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How to help ds2 with maths

(7 Posts)
schilke Sun 27-Sep-09 13:39:29

Ds2 is in yr5 and is good at maths. The two year 5 classes are mixed together and split between the 2 teachers for maths - he's in the top class and in group 2 of 5 in that class. He was in group 1 and was moved to group 2 - however ds2 seems to think he should be moved right down.

He has always got into a panic with maths. He works methodically, but very slowly. He can do the work he is being given, but is working at a much slower pace than the others in his group. He is interpreting their faster speed as them being "better" at maths than he is, so he thinks he should go down a few more groups.

Do we ask him to be moved down? We try and help him at home, but he is tricky to help! He thinks it is a criticism if you help him .... he's a complicated chap!

Or else how do we get him to speed up? I don't want him to spend loads of hometime doing maths. Ds2 has got himself into a right old depression about this over the weekend.

trickerg Sun 27-Sep-09 15:18:42

If he wants to be 'moved down', it may do his confidence good to be 'top' of the lower group. However, the teachers will know the relative standards of each group, and this night not be feasible. I know that we could easily do this in our current Y4 group, but there's no way they could do it in the Y3 group!

I can think of a Y4 child we 'moved down' because of confidence issues and she got a good L5 in KS2 SATs. Likewise, my son was in lower sets in years 4 and 5, went into the upper set in Y6 and got a level 5.

However, as I said, the general cohort level is really important when making a decision like this. Ask the teachers - they will be able to advise. If they think your child is going to be held back, they almost certainly won't do it.

mmrsceptic Sun 27-Sep-09 15:27:26

Some experience here, my child was in a low group and got top group scores. Teachers wanted to move him up but I said no, because he was performing well with that teacher.

So much depends on the teacher. Do the different groups have different teachers? I would ask around the school about how children with different teachers are doing.

In our case the teacher was kind, and patient, and quietly spoken, and older and very, very sweet to my son. As opposed to energetic and driven, which just didn't get the same response from ds. The work was the same and he flourished under the lower set teacher. It was hard to say "no" to my internal competitive side which wants to see a child in the top set, you know what I mean.

It all depends on the teacher IMO and your confidence in the teacher.

schilke Sun 27-Sep-09 15:56:34


The two classes have different teachers. The teacher ds2 has for maths is his usual class teacher. This teacher thinks ds2 is great - ds2 knew him from orchestra last year, however now he has him as a class teacher he is a bit shouty! I mean generally shouty, not at ds2.

I think we have a parent's evening soon, so I'll ask then. I just don't want him to get a complex about maths. He can do it, but at his own pace. He judges himself against the others all the time and I know there are some very competitive boys in those 2 groups. Perhaps it would be better for him to be away from that.

I know what you mean mmrsceptic - it seems odd to ask a teacher to move your child down a few groups.

infin Sun 27-Sep-09 17:05:17

I wonder WHY he is slower? If he was originally in the highest group in the top set it sounds as if he grasps new ideas quickly. Perhaps he is just slower at mental calculation which would impact on his ability to solve problems as quickly as those who have an immediate recall of tables etc. Just a thought, may be barking up wrong tree entirely!

schilke Sun 27-Sep-09 17:13:36

infin - I don't understand why he is so slow at working. His mental maths is actually very good. Could probably do with more times tables practice though.

At the moment they seem to be learning twenty methods for division etc.. and I wonder if he is just getting confused between the methods. He also likes to work things out in his head rather than on paper - have stressed the importance of writing down his working out, but he is still reluctant.

mimsum Sun 27-Sep-09 19:06:28

just anecdotal, but in at the end of what is now y8 in secondary I did brilliantly in the end of year exams and got moved up to the top set

I struggled through y9 surrounded by girls who seemed to me to be maths geniuses and got the impressive score of 11% in the end of year exam - the teacher said I'd gone so badly wrong, she found it almost impossible to follow my thought processes blush

to everyone's relief I got moved back down again and was fine - ended up with a B at O-level, so not stellar, but perfectly acceptable

sometimes being the best in a lower set is just what you need

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