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What is your Year 5 child doing in Maths?

(42 Posts)
Dancergirl Wed 01-May-13 14:27:40

I just want to get an idea of what sort of topics are being covered.

It's come to light recently that a lot of children in my dd's Year 5 class are bored in Maths and not learning anything new. There is no differentiation what they learn so the most able are doing the same work as the ones struggling with Maths.

A lot of the children in the class will be sitting exams for the local consortium schools and generally the questions on the practice papers are much harder than topics covered in class.

Dd tells me they have recently been working on place number and different ways of multiplying and dividing by 10 and 100. It all seems very basic. They have done very little on fractions - adding, multiplying etc.

I am actually very worried/cross about the situation but don't really know what do to. The consortium exams are on 7th September, not long away at all. The class had a poor year last year with a newly-qualified teacher who couldn't keep control. Year 5 is such an important year and I (and other parents) feel they are not receiving a good education.

sittinginthesun Wed 01-May-13 14:37:25

My dcs' school sets the maths classes across the whole of juniors. So, the more able Year 5s will be doing level 5 work already - algebra, factors, fractions, area of shapes... too much to go into, but it is quite intense, taught at a fairly detailed level and at speed.

Another group will be working in year 5 at around level 4 level. Another group are in year 4, working towards level 4.

sittinginthesun Wed 01-May-13 14:38:35

Can you ask school what level they have assessed your child at?

iseenodust Wed 01-May-13 14:48:22

I think you need to be quite clear there is no differentiation in the class. This would be quite unusual & OFSTED will come down like a ton of bricks. You could ask the teacher (in a nice way) what topics they are covering in the remainder of this year and then supplement it at home. You can Google what needs to be understood at each level eg to move from a 4 to a 5.

Dancergirl Wed 01-May-13 14:52:25

She was 4C for Maths at the end of Year 4 (ie 10 months ago) and 5C for English. She does have a tutor (as do many of the children in the class) as the school doesn't help to prepare for entrance exams at all. I also do some work with her. She's able and picks things up quickly. She is more than capable of handling algebra, area etc.

I just feel that a lot of teaching time at school is wasted. Some of the children say the teacher spends so much time explaining the basics over and over again, there is very little time for them to actually do some work.

smee Wed 01-May-13 14:54:07

Yr 4 here - top groups are doing all the things sittinginthesun says. Heavily differentiated across the year group and v.much taught to ability.

Dancergirl Wed 01-May-13 14:54:32

isee there is supposed to be a system whereby they all start off doing the same work, then the more able ones take it further. But in practice it doesn't happen because the teacher spends so much time teaching the class as a whole and it's very basic.

Dancergirl Wed 01-May-13 14:56:22

smee so is there any whole class teaching at all? How do they manage to teach different groups? Are there TAs?

sittinginthesun Wed 01-May-13 14:57:48

I think it would be worth having a chat with the teacher about exactly how the work is differentiated.

The consortium tests are a separate matter - I don't know a single school who specifically teaches to them. Our school will offer a few sessions of verbal reasoning after school, but that's all. I think the local tutors must be making a bomb!

Elibean Wed 01-May-13 14:59:21

dd1 is in Y4 (level 4c in March) and is taken out of her class once a week, along with her set, to do extension work with a volunteer maths teacher. They are doing fractions, factors, but not yet covered area (afaik).

It does sound frustrating from what you said, OP, would it be possible to have a quiet chat with the teacher, or the Head, about your concerns? Keeping it focussed only on your dd, as in 'she's feeling frustrated in maths, would it be possible to stretch her a bit more'??

Dancergirl Wed 01-May-13 15:02:22

I don't specifically want the school to do papers with them per se, but just recognise the capabilities of the more able children and teach them as such. For some of the children in the class, including my dd, they have barely learnt much at all in Maths the last few months.

Dancergirl Wed 01-May-13 15:04:01

I remember Year 5 very clearly. We did fractions, long multiplication and division, percentages etc. Have things really changed that much?

Iamnotminterested Wed 01-May-13 15:06:27

No differentiation AT ALL, OP? That sounds pretty rubbish.

My DD is in year 4 and the 3 classes are split into three teaching groups for literacy and numeracy, with each group also having 4 or 5 ability tables within it, hence there are essentially 13 or 14 ability tables. The lowest I would guess are working towards level 3/just in level 3 and the top table of the top group high level 4.

iseenodust Wed 01-May-13 15:06:39

DS is yr4 and the set up is similar to Elibean's. DS does 'boring' maths three sessions a week and two sessions of good stuff. Don't know about area but definitely done perimeters & adding fractions with different denominators.

Iamnotminterested Wed 01-May-13 15:09:53

DD has been adding fractions with different denominators too, and simplifying fractions recently, also adding and subtracting decimals.

(will dredge memory for more)

deeplydullmnnickname Wed 01-May-13 15:16:07

I think it's much harder for them to differentiate in a one form entry school compared to those mentioned here with two or three sets. OP is your school one form entry?
That still doesn't excuse the situation but it's not easy to compare to larger schools with several forms.

smee Wed 01-May-13 15:30:53

Dancer, it's a 2 class entry, and they've divided the classes ability wise for maths so one teacher gets the more able, which must make differentiation easier.

Within each class the kids are on ability tables. From what DS has told me, the teacher seems to introduce a topic, then give questions/ worksheets to each table depending on how much they understand/ she thinks they're capable of. That's pretty fluid though, so if she sees someone's got something when the rest of their table haven't, she moves them around. She goes round each group helping them and checking their work. They sometimes have a TA too, but not always. Definitely they've covered all the things you mention in your last post and they're yr4. I don't think they're geniuses, and it's just a normal state inner city school. hth

Elibean Wed 01-May-13 15:56:07

dd1 is in a one-form entry year (the school is two form entry from Y3 downwards). The differentiation must be very challenging - but they 'set' kids on different tables for maths and literacy, not all the time but some of the time, and give them different work. And sets are taken out for targetted work with either a TA, the class teacher, or the volunteer maths teacher.

Dancergirl Wed 01-May-13 16:19:35

Yes it's a one-form entry and I appreciate it's difficult. But having said that, one parent I talked to offered to come in and help with Maths as a volunteer (she is CRB checked) and the school didn't want to know!

sittinginthesun Wed 01-May-13 16:25:04

I wouldn't be happy then, in your position.

I appreciate that it is hard to differentiate work, but our school is a single form entry and they manage to differentiate for every single child. They take pride in it, and it has been so good for my dcs.

I think you do need to go in and ask, though.

iseenodust Wed 01-May-13 16:26:10

DS's school is also a 1 form entry (all years) which seems to have a satisfactory system in place.

CPtart Wed 01-May-13 16:42:21

Percentages, improper fractions, decimals, area and perimeter, factors, etc.
All separated and taught on ability.

Kitchencupboards Wed 01-May-13 16:42:36

Long multiplication, long division, factors, products, word problems, ratios, areas including if triangles. Heavily streamed with the teacher expecting none of the class to finish below a 4b at the end of yr 5 and the majority to be a 5.

Dancergirl Wed 01-May-13 17:55:09

Wow, are these state schools sitting, CP and kitchen?

Dd hasn't covered any of those topics at school, only at home and with the tutor.

50shadesofvomit Wed 01-May-13 18:07:18

My dd is middle of the top group in her one form entry school. This week's homework division with decimals so 48.8 divided by 4.2 , 8.4 divided by 0.25 sort of thing. They've been doing a lot of fraction and percentage work too.

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