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Help for Hard working DD who just got D in maths

(12 Posts)
LadyPenelope Tue 25-Nov-14 18:26:33

DDis in year 9 and in bottom set for maths. Mildly dyslexic which affects literacy and maths. V hard working and recent marhs test after half term she got D and is disappointed. She got v little warning of test and I think it's turned up that she isn't secure in some of the areas. She easily forgets earlier work even if she knew it at time and also has difficulty interpreting some questions due to literacy challenges. What reasources could we use to help practice. I'll also be speaking to her teacher to see what he recommends but bit concerned as he's made a few comments to her that suggest he thinks she's not trying hard enough and marked her as only average for effort, so I'm keen to support her at home. She would probably do some work withe over Xmas hols if it was short bursts and not too onerous . TIA

noblegiraffe Tue 25-Nov-14 18:37:07

What does the D relate to? Is it a GCSE grade? Or an internal school grade? What level is she working at?

LadyPenelope Tue 25-Nov-14 18:48:00

D is internal school grade for attainment. I don't know what level she is working at. New to this school and UK. Old school she was level 5-6 but don't know if that's same as UK system.

BackforGood Tue 25-Nov-14 19:19:25

Would you be able to speak to her teacher to say that you want to help her at home, and that dd is willing to work with you, but you don't know which areas she is struggling with or really where to start or where to focus, and ask them if there is anything they can give you to guide you, or books or websites they'd recommend ?
Most teacher I know would be delighted with such a positive attitude and more than willing to provide you with some direction.

mummytime Tue 25-Nov-14 19:25:15

I would maybe contact the head of Maths as well, it may be possible for your DD to get some tutoring in school (often 10 weeks of 1 to 1). Tell them how she was doing okay in her last school, is highly motivated to improve but neither of you are sure exactly what areas she is struggling and how best to improve.
If you can afford a private tutor, that is often the best thing for improving grades, but you might want to wait until the GCSE years.

noblegiraffe Tue 25-Nov-14 20:23:30

Yes, you need to phone the teacher and have an honest discussion about where your DD is and expected GCSE grade from this point. Once you know that, you'll know how much work needs to be put in.

Unfortunately y9 are the first year to go through the new GCSE so instead of needing a C to pass, she will need a "5" which is a grade B. If she is on track for that (which may be unlikely in a bottom set) then a workbook and some suggestions of areas for revision would be fine. If she is below that, then a more thorough grounding and perhaps working solidly through a workbook is needed. If there is money for a tutor, then that would certainly be worth considering.

Hakluyt Tue 25-Nov-14 21:59:26

Does the teacher know about her dyslexia? Have you talked to the SENCO?

skylark2 Wed 26-Nov-14 11:38:36

I think there's a bit of a disconnect in your logic - "would probably do some work if it was not too onerous" is not "v hard working" by any description. Average effort may be overgenerous if that's really her attitude.

That said - she's new to the school and the whole education system. I would definitely talk to the teacher about how to help her catch up, but I wouldn't worry too much about actual results at the moment if she's still settling down.

DeWee Wed 26-Nov-14 11:58:31

If it's an internal grade then you need to find out what it's relating to.

If the rest of her set got Es and Fs then she's doing very well. If they all got As and Bs then she's not.
On it's own you can't tell what it means at all.

If she's new to the school it may mean that she hasn't done something that they have-and she may have done stuff they don't know, but you can't see that as it wouldn't have been in the test.

YeGodsAndLittleFishes Wed 26-Nov-14 12:06:18

See if you can buy a revision book for the exact maths GCSE exam she will sit. As noblegiraffe said, things are changing and it might affect the format of the exam papers and how the students give their answers and it will help to work towards the right set of goal posts. Other than that, accept that she is going to get a lot more maths questions wrong and that every wrong answer gives her (and you, if you are helping, but it is really down to her at that age) an opportunity to work at something so that she gets more of that question type right in future.

YeGodsAndLittleFishes Wed 26-Nov-14 12:15:11

Yes, is it ..

her basic understanding of number, e.g. decimals, fractions and calculations using basic operations which is hampering her? Or is it the kind of things she has not come across before and so is likely to get better grades once the gaps in her knowledge have been covered?

Or is it
that she isn't used to having to think of how to answer wordy questions and either doesn't understand the language involved because it is unfamiliar vocabulary to her, or
C) she is not used to having to think through those question types which require the test candidate to decide how to apply maths to answer the question?

If your DD or her teacher can identify where the problem is, then that helps to know where her time is best spent to improve her score.

LadyPenelope Wed 26-Nov-14 17:14:53

Many thanks for all the suggestions.

Some good thoughts to help me prepare for the discussion with her teacher and also help DD think through what she's struggling with too.

I don't think they expected her to know work they hadn't covered - the test was only on what they had done since Sept. That said, others may have done it in more detail before and therefore it was fast revision. Also, thinking about it she's one of only very few in her class who haven't done common entrance, so in that respect not even very familiar with taking exams compared with the others.

Fortunately, she's motivated to improve so if we can get right strategies in place for her, I'm hopeful she'll catch up.

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