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If your child is in the top set for maths what qualifications are they taking?

(26 Posts)
outtolunchagain Tue 06-Jan-15 13:50:00

Just that really , ds3 is in the top set for maths , they will all do IGCSE at the end of year 11 . It's a selective ( though with a long tail) so the whole year group will do the same exam.

I'm happy with this providing there is plenty of sideways non examined stretch to keep him interested but I notice that a lot of the schools do either ad maths or statistics and I am wondering what the advantage of this is or if he is at a disadvantage in not doing these extra qualifications .

3nationsfamily Tue 06-Jan-15 13:59:57

My DS is doing the same. Currently in year 9 and school switching practically all subject courses to IGCSE under the new GCSE regime as believe them to be more rigorous and better preparation for A Level. For the top students they also enter them in various maths competitions/ olympiad type events to stretch them and give them problem solving experience.

StarOnTheTree Tue 06-Jan-15 14:03:18

DD2 is likely to do her GCSE this year (year 10) and do advanced maths in year 11. I can only see that this will be useful if she chooses to do maths at a level.

Leeds2 Tue 06-Jan-15 15:40:26

My DD just did IGCSE (last summer). They had the option of doing additional maths GCSE as a lunchtime option. I think about 20 started this course, but only 3 or 4 took the final exam. A Level class has about 20 in it.

StarOnTheTree Tue 06-Jan-15 16:34:05

It's not advanced maths that DD2 will be doing, it's further maths, I think....

Vivacia Tue 06-Jan-15 17:52:30

What is it about the additional (i.e. not "advanced") GCSE Mathematics that you feel your son would benefit from?

LineRunner Tue 06-Jan-15 17:54:27

Maths and Further Maths

AtiaoftheJulii Tue 06-Jan-15 18:44:10

My dd1 is at a grammar school, was in top set maths, only did GCSE maths at the end end of y11, nothing else, nothing extra. Her set spent maybe half their time on the syllabus, the other half on more interesting stuff smile

She breezed through AS maths, A2 requires a bit of application. She's not doing FM A level as her interests lie elsewhere, but no, she's never been at a disadvantage!

LineRunner Tue 06-Jan-15 18:48:03

Atia, did she do Maths and 3 other A levels?

DS wants to do A level Physics, Chemistry and Biology, and also Maths. Is there room for Further Maths?

outtolunchagain Tue 06-Jan-15 18:50:11

I don't necessarily think he would benefit from additional maths and am certainly not keen on him doing stats however his school seems to be the only only one for miles around that doesn't have the top set either doing maths GCSE in yr 10 and either additional maths or statistics in year 11 , or in one case has the top set doing both maths and additional maths in year 11 .

Part of me is pleased as I am not in favour of exams for exams sake but another part of me wonders why other schools think it beneficial and if he will find A level maths harder , the school have a good record at A level so clearly if he stays there for As that would be fine but if he moves to say a sixth form college and the others have done it will he be at a disadvantage ?

AtiaoftheJulii Tue 06-Jan-15 19:10:07

Line no, she dropped her 4th AS. At her school FM is definitely a 4th option, at others (e.g. my ds's) it can be a 5th, so ask your school smile

noblegiraffe Tue 06-Jan-15 19:17:24

I teach top set maths and we are doing GCSE maths and the AQA further maths GCSE equivalent. The reason behind this is that higher GCSE maths has become an embarrassment since they went to 2 tiers and is not good preparation for A-level maths. Many students, even with A*s, struggled with the leap to A-level; some dropped it partway through Y12 and others flunked AS. So we switched from doing GCSE statistics in Y10 to doing both maths and further maths in Y11 to bridge the gap to A-level.

noblegiraffe Tue 06-Jan-15 19:20:09

the school have a good record at A level

This should be treated with caution. Only students who have got a reasonable grade at AS are allowed to continue to A-level, so good results at A-level could be hiding a lot of students dropping maths as they can't cope in Y12, or not getting good enough grades at AS to progress.

LineRunner Tue 06-Jan-15 19:22:52

Atia, his state school has no sixth form. He has to go to college for A levels - into the great unknown!

summerends Tue 06-Jan-15 19:24:14

outtolunch I suppose the question you need to ask is what material is the top set covering in addition to the IGCSE syllabus. If you are talking of a top set that would all be capable of an A* in year 10, then those pupils should also be tackling higher level maths in year 11 whether formally examined or not. If they are just doing the IGCSE syllabus then firstly they will be very bored and secondly they will have a bit more to assimilate in Y12 if they end up doing maths A level.

