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Foundation maths Gcse vs Higher maths gcse

(24 Posts)
Lanatal Tue 27-Nov-12 09:16:05

Does anyone have any advice please, my youngest daughter (13) cannot move into the maths set above as their is no room so she has to do better (not the same) ads child already in this set. I was told by the head if maths yesterday this will mean she will be on track for a grade C at foundation maths as the higher gcse is sat by the sets above!! I have informed the school she will not sit the foundation as she is very able at maths and I do not like being told by someone who has never even met my child that she will sit the lower gcse and achieve a C. The school has up until next year entered this set for early entry foundation in November and if they get a C they can then sit the higher but this early entry will no longer be allowed under the new system so they are denying all these children a chance to get a B as C HS the highest you can get in foundation. Sorry for long message but just so frustrated at this system! Any advice please?? Thank you.

RedHelenB Tue 27-Nov-12 09:59:56

They should find the room if she is able to cope with the work!!

sashh Tue 27-Nov-12 10:42:44

If she is really able why is she in the third set?

If the third set is only being prepared for foundation then she will not get a C on the higher paper.

I know you don't want to be told this, and in an ideal world everyone would get the chance to do both, but this is not an ideal world.

If she has the ability she will be moved up.

Lanatal Tue 27-Nov-12 12:16:26

Only if there is room! I know she is able because she is being given extension work as she finishes quicker than most of the others! There are 2 or 3 of them in this situation but we are told the set above is full.

noblegiraffe Tue 27-Nov-12 12:19:55

What is her target for the end of KS3? To have a decent chance at a B at GCSE, she should have a level 7 or at least a good level 6 by the end of Y9, if she is sitting GCSE at the end of Y11.

If she is more likely to get a level 5 at the end of Y9 then a C would be a good result, and it doesn't make any difference if it comes from the higher or the foundation paper.

DeWe Tue 27-Nov-12 14:36:05

When my dm taught maths this was often coming up.
The problem with doing the higher level is that it can be harder to get a C than on the lower paper and if you don't get a C then you get a fail. So generally for a child who is a safe C, then the lower level is better because if they don't get a C, they may get a D, so still graded.

What happened on more than one occasion is that a parent insisted the child did the higher paper, expected to get a C, made a few careless errors and got a U. Similar children on the lower level got a D.

Children can be taught to different levels in the same set though.

In your situation I'd go and discuss with the head of maths. Is she a safe C? Will she cope with the more advanced work on the higher level? Is there any chance of getting a B?
If the answer to any is no, then you're better to go for the lower level.

HullyEastergully Tue 27-Nov-12 15:46:19

This is often a problem, unfortunately they don't move them up if there isn't room. Has caused murders at my dc's school

QuickLookBusy Tue 27-Nov-12 15:56:45

Agree with DeWe, unless she is in with a good chance of a B, she is far better sticking to the Foundation Paper.

In the next set up, she will be covering work which will get some dc an A. It will be very difficult for someone who is only predicted a C to keep up with this work.

Insist on seeing the head of maths and discussing her predicted grades.

Moominmammacat Tue 27-Nov-12 17:14:17

I know nothing but my DS was useless at maths, set 8 of 10, but still did higher tier because school believed he had a better chance of getting a C at higher than at foundation ... and he did.

Lanatal Tue 27-Nov-12 17:16:01

Thank you all of you we have made an appointment to see the head of maths as this school had this particular problem pointed out to them in their Ofsted. Not pushing the children over the C to get a B but very actively pushing the A's to get an A*. She is now getting bored and dispirited as when she finishes the work early she often helps the other kids . I know it is common in a lot of schools. It's frustrating. I'm aware of the grade markings between the higher and foundation as the same thing has hapoened to my elder daughter who has just say the early entry foundation and will now sit the higher next June big this won't be available to my younger daughter as this option is no longer available.

dinkybinky Tue 27-Nov-12 20:13:42

I don't understand how it can be harder to get a C on the higher paper, I think they only have to score 30% or something ridiculous to get a C on the higher paper.

noblegiraffe Tue 27-Nov-12 20:20:44

Because you are faced with a paper half of which you can't even access as the questions are B grade or higher, and the ones you can attempt you find hard. This can put some students off.

In contrast, on the Foundation paper, students have lots of easy questions in order to build their confidence and get into the swing of things. The C grade questions only appear on the last few pages of the paper.

