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Any teachers about please.

(31 Posts)
NewLife4Me Thu 17-Dec-15 17:02:48

I am looking for suggestions as to a way forward and also how you would manage this situation.

Despite having extra help from 2 teachers dd received 7% in her recent Maths test.
She was asked to do it again after some help and scored 14%.

She doesn't get Maths at all and as a result doesn't have any motivation at all. However, she realises it isn't going to go away and she'll have to work extra hard to manage to improve.

We have agreed to work through the test with dd during the holidays but I informed the school that ks3 Maths would be impossible for me to explain as I have severe learning difficulties with Maths. Dh can help but will be working a lot during the holidays and also dd needs a break too.
We have bought her the ks3 study book and will support the school and wonder if there is anything else we can do.

I also must add that despite her problems with Maths she is at a school for gifted children and is slightly above average in other bright in other academic subjects.

As a teacher if you emailed a parent to say you were concerned, what would be the next steps you would take and how long would it be before you asked for an assessment if funding wasn't an issue? i.e private school.

trinity0097 Thu 17-Dec-15 19:24:01

Sounds like she needs something far more basic than a ks3 study book, go back to basics with primary level stuff first.

Floralnomad Thu 17-Dec-15 19:26:12

Could you afford a tutor to go back over the basics with her ?

TeenAndTween Thu 17-Dec-15 20:14:54

Not a teacher

You need to build very slowly based on what she does understand and what she can do.

You don't say what year she is in, but can she do all 'primary' maths? If not I agree with pp you need to go back to where she first gets lost.

Are there specific areas she struggles with:
basic numeracy, shape, data handling / graphs, word problems?

Does she understand number lines? Can she order numbers (including those with decimals) in order of size and put them onto a number line? They weren't around when I was at school but I think they're great.

Does using visual aids help? My DD took a clear Perspex box into her maths exams to help visualising 3D graphs. Both DD's learned column addition and subtractions using money and 'going to the bank to exchange 1 10p for 10 1ps' etc

But if you can't help, and DH is busy, then I'd go for a tutor if you can afford it.

eatyourveg Thu 17-Dec-15 20:47:42

Has anyone mentioned having her tested for dyscalculia? If it turns out that she is affected then there are specific approaches that could be implemented. See here

timelytess Thu 17-Dec-15 20:55:27

As a parent (and this is me, I'm not saying you should do this), I'd want to give her a maths break for a month, then start again from the very beginning, playing with numbers and bonds, using objects as well as pictures. Move on fast as she shows her understanding of the basics. After a short period of practical successes, start writing down the work and answers, using aids for working out and as demonstrations of understanding. When she starts to flounder, go back and find different methods until she feels confident.

NewLife4Me Fri 18-Dec-15 13:46:00

Thank you for the suggestions, idiot me forgot to say she boards so we only have saturday afternoon and sunday before tea to do anything with her.
So in order for her to rest and have a bit of free time we'd only be looking at being able to do a couple of hours at most.
I will certainly look at these suggestions though, thank you very much.

Can anybody tell me at what stage the school would ask for an assessment of learning disabilities? Is there a type of system they follow?

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Fri 18-Dec-15 14:26:44

You don't have to wait for the schoo,to test her if you're concerened.

Dd was a year behind where she should be in all subjects and her state school said they wouldn't test until she was two years behind! Which I thought was crazy, we paid an ed psych and got a dyslexia diagnosis.

I would throw it back at the school and ask them what they're going to do, especially as she boards and is with them most of the time. They can't just ring and say they're worried and then not have an action plan.

Am not a teacher btw.

BertrandRussell Fri 18-Dec-15 16:06:59

It seems utterly daft the school expecting her to work at ks3 level if she can only get 14% with help! What do they suggest? I would put it back to them.

Meloncoley2 Fri 18-Dec-15 20:04:34

If she boards I would be expecting school to do the work with her, rather than using your precious time at weekends.

