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Year 6 child - NO Maths teaching yet this term! Advice needed (mixed 5/6 class)

(29 Posts)
Mummybear3 Wed 26-Sep-12 23:53:46

(Maths only) My y6 child has been left to do old maths worksheets all this term without access to ANY new material and has had absolutely NO teaching contact at all. Each day during Maths time, she and her partner are given old worksheets from last year whilst the teacher and the TA both work with the other children. When they finish early, they are given more handouts or told to read in the reading corner.

Not quite believing it, I waited patiently until today to approach her teacher, who much to my complete surprised, admitted it! She said this term they were trying a new strategy of concentrating only on the lower ability children. She asked if I could be patient and raise it again with her in November.

My daughter achieved 5a's on all of her her mock SAT at end of year 5 (age 9) and to be honest I was concerned about how they were going to manage her this year as they don't seem to recognise G&T. Less of a problem last year as she worked with the top y6s. Whilst I am sympathetic about the difficulties for the teacher trying to teach Maths in a mixed year 5/6 class, surely my daughter's needs also deserve to be addressed? What should I do? I get on very well with the teacher and until now have been very happy.

alphabite Thu 27-Sep-12 02:12:22

I would talk to the head. If you get no joy talk to the chair of governors. A teacher can not ignore one group of children to solely concentrate on another for weeks on end. Completely unnaceptable. I imagine they are worried this low ability group won't hit level 4 for SATs but that is no excuse for shoddy maths teaching for your child.

WofflingOn Thu 27-Sep-12 02:24:22

Unacceptable on any level. Head and governors, contact them and ask them for their opinion on the policy. Your DD should be working on level 5a and level 6 stiff, and be getting direct teaching every week.

EBDTeacher Thu 27-Sep-12 07:01:39

Mr Gove will love your school.

Sirzy Thu 27-Sep-12 07:04:49

What a bizzare strategy. ALL children should be getting input not just those who struggle more.

I would go to see the head at the first opportunity and ask for the rationale behind their strategy and how he was ensuring your DD is meeting her potential

exoticfruits Thu 27-Sep-12 07:18:56

I agree with alphabite - see the Head at the first opportunity. Make a huge fuss- it is a completely unacceptable strategy. ( League tables should be abolished because this strategy is all about the league table).

Brycie Thu 27-Sep-12 07:21:02

That's absolutely dreadful and completely unfair. Completely agree with exoti c on the "make a huge fuss" and also about abolishing league tables but obviously you aren't going to achieve that! But this is just shocking.

Brycie Thu 27-Sep-12 07:21:37

EBT teacher I don't think Michael Gove would love that at all, I think he'd absolutely hate it.

Brycie Thu 27-Sep-12 07:23:21

In fact I'd be so worried I would look at getting extra help. If you can't afford a tutor do you have any friends with say Year Nine children who are very capable at maths and can start taking her through some of the stuff she should be doing, which won't be difficult to find out. How on earth is she going to catch up.

exoticfruits Thu 27-Sep-12 07:25:11

Tell them that you will write to Ofsted - that should do the trick.

exoticfruits Thu 27-Sep-12 07:26:49

I think that EBT was being ironic, Brycie.

Brycie Thu 27-Sep-12 07:36:45

Oh right! In that case I think we agree that he'd hate it EBT? Definitely a result of the focus on league tables success at the expense of actually teaching the children stuff. It's terrible this sort of thing goes on.

exoticfruits Thu 27-Sep-12 07:46:46

I have never heard of it going on elsewhere - the general response is to give extra help to those who struggle, but not at the expense of the rest.
It stinks as a strategy. Basically OP's DD is already secure and can't fail to get a level 4, which is all that matters for the league table. She goes to school to be taught at her level and that is what they should be doing. It is a good example if why league tables are no more than a rough guide for choosing a school. They could end up with almost 100% at level 4 and above and yet failing to teach adequately.

