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Homework for parents? Why?

(8 Posts)
insanityscratching Mon 08-Dec-14 21:30:03

Posted last week regarding maths homework for y7 dd that was too complicated and to get the solution she would have needed knowledge of conditional probabilities whereas in fact she has only the knowledge from primary as secondary haven't covered probabilities at all yet.
Dd has autism and a statement and whilst she is top group she is in no way talented at maths and doesn't even particularly enjoy it.
Had some good advice on how to explain the workings to dd but also advice to raise this with the teacher. In fairness I have written twice in dd's communication book that the problems set are beyond dd's understanding and knowledge but still she gets more.
HofY phoned regarding incidents where dd has been bullied and so I asked if he would raise homework concerns with teacher. HofY didn't have a clue what I was talking about because he's a PE teacher but reassured me that the homework is appropriate to the ability of the class. I said in that case dd must be in the wrong class or the teacher needs to be aware that dd needs the homework differentiated as it is so far beyond her ability and understanding.
Dd handed in the homework which was done with far more support than I think I should be giving and today discovered only she and a friend out of the class of 30 got it right. Dd quite rightly said my Mum did it because I didn't know what to do and her friend said her mum and dad did it together.
Teacher then said tell your Mums well done, I'm impressed confused
Why on earth would he set homework knowing that a parent would end up completing it? What does it matter if I can or I can't do the homework? Surely it should be for dd's benefit not mine?
It's 30 odd years since I did maths o level and a level, I'm more than a bit rusty and don't even know if the methods I use are what dd will be taught. If I thought it was an oversight I was wrong as this week's homework is again wholly inappropriate hmm
I would refuse to do it but dd is so scared of getting in trouble that it's not really an option, I've written twice and raised with HofY now so not sure what else to try.

titchy Mon 08-Dec-14 21:52:33

Talk to Maths teacher or head of maths direct?

MillyMollyMama Mon 08-Dec-14 22:01:16

I agree that this is worrying and, frankly, the homework is pointless.

My DDs attended a boarding school and I never did any homework with them, ever. Thankfully it was set appropriately and could, mostly, be completed in the time allowed for it, by them, without parental help! Teachers were available to talk to if any of the girls had problems with the homework - at the next lesson. The teachers were then well aware of who was capable of what. The day girls, had parental help of course.

It would be highly likely that this teacher is not setting homework in accordance with the homework policy of the school. I think I would speak to the Head of Maths because he/she will have a greater understanding of how maths is taught and the homework policy for this subject. It is their responsibility to get it right, not the head of year, in my view.

noblegiraffe Mon 08-Dec-14 23:38:49

You need to speak to the maths teacher. Not via a communication book, but over the phone. Ask him where this homework fits in with the maths curriculum and what he is hoping your DD is going to get out of it. If he bangs on about problem solving then explain that your a DD cannot access the homework without significant input and is being stressed and put off maths by homework that is too difficult.

If he says it isn't too difficult, point out that none of the kids can do it!

If you don't get any joy, then phone the head of maths.

insanityscratching Tue 09-Dec-14 09:12:02

Noble it's easier said than done to contact the maths teacher. All communication is to go through either HofY or SENCo in dd's case. SENCo's suggestion to everything is for dd to go to Learning Support which isn't my idea of inclusion and doesn't fit with what dd is used to nor what makes her happy and so far dd has resisted setting foot in the place.
By raising it with HofY I expected him to ask the maths teacher to contact me but obviously because he didn't understand the maths involved and is so insistent that the homework issued is appropriate he obviously didn't feel it was worthy raising with maths teacher.
I'll email both SENCo and HofY today without going into the reasons why and just ask them ask the maths teacher to call me and see if I get a call back. They are both so defensive that the school is perfectly right that any perceived criticism automatically leads to them defending their position rather than addressing concerns raised. So incidents of bullying raised were met with suggestion that dd hide out in Learning Support rather than actually addressing what was happening and was actually only addressed when the school realised I was documenting everything not only the bullying but also the school's lack of response and pressing for them to follow the anti bullying policy Concerns about maths homework was met with reassurances that the maths teacher is lovely hmm

Seeline Tue 09-Dec-14 10:10:21

If you get no response, I would go straight to the Head teacher. the school doesn't appear to be able to deal with the simplest of requests, and the Head should be made aware of that.

MillyMollyMama Tue 09-Dec-14 15:52:18

So why did you choose this school?

insanityscratching Tue 09-Dec-14 16:43:32

Fundamentally I chose it because dd would be with her friends because in a school with no one she knew she hasn't the skills to make new friendships and we have nurtured the ones she has for the last six years.
I believed that the SENCo understood that I wanted dd supported in the mainstream part of the school and not hidden in Learning Support and to be fair she is but any difficulties are always met with she could be in Learning Support and avoid all this rather than addressing the difficulty. Probably because it's cost effective to have a group in Learning Support rather than supporting one child individually in the main body of the school.
I had no idea that HofY was the gatekeeper to all the teachers until I asked to give a message to dd's form tutor purely to request missing paperwork (that I still haven't received). It's not in the prospectus and it wasn't the system 5 or 6 years ago when dd1 was there and whilst information for parents does give his contact details I thought that was for problems that couldn't be resolved easily rather than all contact.
As for maths well I'm not sure anyone could have foreseen before admission what was actually going to happen. The maths teacher taught dd1 as and a2 level maths, she never complained and I had no reason to contact him so wouldn't expect there to be a problem. Four lessons a week are with a different teacher and homework from them is entirely different so no complaints there.
I visited many times, I had repeated meetings with SENCo in the fifteen months previously, I met teachers, HofY and HT more than once. Reassurances were given and promises made, that I didn't obviously ask all the questions that were needed is increasingly apparent as time goes on tbh but then again who in their right mind would think to ask "do any of the teachers set homework for the parents to complete?" hmm

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