ChipInTheSugar Fri 18-Dec-15 20:10:17

Was the test appropriate for her age? If she is, for example, yr 7, and doing a gcse paper then 7-14% would be kind of understandable.

shouldiblowthewhistle Fri 18-Dec-15 20:12:03

I would check the school's SEND Information Report which is supposed to be on the school's website as it should give you some idea about how and when they assess SEN. If that's no good (and even if it is), I would speak to the SENCO and explain your valid concerns. Don't let them brush you off. Ask for an assessment for dyscalculia from the Educational Psychologist. Also ask them what support they can offer, even before the EP assessment, in terms of over learning or tutoring.

Once you get an EP report there will be recommendations and then make sure the school administers these, or at least some of them.

honeysucklejasmine Fri 18-Dec-15 20:15:11

Melon that's not how boarding school works. Hopefully the staff on duty or one of the resident staff will be a maths teacher and happy to help in the evenings, but that might not be the case.

OP I agree you need to go right back to basics. When did she start to struggle with maths? Whatever you do, don't commiserate with her by admitting your own maths problems - a lot of kids seem to think mathematical ability is inherited so it might affect her approach (I.e. positivity) towards the subject. Unless you spin it in a "I always wanted to improve my maths, let's do it together!" way which could be beneficial for you both. But yes, as pp said, would ask senco to get involved to just check there are no dyscalculia (not sure on spelling!) issues.

BertrandRussell Fri 18-Dec-15 21:35:00

"school works. Hopefully the staff on duty or one of the resident staff will be a maths teacher and happy to help in the evenings, but that might not be the case."

Really? In my experience of boarding school they would be much more proactive than that with a child struggling this much. It would be pretty crap if they weren't! If the child is only home from Saturday lunch to Sunday tea then there is no way the parents could/ should address this issue!

BrendaandEddie Fri 18-Dec-15 21:35:49

It seems a lot of people who pay a private ed psych get a diagnosis.

funny that

leccybill Fri 18-Dec-15 21:39:42

If she's stuck at school morning, noon and night, then I'd def be letting her have the holidays 'off' with no school work at all. Start in January - back to basics.

Incaseithelps Fri 18-Dec-15 22:32:21

NewLife what sort of maths was she doing when you were HE her? If the two of you did not tackle the maths systematically it may be more that she is very behind rather that she really can't do it. However she now needs to put the proper amount of time in. Could you ask some friendly older teenager to give her some help in getting at least her arithmetic and fractions secure during the holidays?

honeysucklejasmine Fri 18-Dec-15 23:14:34

I don't think the help would be more necessarily because they are in a boarding school. Teachers will always stay behind after hours to help a student, in 99.9% of schools nationwide. They'll give up breaks and lunch to do one to one sessions and have then for as long as it takes. But what I mean is, there might not be a maths teacher available in the boarding facilities. In my own experience "living in" there were not any maths teachers who lived there. I can and did help kids of an evening in my own subject, as did all the other staff. It just so happened that nobody actually taught maths. (Mostly pe, business, tech and science as it happens.)

NewLife4Me Sun 20-Dec-15 18:59:19

Hello again.

Thank you for the comments and suggestions, I thought I'd update.
Online school report made interesting reading, we weren't expecting it until 22nd, so I started the thread in the meantime.

Our dd has 3 and 4 for effort across the board, hasn't been handing in work, missing lessons and generally under achieving.

I have never been so happy to receive a bad report in my life.
They detailed what support they have put in place and it basically boils down to problems with organisation.
They will continue with the extra support for as long as it takes and I'm so happy they are going to do this.
I will definitely contact them in New Year and ask about a diagnostic test as she seems to be similar to me with the lack of organisations skills and I believe it to be either dyslexia or dyspraxia. I never know which problems fall under which, so usually mention both when I need to.

