Whole class maths - Yrs 3-5

(69 Posts)
bluesnowdog Fri 20-Oct-17 11:36:02

Our school has just scrapped maths sets in Years 3 to 5, so the class is taught as a whole, with the children able to freely chose one of three question levels as they see fit. My son was top set maths, is choosing the hardest levels, but there is no scope to go further. Historically children could go further with the curriculum, have extension classes etc, this is no more! Does anyone else have whole class maths, and a child that used to be top set, and any views on how they are finding it, I worry that boredom is setting in as they can no longer move on if they have grasped a concept fully.

OP’s posts: |
user789653241 Fri 20-Oct-17 12:52:08

You could always speak to the teacher about the issue and raise concern.
Tbh, I totally given up at school maths since start of new NC. My ds is way ahead in maths, but still doing things he knows inside out. He sometimes modifies the question to make it more interesting.
Good for revision. He has full access to more extensive maths at home. He is happy and not complaining at all.
Hope your school isn't like ours.

RedSkyAtNight Fri 20-Oct-17 12:56:35

DC's school did this. It worked well. Have you asked (or your DC asked) the teacher for extension activities - they may not be aware that the he is still finding the hardest levels easy.

bluesnowdog Fri 20-Oct-17 13:06:38

Hi, thank you for responding, I have raised it - to be told that if they have mastered it they can teach those in the class that haven't. I get that that is a useful thing to do, but my older child (same school) massively benefited from top set / extension etc and it's a shame it's now gone - budgets? I've now asked the Head teacher for more of the reasoning as to why they are doing it, and what can be done to stretch those who are more able at maths. It just seems a shame to not let them develop if they could. I suppose I was hoping for positive stories from others that were doing the same methods!

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QuiteQuietly Fri 20-Oct-17 13:16:10

It's all "mastery" nonsense now. The same thing again and again ad nauseum. Not sure how much more someone can "master" place value once they've got it.

user789653241 Fri 20-Oct-17 13:30:04

We had meeting with class teacher and maths lead beginning of yr3, and being told that they are doing mastery and deepening of the topic rather than going forward. And they can't teach beyond year group skills.
They said they would give him extension but it will be harder work in same topic. Fair enough. Give him some problem solving etc in the same topic, it will be good, I thought.
But reality was just bigger number. If class was doing 3 digit, they give him 4 or 5 whatever. And he was/is used as a TA all the time, but it's fine. I gave up.
By the way, school and teacher are great. Just that they have adapted new NC very rigid way that they can't go beyond child's current year group. (which seems to be wrong reading comments from teachers on MN.)

Kokeshi123 Fri 20-Oct-17 13:58:53

This is how it is done in much of the world, including the country where I life.

Get some books from WH Smith and do extension stuff with your child at home, is the only advice I can suggest.


bluesnowdog Fri 20-Oct-17 13:59:06

Irvine I feel like we are in the same school : )
I too really like our school and teacher, but can't believe that all forms of "stretch" have gone, I even scoured the website in case there was still a gifted / talented provision, it appears not. Secondary set for nearly all subjects, and will push harder and harder, so I don't see the logic. Or quite what I can do about it other than do maths at home, which is not what I really want to be doing when there is time at school that isn't being fully used.

OP’s posts: |
Kokeshi123 Fri 20-Oct-17 13:59:07

LIVE not life.

Tomorrowillbeachicken Fri 20-Oct-17 16:03:46

I’m hating mastery too and ds is only in year 1

cantkeepawayforever Fri 20-Oct-17 17:27:30

We have done the same move, and work very hard to still extend our most able pupils. Typically, each day will be on a single topic, and there will be a 'challenge' - often from nRich or other problem solving resources - that is linked to that topic for that day.

So for example for addition, it would be calculations in which all numbers have been replaced by letters, and you have to work out what each letter must mean.

Or a lesson on naming quadrilaterals could use this

It won't always meet the needs of '1 in 100' or 1in 1000' ability mathematicians, but a typical able primary mathematician would find themselves challenged most of the time.

cantkeepawayforever Fri 20-Oct-17 17:31:08

(All our stats show that non-set is improving Maths attainment throughout almost all the ability range, with the very able still acheving very very highly)

grasspigeons Fri 20-Oct-17 17:37:37

My children's school, do this - they have 3 to 5 chilli levels to pick from. They are both 'top set' maths (they were when they had sets). They seem to like it and the teachers seem to feel children stretch themselves. My children are in mixed year groups though, so they were still able to access the year above stuff. Does your son find the hardest level easy then, that's not great.

user789653241 Fri 20-Oct-17 17:43:17

I would be more than happy if school use something like nrich to extend. It's so much better than doing calculations with bigger numbers. And make kids think, rather than just doing things automatically.

Lowdoorinthewal1 Fri 20-Oct-17 17:51:24

I teach my very able mathematicians (all autistic and bound for NASA) way beyond their age related expectations.

The ground has not opened up and swallowed us. I have not been struck off..

So this 'can't' business is bullshit.

By equal measure the same boys really struggle with creative writing so we work on objectives below their age related expectations.

Michael Gove should be ritually burned for suggesting this is wrong.

user789653241 Fri 20-Oct-17 18:05:55

Lowdoor grin

Really wish his school was like yours or cant's

bluesnowdog Fri 20-Oct-17 18:16:43

Can't keep, your lessons sound excellent, my child is not a maths genius and that would be plenty to keep them motivated. Interesting that class maths is raising abilities, I can see how our old parallel groups will do better in a whole class approach, I just wish we had the option of extension....I completely agree with what should happen with Mr Gove!

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Tomorrowillbeachicken Fri 20-Oct-17 18:16:46

Ds is asd lol. Numbers are his bliss

Norestformrz Fri 20-Oct-17 18:28:31

Teachers who say can’t need to read the National Curriculum
*“Within each key stage, schools therefore have the flexibility to introduce content earlier or later than set out in the programme of study. In addition, schools can introduce key stage content during an earlier key stage if appropriate.”*

bluesnowdog Fri 20-Oct-17 18:30:31

That is v handy, I've been told my (lovely) head teacher is coming back to me after half term, so if "can't" is repeated I will be able to challenge that.

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StinkPickle Fri 20-Oct-17 18:33:13

I was just chatting to a new mum at our private school. She joined the private school as the local state has just done exactly as your OP describes.

I assume it's budgets. It's certainly not in the best interest of top set children. Very sad. Especially for those who can't afford private.

bluesnowdog Fri 20-Oct-17 18:37:43

I think what's most irritating is that 2 years ago there were top sets, extension sets and some really exciting teaching. Same school, now nothing. It just seems unfair on this cohort of children.

OP’s posts: |
user789653241 Fri 20-Oct-17 18:54:39

Thing is, there are no incentives for school to go beyond, unfortunately.
There is only one sats. Top sets children will get top score anyway, so best thing they can do is bring up the lowest to bring the average up.
Not like when there was lv6 for very able children, when lv4 was expected.
I really like ds's school, but when I think about his maths in school, I will be very hmm and angry and sad

Norestformrz Fri 20-Oct-17 19:05:54

*“*^*It's certainly not in the best interest of top set children.*^ *“* the evidence is that setting in Primary has little or no impact

BowlingShoes Fri 20-Oct-17 19:07:02

I think the mastery concept is sometimes either badly taught or badly explained to parents. I also teach mastery and have found it is possible to offer a high level of challenge.

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