ChocLover2015 Tue 06-Jan-15 21:47:10

GCSE maths, GCSE FM and GCSE stats.

hellsbells99 Tue 06-Jan-15 22:20:44

DD2 did GCSE maths in year 10 and level 3 algebra in year 11 - plus maths competition and 'fun' stuff (trying to prove circle equations etc). Now doing AS maths - think there are between 60 and 80 doing AS maths. Non selective comp. She is finding AS maths easy so far as they covered a lot in the algebra course. DD1 is in year 13 doing A2 maths and finding the jump from AS maths more of a challenge. She thought the 2 core papers at AS were fine but found the stats paper harder.
I believe the new GCSE in maths is supposed to be much better preparation for AS level.

Dragonlette Tue 06-Jan-15 22:28:33

I teach top set Maths and we will be doing Maths GCSE in year 10, then Further Maths GCSE in year 11. That's the top set in a normal state comp. We find that the Further Maths GCSE is just more interesting Maths for the brightest pupils and gives them a much better grounding for AS level.

Dd1 is in year 10 of a different comp, and in top set. She will be doing Maths and Further Maths at the same time in year 11.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 06-Jan-15 22:29:50

Don't know what year 9 dd will do, but dd1 did a GCSE in maths and an igcse in further maths, as did the rest of her group.

springrain Tue 06-Jan-15 22:36:51

We have maths and further maths (level 2 AQA) for top sets at our local comp in Y11 for same reasons as noblegiraffe said. They finish GCSE syllabus in Dec and do further maths the rest of the year, which reinforces the straight maths GCSE and bridges gap for A level. They have nearly 50% of 6th form doing maths A level and results at both AS and A2 for maths are really good, so they must be doing something right.

RaspberryLemonPavlova Tue 06-Jan-15 22:39:32

DS1 did Maths in Y10 and AQA Certificate in Further Maths in Y11. DD is now in Y10 and will do both exams in Y11 as they have changed their policy on Y10 exams.

Atia DS1 is now doing Maths, Physics, Philosophy, Geology and Further Maths A levels. The Further Maths is taught in one lunchtime and a twilight after school on Fridays, plus a lot of self study.

Tzibeleh Tue 06-Jan-15 22:57:37

Y9 ds has his options evening next week. He wants to do 3 Maths GCSEs shock So that would be Maths, Further Maths, and ? He's obviously top set, and says that the whole top set are doing 2 Maths GCSEs, but only he and a handful of others want to do the third Maths GCSE. He's at a local comp.

sablepoot Wed 07-Jan-15 00:09:02

one of mine was top set maths at a similar sounding school. The top set had never quite all achieved a*s (in year 11 to give an indication of ability level), through the maths teacher was ever hopeful. The igcse was very easy for the brightest, they did maths challenge as extra and a few did Olympiad but that's about all, though they may well have been taught the igcse topics thoroughly as they did all seem to go on to do very well at A level (both maths and further maths) with several going on to read maths at Oxbridge, so I'm not aware of any negative impact.

EllenJanesthickerknickers Wed 07-Jan-15 00:23:56

My DS1 did maths GCSE in November Y11 (no longer allowed) and AQA further maths level 2 in the June. Only top set did this, all others took GCSE maths in May/June of Y11. He's now doing maths, further maths, physics and computing AS levels at a different sixth form and only one in his maths/further maths set hasn't done either add maths or further maths. One other lad has already dropped further maths despite an A* at GCSE. It's not essential, but is useful.

Essexmum69 Wed 07-Jan-15 07:10:58

DS did GCSE maths and GCSE statistics.
He is year 12 and currently studying AS maths and further maths. He says the pupils who had studied further maths have found AS Core 1 (C1) module easier than those that hadn't. He has found AS Statistics 1 (S1) module easier than those that hadn't done the stats course. So I would say that one or the other is useful if planning on studying AS level maths or further but which depends on the modules your school offer for AS maths. His school does C1, C2 and S1 for AS maths so either is helpful, but if the sixth form does M1 or D1 instead of S1 then the GCSE statistics is unlikely to be as helpful.

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