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New material or Mastery

(11 Posts)
stubiff Sat 28-May-16 13:26:36

My DS is in Y3 and is very good at maths.
We have asked his teacher for stretching homework but she implied he is doing fine and doesn't need it. We have been giving him previous and made up questions to keep him ticking over.
The teacher pointed us at the CGP Year 5 book, saying he would be fine with the material.
Now, I know for a fact that he won't yet have been taught some material in this book, so am nervous about 'teaching' him new material, not because I can't do it but because it may be a different method to what the teacher will use. There will, of course, be some material which is an extension of Y3/Y4 methods.

I have also come across Teaching for Mastery.
This suggests gaining a deeper understanding of a subject before moving onto new material.

Does anyone have any similar experiences.


bojorojo Sat 28-May-16 14:40:56

As a governor with some understanding of maths teaching in our school, children are very much expected to gain a deep understanding of the topics before moving on and the teaching provides this breadth. I would start by seeing what Y3 extension work he can be taught, by the teacher, and then look at what he will be doing in Y4. Unless he is "exceeding" his Y3 targets in every topic, he should be set the hardest work that stretches him for any topics where he is at "expected" level. . Ask the teacher if this is the case. Is he at "exceeded" level for everything? If he is, I would be inclined to start on Y4 work but I would want to know why the school is not teaching him according to his ability even if it is inconvenient. I would definitely expect the school to be teaching him appropriate topics from now until the end of term. He does need it! He is also entitled to it! What would happen to a very bright child if their parents were unable to help at all or afford workbooks?

Obeliskherder Sat 28-May-16 17:39:11

Different experience but might be a bit relevant. My DS is Y2 and v able at maths. Initially in Y1 they said they weren't allowed to teach him ahead but I think it got to the point where he had plainly mastered the mastery stuff. I don't know if the "rules" were changed, or county or the school's interpretation of them changed, but in Y2 they have taught him ahead a bit, alongside lots of breadth and mastery stuff.

I think they are still allowed to teach ahead, but only for a much smaller group than before - less than the top 1% or so - and only when they have loads of evidence of total mastery of their own year first.

We don't set him extra work ourselves. He loves his school lessons and as long as maths remains his favourite subject, I don't think we need to teach him extra. He is obsessed with numbers so he probably does more arithmetic off his own bat than most others do with parents setting extra work! Also I would be very reluctant to teach him ahead of school because then it might make school more boring for him later. We do tell him and his sister that there's a lot more to maths than numbers, and they love doing logic problems, brainteasers like little locked room mysteries, sudoku, that kind of thing. But the biggest limiter with his maths at the moment is his "knowledge and understanding of the world" so I think there is real value in him playing with sticks etc rather than doing extra worksheets.

It is genuinely difficult to know what to do for the best. I do understand why parents want to teach ahead but we are not at that point ourselves at the moment. Of course we may be depriving him of achieving his full potential etc...

irvineoneohone Sat 28-May-16 17:50:06

My ds is in YR3 and in similar situation. I am not teaching him anything myself, but he is learning ahead using Khan Academy. This site has tutorial videos for all the maths skills so he can learn new skills properly.

Also we use and , which is more stretching questions rather than learning new things.

irvineoneohone Sat 28-May-16 17:51:23

It's all free website.

popperdoodles Sat 28-May-16 17:59:42

Ds2 has always been ahead in maths, he is now coming to the end of yr 8. In primary they pushed him ahead, everything they taught him he learnt quickly and he was going into yr 6 for maths by yr 4. By the time he got to yr 6 they had to slow it down. When he started secondary his maths teacher explained he would not be pushed ahead regardless of his ability. They go for breadth and deep deep understanding with children like him rather racing through the curriculum. This approach is working for him.

popperdoodles Sat 28-May-16 18:02:29

Just to add, they do alot of 'what else is possible?' kind of stuff with him to get him extending his own thinking and understanding

irvineoneohone Sat 28-May-16 21:50:16

Forgot to add, we did ncetm mastery assessment up to YR6. It is very good resource to assess if dc understands the each concept.

bojorojo Sat 28-May-16 22:05:44

I hope this may help. A friend had both DSs at Cambridge doing maths. They went into higher years at primary school, just for maths, but stayed with their own cohort at secondary school and went to university at 18 like everyone else. One of these boys is seriously gifted. However both of them need to work on other aspects of their personality to become rounded and employable people. Never assume that being good at one subject ensures you reach your full potential. There is plenty of time to do other things and have fun as a child and still reach full potential. It is because the young person has done other things that brings out the best in them. Some children can even slack a bit and be better than others!

irvineoneohone Sat 28-May-16 22:23:02

That is a great advice, bojorojo. I will definitely keep that in mind.

stubiff Sun 29-May-16 10:24:28

Thanks for all the replies so far.
We're going to do the Y4 assessment at the beginning of the Y5 book, for things he has been taught, then go from there. Will make up questions to get a greater depth of each topic.
Will speak to the teacher after the reports come out.

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