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National Maths Challenge - compulsory?

(52 Posts)
toopissedtotalk Wed 04-Feb-15 23:57:46

Is it compulsory for schools to participate. I'm cross that my Y11 DS is being made to participate in this tomorrow morning instead of having regular classes. Mocks start on Monday yet the maths class is losing 3 lessons tomorrow morning because they have been told by the Head of Maths that they have to participate in the challenge. I feel that I should object to the school but it will fall on deaf ears.

noblegiraffe Thu 05-Feb-15 00:01:11

If your DS's mock results are so perilous that he can't miss a single lesson, then perhaps he should have done more revision.

The school have paid for him to enter, they are unlikely to let kids drop out on a whim.

Hakluyt Thu 05-Feb-15 00:01:24

If they can't miss three lessons at this stage then you've got more to worry about than a compulsory maths challenge!

MEgirl Thu 05-Feb-15 00:27:25

Revision has nothing to do with it. My DS wants to be in his regular lesson and not spending time on doing a Maths challenge. The children are given no option, they are automatically entered. DS told me that the no-one in the class wants to participate but they have not got a choice. And yes, DS is worried about missing lessons at this stage. He, and the rest of his class, feel that time would be much better spent in their regular lessons.

AtiaoftheJulii Thu 05-Feb-15 05:33:08

It's only an hour, so I don't know why they would miss three lessons?

Pantah630 Thu 05-Feb-15 06:10:41

Strange DS2s school only enter those that want to compete and they only miss the lesson while taking the test, they don't revise for it at all.

Quitethewoodsman Thu 05-Feb-15 06:35:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bruffin Thu 05-Feb-15 06:38:24

its not like they are missing maths to take part in another subject. I would have thouhht its good to have an alternative challenge.
Has he done it before?

AuntieStella Thu 05-Feb-15 07:03:00

It is good for mathematical skills.

I think it is good when schools do something other than teaching to the test (I assume it's GCSE mocks?)

As the competition would have been entered ages ago, the time for it would have been allowed for in lesson planning. Adding an extra unplanned period isn't going to achieve much.

And whatever your DS says, I doubt very much the whole class is so unprepared/unconfident about their maths that they think one lesson is critical.

If your DS needs more maths, are there any drop in extra sessions he could attend?

Toopissedtotalk Thu 05-Feb-15 07:28:22

They are missing other lessons, not maths. I also don't know why they are missing more than a single lesson. According to DS, it is only top set maths who are entered and the other teachers are annoyed by the fact that quite a few kids will be missing. I'm not complaining to the school, just quietly annoyed at home as there have been a string problems recently. I'm sure all will go well with the mocks.

TooHasty Thu 05-Feb-15 14:45:11

They are still doing maths aren't they? For most Dc it is just supposed to be a bit of fun!

TooHasty Thu 05-Feb-15 14:46:12

I thought maths challenge was last term? or is this a different age group?

grendel Thu 05-Feb-15 14:51:06

At DD's school only those in top set Maths are invited to take part, and only those that want to do so. The school views it as a bit of fun for the maths nerds. I think only two people from her set went in for it this year, and I think she only missed one, or one and a half lessons.

AtiaoftheJulii Thu 05-Feb-15 15:37:04

TooHasty, last term was the Senior maths challenge (sixth form), tomorrow is the Intermediate (y9-11).

OP, maybe your ds is exaggerating slightly and having a bit of a moan. If mocks start on Monday, I wouldn't really think one more revision lesson for a subject was going to make or break anything. Not worth getting cross about, imo.

AtiaoftheJulii Thu 05-Feb-15 16:07:15

Um, today for the IMC. Glad I realised before seeing ds!

darlingfascistbullyboy Thu 05-Feb-15 16:21:23

dd did the IMC today - again & will next year & the one after - she got silver last year, bronze the one before, this year she came out & cried. I really wish it was optional ... those that love maths can do it & enjoy the puzzles. The reasonably able ones who just want to get a good GCSE grade & NEVER have to do maths again could do without the stress.

<very grumpy today I'm not sure if I really mean that but I could do without the stress of a sobbing child when it really doesn't matter>

OhYouBadBadKitten Thu 05-Feb-15 18:08:12

It's not supposed to be stressful and the schools are getting it wrong if it is. It's supposed to be interesting, a challenge that if they do well can take them further in more interesting maths, but if they don't no more should be said of it.

experiencedoptimist Thu 05-Feb-15 18:11:32

It is ridiculous that these challenges should be compulsory for y11's.

noblegiraffe Thu 05-Feb-15 18:23:52

Can't believe that people are whinging about 1 hour of maths that's supposed to be a bit of fun for bright mathematicians.

myotherusernameisbetter Thu 05-Feb-15 20:00:55

In my sons school they have to pick names out of a hat as they can't all enter - he'd be chuffed if he could do it every year.

TalkinPeace Thu 05-Feb-15 20:21:14

DS moaned about having to do it because
(a) he did not want to
(b) he missed a lesson he DID want to go to

noblegiraffe Thu 05-Feb-15 21:34:11

Some kids will always moan about something that's a bit of effort (e.g. cross country). It's the parents joining in I am hmm about.

TalkinPeace Thu 05-Feb-15 21:44:32

The trouble is that its sold so badly.
One of DDs friends got the hat in FM GCSE and went on the Oxford summer school last year - and she could not see the point of the 'competition'
because she's decided not to be an actuary smile

OhYouBadBadKitten Thu 05-Feb-15 21:46:56

I don't know what the hat is?

I don't think the imc tests actuary skills though. (Can't imagine what mathematician would actually like to be an actuary?)

TalkinPeace Thu 05-Feb-15 21:51:32

The hat means she came in the top 5% of all of the Further Maths candidates in the country (two kids from DDs year got it) ie in the top 175 kids in the country

Look up who funds the maths challenge ..... Actuaries

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