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foundation tier maths

(15 Posts)
mrsshears Wed 17-Oct-12 16:45:02

I have just discovered that dd1 yr 10, has been entered for the foundation paper i will call her teacher next week just to have a chat about how she is doing and what grade they are expecting her to get, I think it is probably the right decision tbh as maths is not dd's strongest subject (currently on a 5a/6c) she lacks confidence and could well be intimidated by the higher paper and freak out.
My question is how hard is it to get a C grade on the foundation paper? is it harder than on the higher paper? given my dd's current level do you think a C is even possible?
Obviously i will ask her teacher all of these questions but thought i would consult MN in the meantime smile
Thanks

TimeChild Wed 17-Oct-12 17:08:19

mrsshears, snap!

You could be describing my dd1!

We are of a view that as dd1 is has a huge little thing against maths we would be happy for her to do the foundation paper and get a C.

Possibly a bit of a cop out but a C is a C isn't it - or is it?

gelo Wed 17-Oct-12 20:16:45

I don't think there's a simple answer to this. It depends on your dd's strengths and weaknesses, but if her arithmetic is good, but algebra, geometry etc. weaker the foundation paper is probably the right way forward.

For Edexcel modular unit 3 last summer it was 85% to get C grade on foundation vs 43.75% on higher, but there was a much bigger difference in ease of 'C' grade between modular and linear exams than between foundation and higher papers. (it was 65% to get 'C' on foundation linear and 26% for a 'C' on higher linear with the difficulty of the questions between linear and modular being about the same allegedly).

Lots of teachers who started everyone off on the modular course and then moved those who weren't on track for a 'C' to the linear one found that a large number of those who it looked as if would have achieved a 'D' on modular went on to get a 'C' on linear whereas their more able friends in the higher sets who it looked as if would get 'C's on modular ended up getting 'D's.

Not sure if this was also true for other boards, but it did seem this year that modular was harder.

olivevoir58 Wed 17-Oct-12 20:35:03

Do you think this will be the case this year? I'm presently trying to get school to switch my Y11 presently grade D dd from modular to linear. Her high performing CE comp took a massive nose dive in results doing OCR modular this year (much worse than English), but still they carry on with it. Big sigh.

noblegiraffe Wed 17-Oct-12 20:53:07

If she's in Y10 then she'll have to do linear, modular won't be an option.

If she's lacking confidence then higher tier could be disasterous as she would be faced with 4 hours of exams, a lot of which she won't even be able to attempt (50% of the paper will be B grade or higher questions and to get a C can require as low as 25% of the marks).

To get a C on foundation usually requires about 75% - the syllabus changed this year and the papers were quite hard which led to a lower pass mark, but C grades and above were still down on previous years. How much of this was down to ridiculously high pass marks on modular is unclear but it seems that students did better on linear from anecdote.

Back when we had KS3 SATs, stats showed that about 25% of students who were on a level 5 went on to get a C at GCSE in maths and most of these would have been at the top end of level 5. A C is therefore certainly a possibility if she works hard over the next 2 years - although be aware that Gove plans to make things harder for the current Y10s so it's not guaranteed.

gelo Wed 17-Oct-12 20:57:37

I don't know olive, but this years year 11s will be the last to do modular before it's abolished due to all exams having to be be taken at the end of the course, so I did wonder if they were deliberately making it tough so that no-one lamented its departure. However, the exam boards seem to be keeping the modular option as well as linear but with all modules to be sat at the end (ie: modular exams done in a linear way) which I can't see the point of at all. I think it would be fairer to have fewer courses and exam boards myself.

gelo Wed 17-Oct-12 21:03:34

why are they entering a year 10 already? Presumably it means she is doing the GCSE a year early. Normally I'd think that was quite mad, but with the threatened toughening up of the syllabus perhaps it's not so daft.

Kez100 Thu 18-Oct-12 04:16:40

My daughter did l

Kez100 Thu 18-Oct-12 04:19:13

....linear Maths early (in the November) on foundation and got the C grade. She said it really worked for her as she was able to spend a lot of time revising Maths when the workload was light (comparative to the summer).

Moominmammacat Thu 18-Oct-12 08:58:47

My DS who is useless at maths was told he was better off doing higher tier .... never understood why ... and got a C.

avivabeaver Thu 18-Oct-12 10:05:26

go on to the exam boards website and download the foundation paper and higher paper.

as dds upper school, they make everyone sit the foundation paper in November. They reckon that it is one in the bag, and also means that those who are foundation paper level are more likely to come out with a c at the end if they have 2 shots at it.

this did not work for my dd however, who is lazy by nature. She got the c easily in November and simply did no more work so got a c in the higher paper in June.

gelo Thu 18-Oct-12 10:09:40

was that November of year 10 Kez, or year 11? 18 months early just seems like you're losing out on a lot of teaching time to me, but can see that for some dc doing it apart from the main set might be good.

Kez100 Thu 18-Oct-12 12:39:55

November of year 11. By January of year 11 she knew she had a C in the bag.

Some of her friends (the A/A* passers) did a Further Maths paper in June of year 11. Others (C passers) went on to do higher paper in June and try to get a better grade (some did, some didn't). My daughter plumped for extra English (she was on the C/D borderline for both Language and Lit) and she managed to get both at Grade C in June of year 11, including a B in the poetry exam paper.

So, teaching time isn't lost but tailored in our school to (within reason) each child's requirements.

gelo Thu 18-Oct-12 14:26:11

that sounds ok kez, but to do it even earlier in year 10? Unless you are going to get A*/A and do another maths qual after, I would think dc would stand a better chance of a good grade by leaving it until year 11.

circular Thu 18-Oct-12 19:08:46

DD1 yr 11. All their year group taking linear Maths.
The lower sets are taking it in November, to give them up to 3 shots. If they reach target early, they can take another Maths qualification.
The top sets take it in March, once they have finished the A/A* part of the syllabus. They still get 2 shots if necessary.

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