However, if a student is prone to making silly mistakes, then the foundation paper gives more scope to lose precious marks early on, as you need to consistently get more questions right to get the higher percentage required.

realcoalfire Wed 28-Nov-12 09:26:53

The school are fobbing you off! What do they mean there isn't room? Class size prejudice doesn't apply.Are they saying they physically can't squeeze another chair in the room? hmm there is no smaller class that they can swap rooms with anywhere in the school??

noblegiraffe Wed 28-Nov-12 10:13:34

It's not just about sticking another chair in the room though is it? It's about another student to support, another book to mark, and that will take time away from the students already in the set. There has to be limits on set size that are not necessarily determined by how many kids you can squeeze in a room.

I can't imagine, however, that this school won't do any set changes as the year progresses, based on test results. And they certainly should have a shake up at the end of Y9 based on KS3 results.

My school also works on a swap system, if one goes up, one must come down. And we wouldn't do this simply based one term's work and test. We would need solid evidence of two good sets of test scores at the top of the group before moving up, because that gives the person who might have had an off day on one test in the set above another chance before being moved down. It also shows whether the person in the set below really is in the wrong set or is just good at angles or whatever the first term's work was.

realcoalfire Wed 28-Nov-12 11:28:08

I think what they do at my Dcs school is have smaller maths sets than classes.I think 4 classes are split into 5 sets to give flexibility to move children in the set they need to be in.the top sets are usually much bigger than the bottom sets because presumably they need less support.
It does seem to be a case of the tail wagging the dog when the schools own red tape is preventing the child from accessing the appropriate level.I am glad my DCs aren't at a school like that!
Kids first, I say!

alanyoung Tue 08-Jan-13 22:48:43

It is easier to get a grade C at the Foundation level because a number of topics are omitted at that level. For example, youngsters no longer have to solve simultaneous equations algebraically (or perhaps not at all since the latest revision) and they don't have to know anything about trigonometry.

At the higher level they must study all these topics and if they don't understand them they will get no marks at all for these. So, although they need to get a lower percentage mark at the higher level, for these students its a lower percentage of a lower possible percentage and therefore effectively a higher percentage, if that's clear.

jlee1 Sat 30-Nov-13 12:39:28

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

TheNightingale Wed 17-Dec-14 15:01:36

Thank you Lanatal for calling this debate; I found your chat last Jan 2013 long after it was over - at the time I was wondering how to approach my child's school about her maths exams registration.

I got some great advice here from DeWe and QuickLookBusy for adding on this chat; my daughter was sure she can do more then the foundation level. So I went ahead and asked this concise, thoughtful and very easy questions - Is she a safe C?

In the end the school asked me to pay to registered to sit the higher level; and her result for this maths exam came at A grade.

I can understand why parents are keen to hold this debate - it can be very stressful for both children and their parents to find ways of overcoming this kind of school decision. I didn't take my child seriously at first until I began to see that her stress level is up - one of which she's not too keen to attend the foundation math revision classes; (if you ever wonder why your kids ever want to skive school could be over these kind of decisions you don't pay attention to) ...

Thanks to KipMcGrath maths tutors for reassuring me that she is capable of sitting a higher grade.

Thank you all

naty1 Thu 18-Dec-14 16:56:08

A D at gcse maths is pretty useless for anything. It certainly wouldnt worry me and influence decision making.
When i sat 1997 the lower paper could get an A in science as someone sitting it did, whereas i only got a B on the higher level.
The teachers cant know from tests at 14 who is capable of what 2 years later.

Lilymaid Thu 18-Dec-14 17:07:54

I had a similar problem with DS2. He was going to be entered into a middle tier Maths GCSE (top grade possible B) because there wasn't room for him in the top maths sets though his recent performance had been of top set standard. I persuaded the school to allow him to go into one of the top sets as he was keen to have the chance to take A Level Maths.
He is now taking an MSc in a subject that would permit him to train as a Maths teacher.

Tia1973 Fri 29-Apr-16 19:06:24

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

s4rah19 Tue 12-Sep-17 16:06:53

Depending on whether you sit a H or F maths paper how do they write the grade on your exam results/certificates? Say if you got a C on the F paper does it say CF? Just wondering how colleges/uni and future employers view the difference. Thanks

Changerofname987654321 Tue 12-Sep-17 17:47:41

Zombie thread.

noblegiraffe Tue 12-Sep-17 17:55:46

Your exam certificate doesn't say which paper you sat. A 4 on Foundation will look exactly the same on your certificate as a 4 on higher.

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