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Likely NC level for these questions please.

(42 Posts)
Wizard19 Tue 25-Feb-14 08:56:15

Can any teachers and others familiar with nc levels, please advise the likely level of a child who would be able to answer all these questions correctly in 3 minutes.

1. Find the perimeter of a pentagon with sides of 7 centimetres.

2. Tom buys 3 books costing 50 pence each. How much change does he get from £5?

3. What is 1/4 + 1/2 ?

4. In a classroom 17 children chose their favourite colours. 6 chose red, 4 chose blue, the rest chose green. Show this information in a pictogram.


columngollum Tue 25-Feb-14 09:23:26

The questions aren't exactly difficult, even if they are all deliberately fiddly. And 3 minutes isn't very long (not even for an adult to do them) Do you mean three minutes each or 3 min for all of them? Because of the tight timeframe I think the NC level is made artificially high. If the child had longer (quite a bit longer) a lower ability child could work them out, eventually.

Wizard19 Tue 25-Feb-14 09:30:06

Three minutes for all the questions.

columngollum Tue 25-Feb-14 09:31:35

(If you get rid of the pictogram requirement then the timeframe is more reasonable.)

columngollum Tue 25-Feb-14 09:34:20

Because of the stupid timeframe of the test I'd have to say possibly L4. I think L3 children could do them but not in 3 mins.

MrsKCastle Tue 25-Feb-14 09:37:26

You can't tell a maths level with just 4 questions. In order to achieve a particular level, there are a whoe variety of different skills needed.

It also depends on how much the child has practised similar questions.

A child working at a solid or high level 2, who has been given practice could probably answer them correctly. Level 3 and above should be able to do them without a problem.

Wizard19 Tue 25-Feb-14 09:40:19

The time frame is relevant here, as this was given to DD, who had not seen these questions before and completed in that time frame. Not the best pictogram, but had all the information. DD was 2b June last yr, has been 2a since October.

jhatter Tue 25-Feb-14 09:43:03

Wouldn't you be better off asking a teacher? What level is your child currently? is your child finding these questions difficult or easy?

The upper level 4 mental maths questions my child came home with were on par with these and they only had 10 seconds to answer each.

columngollum Tue 25-Feb-14 09:45:03

MrsK, the problem isn't answering them correctly, it's answering them correctly in 3 mins.

I'm assuming that your reply suggests a solid L2 can do that.

columngollum Tue 25-Feb-14 09:47:20

ten seconds (and a pictogram) or ten seconds for a numerical answer.

MrsK suggested technique is important. Times tables feature here. But not arts and crafts!

MrsKCastle Tue 25-Feb-14 09:50:41

Yes, I think a solid level 2 could do it in that time frame, provided they were used to working within specific timeframes. And provided that they had been given practice at doing similar questions independently- not those specific ones, but a mixed set.

columngollum Tue 25-Feb-14 09:52:46

I don't mean a solid L2 provided/provided

A solid anything provided this and provided that can travel to the moon. I mean bog standard L2 (or bog standard L anything)

Wizard19 Tue 25-Feb-14 09:55:51

Thanks all, taking levels from book from school, where teacher puts targets and levels achieved. I dont want to bash any teachers - so I say no more on that.

Feb target is 2a, same as Dec Target. 2a Already achieved - so not sure why still a target.

I dont feel DD being challenged at school. DD finding these easy, I keep trying to challenge. Knows all tables by heart - teacher said last parents evening - I know DD knows tables - we will show her how we do them.

Wizard19 Tue 25-Feb-14 10:02:46

MrsK - too many conditions.
Cg - Are we saying its a 3 of some description?
We may need a vote here.

Do note DD was not given a time to complete, actually saw it as play, challenging me to find her something trickier.
DD is Yr2

drwitch Tue 25-Feb-14 10:11:36

Q1 - level 3 as to be answered quickly needs 7 times tables or knowledge that 5x7 = 7x5 and many solid level 2s are doing multiplication by repeated addition or by counting in 5s

Q2 2 part word problem - level 3

Q3 equivalent fractions -level 3

Q4 is level 2

MrsKCastle Tue 25-Feb-14 10:12:26

OP, I guess what I'm saying here is- how often do you give your DD tests like this? How often have you been over things like perimeter?

Because of you're doing work like this with her often, then she won't be put off by the test format and will be performing well- you'll have 'taught to the test'. And if that is the case, it doesn't really say much about her level- she could be anything from level 2 up.

If you gave her this one test completely out of the blue, and she got it all right- then that's more of an indication that she is working at a level 3 or more.

But it's still only one test. It doesn't prove anything.

