GCSE maths question

(14 Posts)
honkytonkheroe Thu 14-Oct-21 07:49:50

What age in primary or secondary school is it expected that a child would achieve a grade 3/old D? I ask because my year 6 son has become a little maths obsessed and has been watching an old maths watch CD rom in which you can look at all the grade D subject independently. They seem to cover pretty much year 6 material like nth term, areas of squares and triangles etc. I’d previously seen articles of 11 year olds passing a GCSE with a C and thought it was a big achievement. Now I’m wondering if it is such a step up? My 10 year old is only averagely bright and I’m sure I could teach him to scrape a pass at GCSE if I wanted to. He would definitely not be able to grasp any of the A/A* material and not all of the B but think he could definitely get a C. Do you think this is unusual or do a lot of you feel that your child could do it if they were interested in achieving it? We have got no interesting in doing this by the way but I’m interested in at what point in secondary school an average top set would get a low pass if put in for a maths GCSE.

OP’s posts: |
SinoohXaenaHide Thu 14-Oct-21 08:01:20

I would expect that most averagely bright y6 kids could theoretically get enough marks to scrape a D, yes. At that age the biggest challenge would be teaching exam techniques, staying on-task, focusing on the number of marks given per question and not getting bogged down on a 1 mark question that's taking too long vs a 5 mark question that you can definitely get 3 marks on even if you don't finish it. A grade C is supposed to represent the minimum acceptable level of numeracy that a child should attain by age 16 so the majority of kids must logically be on track to getting close to that level several years beforehand if a lot of them will then be getting A and B grades eventually.

LondonGirl83 Thu 14-Oct-21 09:30:06

Well if you take children who achieve greater depth / level 5 in the old SATS as a proxy for ‘top set bright’ (this is about the top 10 percent of the ability range) you can back solve your answer.

The top 10 percent of students would be expected to be at C/D (4/3 in new markings) about half way through year 8.

This level is equivalent to 6b in the old SATs which about 2 percent of year 6 students were able to achieve.

So it’s top 2 percent bright rather than top 10 percent bright.

LondonGirl83 Thu 14-Oct-21 09:32:36

Of course what children can learn and achieve with 1-1 tuition is different than normal classroom teaching but still

catndogslife Thu 14-Oct-21 09:57:52

How old is this CDROM?
There have been a lot of changes in GCSE Maths over the past few years so it is unlikely that this is the level needed for grade 3 now.

honkytonkheroe Thu 14-Oct-21 10:14:11

Quite old. Say 10 years. I did think that there had been a bit of a shift up to be fair, but since a grade 4 is equivalent to C- I wondered if it had evened itself out. I was only after an approximation anyway because a top set in one school may be completely different to a top set in another.

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InTheLabyrinth Thu 14-Oct-21 10:22:17

Last Easter, we actually tried this with my then Y7 and Y5 blush.
Y7 did all the papers, skipped several questions and got a 4 (old style low C).
Y5 only did the non calculator paper. He got a 4 on that paper, but when we flicked through the others he didnt like the look of much of it, so we picked out a couple of questions and did them together. He is noted as being one of the top mathematicians in his year.

So, Id say a decent Y6 could get a 3.
A decent Y7 could get a 4.


catndogslife Thu 14-Oct-21 10:25:11

The content has shifted up quite a lot over the past 10 years.
It was harder than this when dd took GCSEs and that was 5 years ago.
On the new 9-1 GCSEs there is now content on the Foundation paper that used to be on higher and content for Higher that used to be on AS level.
As a rough guide, I would say Y8/9 for Foundation GCSE grade 4/5. But only the first attempt counts for League Tables, so there is no incentive to obtain a "grade C equivalent" in Y8/9 when pupils can score much better grades in Y11.

RachelSq Thu 14-Oct-21 13:00:00

I sat a mock GCSE maths paper in Year 6 and would have got a B. I had done some extra work in year 6 as part of the level 6 extension group.

I got the level 6 in maths in my year 6 SATS, level 8 in my year 9 SATS and A* in my GCSE (taken in year 11). I was always notably above the maximum attainable level and predicted the next steps in how maths developed so was never really taught anything, just kept applying knowledge and coming up with workarounds and extending previous knowledge independently.

I wouldn’t say I was a prodigy, but I was definitely well ahead of my year group for maths. That said, not too difficult as even the top set were only taught to a C grade at GCSE as only 20%ish of the school passed…

languagelover96 Thu 14-Oct-21 14:43:07

There have been a lot of changes made. Last year I decided out of pure boredom to look at a current up to date math paper online and I sat down to do it. I could not attempt many of the questions however, and the paper was a grade one aimed at weaker pupils. I missed out half of the questions that were too hard.

Moominmammacat Thu 14-Oct-21 15:47:23

This is meaningless but my DS got a C in a practice paper GCSE maths in Y6, was Level 5 in Sats, scraped at B at real GCSE.

Iamnotthe1 Thu 14-Oct-21 21:32:43

There are a lot of similarities between KS2 SATs and the Foundation version of the Maths GCSE. Having just reviewed a 2018 paper, I'd say that, out of the 26 questions, there are only 4 that my Y6 class couldn't answer due to missing knowledge.

The actual difficulty is being able to answer them accurately under pressure. However, given that you only needed around 56% of the marks on those foundation papers to get a 4, a greater depth mathematician in Y6 could probably do it.

honkytonkheroe Sat 16-Oct-21 09:18:07

Thanks everyone. It is pretty much as I thought then, it wouldn’t be that surprising for a generally bright but not gifted year 6 to be able to pass an old style GCSE with some extra lessons or perhaps a gifted child without them.

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AICM Sat 16-Oct-21 13:50:09

I'm a primary teacher but I also tutor secondary maths privately.

Most year 6 children would be able to understand maths up to Grade 3. Bright year 6 kids would be able to understand most Grade 4 content if they were tutored and some of Grade 5.

After Grade 5, maths gets difficult. A year 6 would need to be gifted to really understand what's actually going on.

Genie Maths GCSE is a good website to see what pops up at each Grade.

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