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Maths tutor recommendation - London

(24 Posts)
splodge2001 Mon 02-Nov-15 14:55:13

DS is in Year 9 at City Boys. He is doing fine but his confidence in maths seems to be waning and he's being assessed for talking Ad Maths during this year. Every time he comes across a difficult question in a test he comes home and then realises how to do it. We think he can do Ad maths so we'd like to find him a tutor

MN164 Mon 02-Nov-15 16:54:35

Where do you live (approx.)? Always best to find someone local if you can. They will be keener and more flexible to come to you than the students half way across London.

splodge2001 Mon 02-Nov-15 17:54:55

Central London - WC1

When I google I find so many and it's difficult to triage.

Cookingwine Mon 02-Nov-15 20:36:02

Just out of curiosity, are there a lot of boys at City or similar schools having private tutoring on top of their private schooling?

splodge2001 Mon 02-Nov-15 21:09:00

I think there are. DS hasn't had any ever - not even to get in, so I think his confidence isn't as high as it should be.

Cookingwine Mon 02-Nov-15 21:44:51

DS just started at City in year 7, I was hoping once in we could forget about tutoring! Confidence wise, I think tutoring is a double edge sword though, I would have thought getting in without extra tutoring would have been a boost for one's confidence. Did he get in in year 7 or 9?

Cookingwine Mon 02-Nov-15 21:47:26

When will they take the decision for Ad maths? If he gets the answer once at home that sounds promising

splodge2001 Mon 02-Nov-15 21:55:45

they do tests throughout the year - he didn't make the grade on the first one. Answers at home promising but don't cut the mustard! I think we just need a little tutoring to help him gain a little confidence. I think he just assumes that he can't do things when he can.

Cookingwine Mon 02-Nov-15 22:06:49

Good luck. On the eleven plus forum there is a section "beyond 11+" about GCSEs, A levels, uni, you might find something there

MN164 Tue 03-Nov-15 07:13:47

How about the Maths dept and teacher gives him a bit of support at school?

Might mean missing some break time football.

splodge2001 Tue 03-Nov-15 08:58:09

He started in OG (year 6).

Cookingwine Tue 03-Nov-15 09:37:23

What does the maths teacher say? They must know your son by now (I hope!) is Ad maths the same thing as further maths? That sounds extremely geeky smile

Cookingwine Tue 03-Nov-15 09:42:26

"The tutor page" was useful for me to find a local English tutor for 11+.

splodge2001 Tue 03-Nov-15 11:09:19

Ad maths is a higher than GCSE paper but not as high as A-Level.

Cookingwine Tue 03-Nov-15 11:33:33

I see, more like top set? I thought that even the lower set at City would end up with a A...totally depends what he wants to do later on. But confidence is important, particularly in a competitive environment. Maths and PE have a lot of kudos among boys I suppose.

Needmoresleep Tue 03-Nov-15 13:07:07

DD did Ad Maths, simply as a way of keeping the top couple of sets stretched. DS did not, as he was not in the right set, though he was probably taught beyond the GCSE syllabus and went on to do well in double maths A levels.

Ad maths was described to DD as the most pointless qualification she would ever sit. Either GCSE woud be enough, or AS/A2 would supercede it. Are you sure your son would not be better off finding his own level and either being selected for the higher set, or being in a good group of similar ability, who really get to grip with the fundementals within the GCSE syllabus. Maths is one of those subjects where some kids are naturals. DD identified one or two kids who were almost certainly tutored into top sets. One could be a real pain as she regularly struggled to understood new topics in class, holding the whole class back. But was fine in exams, presumably after her tutor had been through the topic with her several times.

Cookingwine Tue 03-Nov-15 14:29:35

If she was fine in exams and willing to ask questions in class, she had to be commended, don't you think?

Cookingwine Tue 03-Nov-15 15:02:07

FWIW, not sure this is really useful for OP, but my DD oscillates between the lower and upper set (small school, only 2 sets) and she is a pain in both, in lower set she antagonises her friends by saying how easy it is, and when in the upper set she struggles more than most girls. Should I provide a tutor???

Needmoresleep Wed 04-Nov-15 11:20:40

Cooking it depends, but in the context that Admaths is a pretty meaningless qualification.

1. For a parent 11+ is bad enough. The idea of a tutoring arms race to keep your child in a top set sounds depressing.

2. Its a pity for the child who then does not get a place in the top set, and who may interpret this as not being good enough when they were, and who also misses the chance to be stretched.

3. For the brighter kids in any top set who find a disproportionate amount of class time is used up helping less natural mathematicians, and thus less scope to keep them stretched and engaged. (Whilst a willingness to ask questions in class is commendable, if the answers to those questions are pretty obvious to the rest of the class they won't be gaining much.)

4. There are also confidence problems for a child who is struggling to follow what is going on in class, and who is needing a tutor to support, and a real danger that they end up with gaps.

In general I think the top of a lower set is a better place to be than bottom of a higher one. If you look at grades there will be quite a lot of overlap, eg the top of the lower set will do better than the bottom of the higher set. Much better to be taught at a slower pace, understand it all and gain the confidence. Subjects like maths and chemistry really do get harder at GCSE approaches and its tough on those who previously got very high marks and then start to struggle. At some point, whether before GCSE, AS, A2 or University, extra support will stop working if the basic aptitude is not there.

That said it depends what a child's future plans. Maths and English are key qualifications and you probably want to get the best grade you can in the last exam you take, with maths AS being a real advantage for some subjects. The London problem seems to be a focus on class ranking and wanting a child to be in a higher set, rather than simply helping a struggler get the concepts they need to have. I think it is something to trust teachers with.

Interestingly DD's school had a surprisingly low uptake for double maths A level. When it came to A level choices she was told she was really good and should be taking the double. Given she had been bounced around sets for her whole GCSE career and only started getting top marks in Yr 11 when some of the previous stars were struggling, it was too big an idea to take in. I think it is something she slightly regrets now with the more interesting A level work. An approach which took note of class performance when setting might have made a difference and made maths more fun for all.

Cookingwine Wed 04-Nov-15 11:41:44

It is really important not to lose sight of the child's best interest in all this. I totally agree that is is better to be in the top of lower set, but not to the point of being bored, and if your place in the top set implies too much extra work, it is not worth the effort.

splodge2001 Wed 04-Nov-15 16:39:36

This is not about an arms race - it's about there being ability that isn't being utilised because of lack of confidence. Like being able to do the high jump only when no one is looking.

We haven't had any tutoring remember, not even to get into the school. I only want to use it as a facilitator

Also, he's already in the top maths set - at CLSB.

Cookingwine Wed 04-Nov-15 22:17:28

I think it is worth trying a tutor according to what you describe, sorry I cannot recommend any!

crossdonut Wed 11-Nov-15 18:51:47

OP I recommend Owl Tutors because their tutors are all qualified teachers. Many of them have been on the Teach First programme and the founders related well pastorally to the trials and tribulations of DS being a teenage boy. They are not cheap but a brief stint might help your DS get his maths mojo back.

mummyd25 Sun 15-Nov-15 11:16:51

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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