If you are concerned that she isn't being challenged, then a) talk to the teacher; b) download some maths level descriptors and look at the skills she needs for level 3 and c) ask for advice on here about how to help her progress.

You can't expect anyone to accurately level your child online on the basis of 4 questions!

MrsKCastle Tue 25-Feb-14 10:14:54

Sorry,just realized what you said about not giving it as a timed test, so obviously your DD didn't feel under pressure. But it would still make a difference if she'd done this kind of thing before very often.

Wizard19 Tue 25-Feb-14 10:17:55

Thanks drwitch.

I thought the wordiness of Q4 and some "missing" info might have raised it to a 3.

Wizard19 Tue 25-Feb-14 10:27:07

MrsK, like I said - these questions are "unique" as I made them up for DD.

" This kind of thing" - does that mean -
1 . Knowing the shapes and their properties?
2. Knowing the relevant times tables?
3. Knowing what fractions are and how to add them.
4. Knowing what a pictogram is and finding the "missing" number to complete it?
5. Working with money, and regrouping - or carrying across zeros.
6. Dealing with word problems and extracting data - deciding which operation to use?

Then yes, she understands all that and does it very comfortably - surely that is what the levels reflect - having and applying relevant knowledge.

Wizard19 Tue 25-Feb-14 10:41:25

Mrs K,
Sorry - I have not used the 'T' word once in this thread, you have used it 6 times out of the 7 times it appears. I just try to extend my childs learning and challenge her to apply her knowledge in different situations.

MrsKCastle Tue 25-Feb-14 10:43:09

Yes, you said that she hadn't seen those questions before, but you still haven't said how often you ask her to answer a mixed set of similar questions.

I'm not trying to catch you out, or be disparaging about your daughter's abilities here- I am trying to help.

Yes, all the skills/knowledge that you list are valuable, and the levels involve applying that knowledge. From what you say, your daughter is doing well- you know from the teacher that she's already reached 2a, and it sounds as if she may now be at or close to level 3.

However, as I have said, we can't possibly confirm that for you- but a look at the level descriptors would be your best bet at confirming it for yourself.

MrsKCastle Tue 25-Feb-14 10:47:14

Yes, I apologize for making the assumption that it wad a test format. (Yes, that's 7 mentions to me now!). Your initial posts suggested that quite strongly to me because of the mention of time frames, but I acknowledge that you explained later that it wasn't- and I missed that.

Wizard19 Tue 25-Feb-14 10:57:07

Example my 2 DD's decided to get plastacine and wooden toothpicks and started covering the wall with 2D shapes.

How many tpicks do you need for a triangle?

How long is that toothpick you are using? If you laid them all out in a line how long would it be?

That is the perimeter of the triangle.

That was the lesson on perimeter.

The "Lessons" are created as and when situations arise not formal.

MrsKCastle Tue 25-Feb-14 11:23:38

Ah, that makes sense. So she's obviously quick to pick things up and apply them.

As far as the 2a target thing goes- has the teacher given more specific targets? I would expect to be told what small, specific things need to be achieved to move her on, e.g. 'written method for addition' or 'using times tables to derive answers to division questions'.

If you don't have those kind of targets, I would be asking the teacher for some.

Huitre Tue 25-Feb-14 11:26:38

4. In a classroom 17 children chose their favourite colours. 6 chose red, 4 chose blue, the rest chose green. Show this information in a pictogram.

This is almost identical in format to a question I was using the other week with a group of children who are working just within L2 but are considered by their teacher to be able to do quite a bit better. I don't think it would be considered particularly challenging. The question I used was supplied by the teacher but used much more difficult (no easy adding up to 10) and much larger numbers so many of the children struggled with it. It took them some time and a lot of help to complete, but these are children who are not at all secure at L2. A high L2 child would probably be able to tackle it much more easily. I reckon DD, who is working within L3, would easily be able to work the answer out in a few seconds. Drawing the diagram would obviously take a bit longer.

Tom buys 3 books costing 50 pence each. How much change does he get from £5?

This is almost identical to another word problem from the same set that the teacher gave me, only the one I had required children to add up several lots of 25p and subtract from a number that wasn't quite as neat, so again probably suitable for a child who is confident working at L2.

Don't know if that helps at all! I'm not a teacher but I help a lot with Maths at my daughter's school.

I'm astonished at the idea that these might be questions suitable for a child working at L4. As I said, I am not a teacher, but surely they'd have moved onto some considerably harder things by then?

FWIW, I have found that DD is not getting a lot of challenge in Maths, either. But we do investigations etc at home. Could you give her some slightly more open-ended problems to think about rather than neat sums? That would probably be of more benefit to her in the long run, rather than this kind of thing, IMHO, if you think she is good at Maths.

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