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Any maths teAchers/other obesessive year 9 parents about?

(21 Posts)
BertrandRussell Wed 01-Jul-15 11:53:53

What would you expect a reasonably able year 9 to score if they took a GCSE higher tier maths paper? The current ones- not whatever the new ones ane going to be?

Ladymuck Wed 01-Jul-15 12:38:30

It would depend on whether they had covered all of the topics, especially trig.

DeeWe Wed 01-Jul-15 13:05:36

Do you mean grade wise? I think dd2's top set were scoring high Bs. But they normally would do the maths GCSE in year 10. They're not this year as they're waiting to do the new ones though.

noblegiraffe Wed 01-Jul-15 13:18:08

The level which would predict a solid C at gcse on the old system was a level 6 which is roughly equivalent to a D grade. So a reasonably able student should be getting higher, maybe a C, and the most able a B or more.

BertrandRussell Wed 01-Jul-15 13:27:16

Hmm. So a borderline C means that it'll be a stretch to reach an A at GCSE? Bugger. He needs As to go to the 6th form he's set his heart on.

It does seem ridiculous to even be thinking like this at this stage!

noblegiraffe Wed 01-Jul-15 13:37:47

An A would be possible, it would be the equivalent of 2 levels progress in 2 years which isn't out of the question, but would require solid effort over the two years. GCSE papers are in a format that he might not have been used to, did they do lots of preparation?

The problem is of course that it's the new gcses and and all bets are off. They are saying that roughly the same proportion of kids will achieve a 7 or higher that currently achieve an A*/A, so that's what he should be aiming for.

BertrandRussell Wed 01-Jul-15 14:02:41

Bugger again. He's around the top of the top set and the school is very pleased with him- but they have very few higher ability pupils and are, frankly, not used to many As at GCSE. His was the second highest mark in the class. I feel a word with the teacher coming on........Not sure how much preparation they've been doing- I know they've been using lower tier papers for homework for a while.

summerends Wed 01-Jul-15 16:24:23

Does n't this relate back to a previous thread that highlighted the importance of knowing the school's plan for his maths set ie whether the teachers are aiming to comfortably cover the A / A* or level 7 equivalent material for GCSE by the time they take the GCSE . If not and they plan instead for solid middle grade consolidation, surely his chances of getting a higher grade from school teaching are reduced whatever his ability.

HmmAnOxfordComma Wed 01-Jul-15 16:51:31

Ds's teacher said their top set was working within grade B (old money) at our January parents evening.

They tend to get A/A* for all students in top and middle set by year 11, but are obviously having to work them harder and faster to cover the material for the new GCSE.

I wonder why your ds's school has them going over lower tier papers now? Seems a bit pointless for a top set...they've got two more years until the 'real thing' which will look different to the old papers anyway. They should be learning new material not doing past, irrelevant, papers at this point?

noblegiraffe Wed 01-Jul-15 17:05:33

There has to be some sort of comprehensive assessment at the end of Y9 to measure progress over KS3 and to effectively set for Y10.

Schools used to have SATs in Y9 and a lot of schools kept up with SATs papers once they were scrapped. However most schools have already started teaching the new GCSE and SATs papers wouldn't be suitable. GCSE papers for the new GCSE would obviously be better than the old GCSE but the revised sample assessment materials were only released yesterday so no one knew what the exams would look like. My school wrote its own exam but we are going to struggle to put levels/grades to it so I can see the appeal of using an old GCSE paper.

Takver Wed 01-Jul-15 17:10:26

Sorry for the slight derailment, but noblegiraffe, you don't happen to know whether they're planning on switching to the new style papers in Wales as well as England, do you? I should have asked at parents' evening, but forgot.

Takver Wed 01-Jul-15 17:13:26

Actually - another question if you'll forgive me - not relevant to dd, but to a friend's dd. The implication she'd come away with from parents' evening was that once into yr 9 it was very hard to move from 2nd set into top set, which meant her dd wouldn't be able to do the higher tier paper. Does that sound usual? (Only 80 in yr, so not surprising that 2nd set won't do higher paper - but she'd hoped her dd would be able to move up if she worked hard)

noblegiraffe Wed 01-Jul-15 17:29:16

I think Wales are going their own way. WJEC have a GCSE with grades 1-9 but I think it's England only. Wales looks like it's going to have two gcses, one in maths, one in numeracy, and three tiers, foundation, intermediate and higher. They also look like they are keeping letter grades.

I wish I lived in Wales tbh, their offering seems far more sensible Here's the spec

noblegiraffe Wed 01-Jul-15 17:36:36

It is hard to move up a tier because the student will have missed higher tier work which would need catching up on, but writing off higher tier for a borderline student as early as y9 is ridiculous. We normally teach borderline classes higher tier as long as possible, then move down to foundation tier if necessary.

Sometimes we do get a student who wants to switch to higher tier later on, because they've been tutored at home, for example. We'd probably do it on a provisional basis if their scores were good, or want to see an example of a higher tier paper they've sat as evidence they can cope.

Can your friend afford a tutor with the aim of moving her up a set ASAP?

Of course there are some students who are definitely Foundation tier material and would do well to get a C. Their parents might kick off about not sitting higher and a tricky conversation is needed.

Takver Wed 01-Jul-15 18:24:20

Many thanks, noblegiraffe, really helpful.
Friend's dd's problem is pretty severe dyslexia. Obviously I only hear one side of the story (!) but previously she was told her dd was in set 2 because she was failing to manage the reading required for maths in set 1 - which seems a bit of a crap excuse as she's coping with support in set 1 science. Of course it may be a way of avoiding the tricky conversation you've mentioned . . .

BertrandRussell Wed 01-Jul-15 18:52:28

Most of the top set in ds's school will get Cs and Bs. The reasoning behind doing the past foundation papers is to give confidence and to consolidate.

BertrandRussell Wed 01-Jul-15 18:54:02

Sorry- pressed send too soon. They are working beyond that level in class. But for a lot of the children confidence ins huge issue, and being "over faced" is very damaging.

titchy Wed 01-Jul-15 19:05:53

Out of interest noble is there any reason English schools can't opt to do the WJEC paper with old style grades?

noblegiraffe Wed 01-Jul-15 19:07:55

I don't think it's allowed, they've got 'Wales only' plastered all over them.

catslife Thu 02-Jul-15 09:56:58

In answer to Takvers question it should be possible for some pupils in the same set (or teaching group) to take the Higher Paper and for others to take the Foundation paper. dd who is in Y10 is in a Maths set where this will probably be happening. They are covering Higher Tier work but a final decision won't be made until after the Y11 mocks based on each pupil's results.
It is perfectly normal OP for Foundation GCSE papers to be used at the end of Y9 as they won't have covered enough of the course material yet to take the Higher ones. I would expect these to be given to the more able pupils in Y10 though.

Shazy123 Sun 05-Jul-15 22:56:01

Hi, In response to the comment regarding the new Maths GCSE in Wales. I have a child that will be sitting the new exam next year. DS is in Set 2 so at the moment has been told that intermediate paper would be most suitable. The highest grade you can have in this paper is a 'B'. I'm not sure if I'm too keen on this new system, the reason being is that my other Ds did gcse 2 years ago. Had two B's in the first 2 papers then had a very high A* in the third final paper so came out with an A. My other Ds has not started having tuition yet and I know is at the top of the second set, but am afraid that Ds will never get the chance of other sibling to get an A. On the other hand maybe the intermediate paper would be better - a difficult one for us here in Wales.

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