lljkk Thu 27-Sep-12 10:05:13

level 4, which is all that matters for the league table

Is it? I thought that Level 5 numbers were published (?& maybe L6?). I know as a parent I look at the sort of info, to see if the school has a range of ability, not just % that pass the L4 threshold.

exoticfruits Thu 27-Sep-12 11:07:53

A sensible parent would look at the higher levels, but it is the percentage of level 4s which will give their position in the league table.

outtolunchagain Thu 27-Sep-12 11:44:02

My ds is also in year 6 and sounds about the same level as your dd . Just to give you some idea of what he has done this term; first week was revising long multiplication, week 2 revision of long division, now doing adding and subtraction of fractions and ordering of fractions by size with different denominators.Plus weekly tables and mental maths tests.
Can't remember the name of the book they are using , will have a look tonight , maybe you could get sme materials and cover stuff at home.
Personally I would be appalled at this and would be straight up to the Heads office

EBDTeacher Thu 27-Sep-12 14:11:12

No, Gove is proposing that levels are abolished and replaced with objectives that must be taught and learned in each year group.

The over-riding emphasis is on ensuring that ALL children meet the correct chronological set of objectives, as such removing the 'tail' of low achievers and narrowing the gap between low and high achievers.

The suggestion is that able children could be stretched sideways (so basically applying the same skills they already have in different ways) but NOT to introduce new 'higher' content to them.

learnandsay Thu 27-Sep-12 14:17:42

Narrowing the gap between the lowest and highest achievers? What about the fact that some pupils are just more capable than others? Surely that objective is just plain silly.

EBDTeacher Thu 27-Sep-12 14:23:40

Gove is just plain silly.

madwomanintheattic Thu 27-Sep-12 14:27:44

It's plain silly if it means holding the higher level learners back. It's not if it involves raising the lower level learners up.

But as well know, that's more difficult. So schools adopt this tactic instead.

Fwiw, dd2 did this all last year. She was in a split 3/4, and she and her partner did the same thing - worked from a higher level text book whilst the teacher taught the rest of the class. The teacher did admit that dd2 wasn't progressing as if she got stuck, there was no one to explain concepts. Her solution wasn't to teach dd2 and the other child, but to encourage them to ask for help when she got to something she didn't understand.

I think it's quite common.

If it helps, ds1 is in a 5/6 split as well, but I chucked my toys out of the box for various reasons, and he is now supposed to be going to 7 for math, to get some actual teaching.

exoticfruits Thu 27-Sep-12 17:43:17

Sillier than I thought then,EBD.

CouthyMowWearingOrange Thu 27-Sep-12 18:06:23

Oh my goodness, I would be doing my stack!!

DS1's Y6 class has a group of 3 plus an able Y5 DC that are taken out of the classroom and taught Maths in the library by a HLTA with a Maths degree, as they are so far ahead of the rest of their peers.

If they were left with no input and no teaching time, I would FREAK.

Just because my DS1 and the others in his group are already at lvl 6-8 in Maths, there is no reason for them not to be pushed further and taught to their abilities.

These DC's are all sitting the Lvl 6 SATS papers this year - are your school not doing this?

pointythings Thu 27-Sep-12 18:50:14

I think this is outrageous, and what Gove is planning for chronological objectives is just as outrageous - and it will hold back able children, just the sort of dumbing down he professes to oppose.

I'd be in the Head's office like a shot, and if that didn't help I'd be taking it a lot further up the chain - OFSTED would probably be very interested.

exoticfruits Thu 27-Sep-12 19:00:38

Talk to the Head-if you don't get anywhere tell them that you will be writing to Ofsted.

teacherwith2kids Thu 27-Sep-12 19:13:57


Head, Governors, Oftsed in that order - and over a short timescale. I would suggest that you set a timescale for seeing change with the head that would see you writing to Ofsted at half term if it's not fully resolved - 2 weeks to see sustained change then it's the governors, 2 more weeks and it's Oftsed kind of thing.

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