similarly with maths, there will be dc who know all their times tables (will have learnt this at home though, rather than at school - it's actually not that hard to teach once they've got the idea) but I'd put good money there are still dc who can't reliably recall addition facts to 20, and possibly to 10.

The UK system is good for dc who are keen and ready to learn and have had a lot of input at home, but can make others feel like failures early on because it takes them a bit longer to get up to speed. There's a good argument to be made for starting a bit later with formal teaching on the basis that the process will then be much faster. They do all catch up, and lots of EU countries have secondary school pupils at higher maths levels than the UK.

Basic maths, like reading and writing, is not a particularly high-order skill - kids with moderate learning difficulties can get the hang of it perfectly well. Dc who are introduced to it later will on the whole just zip through it more quickly. Think of it as a bit like potty training - if dc are ready to be dry at 2.5 on average, you can start at 2.4 and it will take a month. Or you can start at 1.5 and it will take a year to get to the same point, with lots of argument, upset and wet pants along the way.

fret not.

Francagoestohollywood Thu 08-Sep-11 10:19:54

I think Twoplus your problem might rest in the teacher, rather than the Italian curriculum. Is she di ruolo, or are there any chances she might not be there this year?

And just to reassure you with regards to homework during the summer holidays: ds really struggled with his after his first yr at school. He just didn't want to do them as he was knackered and despite the fact that he was really good at math and he loved his math teacher!

I'd wait and see, if she is only starting seconda. I can assure you that the second yr there is a significant change in what they do in all the subjects (wait until they start grammar ...)

TwoPlusTwoEqualsFive Thu 08-Sep-11 10:24:57

Well ForYourDreams I can only go on my gut instinct which is telling me they are definitely on the under-achieving side. They are using a book called Linea del Venti - I've just read the blurb on the back and it says "especially recommended for children who have problems in adding and subtracting". With a below-average class size of only 22 I cannot see why there should be any problems.
And yes, I want to know what is age-appropriate for DD, i.e. what an average 7-yo can learn with proper teaching. If she's behind now, what on earth will happen if I do finally manage to get her into secondary-school education in the UK. I'm seriously considering extra tuition now, I don't want to turn into pushy uber-mum but at the same time maths is so important and I don't want her to struggle with it for years.

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