The Maths is an issue but if she will accept the offer of help which has been outlined they are confident she will improve. She has always struggled and when she was H.ed the basics took some time for her to master, but she got there in the end.
I think now she has started y7 and the work is becoming harder and she is unable to learn at her own pace and through practical application she is finding it hard.

Dh is going to go through the test with her as I took a quick look and no way could I explain the concepts of anything she doesn't understand, even though I may just scrape a few more marks than she did.

Just for the record, I didn't the think the school wouldn't address the issue, I was really asking if anybody knew the type of support and time scale involved for intervention, but that seems to be answered now.

Thanks again for the constructive comments.

Clavinova Mon 21-Dec-15 09:43:48

I have enjoyed your many posts NewLife and celebrated your dd's success in gaining her place at music school but this post makes me want to weep. Sorry to be blunt but you have just highlighted one of the pitfalls of home educating - by concentrating on subjects your dd likes (and you can do) you have avoided the subjects she needs. Why on earth did you arrange for foreign language tutors at home and not a maths tutor? Thankfully your dd's talent for music has now given her access to some qualified teachers.

NewLife4Me Mon 21-Dec-15 11:29:20


We found she was far better at finally getting the basic concepts with a combination of paper based/ text book learning and practical application.
She does struggle with Maths but will get there eventually, the core subjects were the subjects that were structured, with other subjects being autonomous.
She really enjoys languages and the tutor was a friend who volunteered her services in exchange for services my dh business provides.
I am also a qualified teacher, not that this makes any difference in a H.ed situation.
It is obvious that she struggles with Maths and has been since she first started school. We feel she has done far better in this subject during H.ed as she would have done at Primary school as there would have been no possibility of consolidating learning through practical application at school.

BertrandRussell Mon 21-Dec-15 16:36:11

But it's going to be such a struggle to catch up! sad

BertrandRussell Mon 21-Dec-15 16:37:19

And practical application will only get you so far in secondary school........

teacherwith2kids Tue 22-Dec-15 11:06:33

Started a reply to this thread several times, then not been able to post. A you may remember, I've done the schooled / HEd / back to schooled transition, though after a shorter time, and I do well remember that there were reintegration 'moments'.

If I read the posts correctly, your DD has
- General problems across all subjects, represented in the school report as 3s and 4s in effort. Is the interpretation that this is an 'organisational' issue yours, or theirs? As in, does she work hard when in the lessons, but doesn't always turn up and doesn't always do the homework? Or is there poor effort in lessons PLUS the problems with homework, turning up etc?

- A specific issue with Maths, which you believe was there in her earliest 'schooled' years, was present (but improved) during her HEd years, but is now manifesting itself again back in the schooled environment?

A question I would ask is whether she shows the same lack of effort / organisation towards her music? Or whether she is capable of applying effort / organisation in that one area, but isn't in her academic work? I suppose what I'm getting at is whether this is 'how she is' or 'a specific attitude / set of behaviours / gaps' related to her academic work. I can't remember who taught her music - is it something that she has done within the family (as part of HEd) or something she has always done 'externally' so the adaptation back to a 'schooled' environment is easier?

I'm glad that the school is being so supportive and helpful - how does your DD feel about her report?

teacherwith2kids Tue 22-Dec-15 11:17:50

I would join with others to say that the KS3 study book is not what she needs. Start with the KS1 book, which she can probably whizz through, using practical as well as pencil and paper resources. Note down anything she can't do instantly - e.g. whether she doesn't know all number bonds within 20 instantly - because those will impact on her ability to do the 'next step', for example formal written methods of addition and subtraction.

Then move on to KS2, which I suspect is where you will start finding thegaps. Again, note them down.

I'm suggesting that you do this diagnosis, because you will know, from your time HEd her, whether
- It is something she never learned / encountered
- Something she has learned over and over again but doesn't retain
- Something she learned but did a particular way which may not be 'standard' and thus bridging to the standard method may be needed

Then feed all that information back to the school, for them to use as a starting point for their interventions.

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