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Helping Dd with Maths...ks3 to new GCSE

(8 Posts)
smellylittleorange Thu 09-Mar-17 08:28:43

Dd currently in Y8 after a bit of struggle seems to have suddenly got Maths and has been hurtling along ...if she puts the work required in it is possible she could be on track for old money Level 7 at end of ks3 y8. She is working at the top of the second set in her comp. She wants to move to top set and is willing to work hard for it. This is because she wants to do a humanities type subject at a good uni and doesn't think she will get in with a foundation level gcse. I am not convincedthis is entirely right but do want to help idea where to start in terms of skills at home iyswim. The school already give her extended work if she wants to do it but my understanding is the new maths gcse requires more comprehensive and creative skills ...the questions are quite wordy etc. She does work well if she can do a her own research but can anyone recommend resources for the type of skills that may be needed. is it worth it ? Surely only the most gifted will be doing the higher tier? or do u bite the bullet and get a tutor in--but then I worry grades would be artificially inflated--

Rumtopf Thu 09-Mar-17 08:41:10

Have you got a parents evening coming up? Speak with them then (or email her Maths teacher if not) about moving her up to the top set. If she's consistently performing in second set, getting good test results and is constantly asking for extension activities then they should be encouraging that and moving her up shouldn't be too much of an issue. If there's a scheduling problem then it may be held off until the beginning of year 9.
There are plenty of online resources you are able to access and possibly some your child's school subscribe to, her teacher will be able to point you both in the right direction.

I don't believe under the new system that there will be a "foundation" and "higher" GCSE paper, just one exam that all students will sit. I might be incorrect though as it's a little confusing.

TeenAndTween Thu 09-Mar-17 11:12:21

I don't believe under the new system that there will be a "foundation" and "higher" GCSE paper, just one exam that all students will sit

For maths there are still two tiers under the new system.

Surely only the most gifted will be doing the higher tier?

I don't think that's true. If it were true then the papers won't be fit for purpose. From reading threads (especially those posts from @noblegiraffe ) it seems to me that this year schools are being conservative over borderline students, and putting them in for lower tier whereas before they might have gone for higher. However I would have thought that any child expected to get a solid B at old GCSE would be put in for higher tier still.

Additionally, depending on the size of your school, I see no reason why a top-of-second-set child wouldn't be aiming for a GCSE 6 or 7 anyway and thus no thoughts of a foundation paper at all.

By the time your y8 gets through to GCSE the schools will have had more experience with the new style papers and should be on top of it all.

Furthermore, as long as she gets the 5 for maths (low B in old money) I can't see universities being too bothered on the grade if she is doing humanities subjects. The A level grades will be what they are looking at.

In summary, try not to panic. (My credentials, maths degree, DD1 did GCSEs in 2015, DD2 in y7)

smellylittleorange Fri 10-Mar-17 18:42:17

thank you all..sorry for late reply. Yes probably panicking. I have not asked for her to be bumped up to top set as she is so much happier working at the top of second set rather than the bottom. it hasdone her self esteem a world of good and helps her consolidate her learning when she helps others in class.

noblegiraffe Sat 11-Mar-17 00:35:06

She wants to move to top set and is willing to work hard for it.

Ok, what I got from your OP is that you are worried that she's not good enough, she's not gifted at maths, she will struggle in the higher set and that perhaps it's not the right choice for her, in contrast to where you say she wants to move. And now she's not moving because you think it's better for her self-esteem to be top of the second set.

I really hope there's an opportunity to revisit this decision in the future. Your DD is flying in maths, given extension work and could get a 7 (an old A). I don't know if set 2 only do foundation, it sounded like you were suggesting so but that would cap her achievement at a 5.

It's absolutey nuts to put a cap on her achievement because you're worried that she will fail. She's in Y8. If she tried top set and struggled, there would be time to move back down, but at least she would have had a chance to see. There is often a lot of overlap between sets, being top of set 2 wouldn't necessarily put her at the bottom of set 1, especially if she was willing to work hard.

There is a massive problem in maths of girls underestimating their ability and putting limits on themselves as a result. Not wanting to move up a set. Not wanting to take A-level maths because they've heard it's hard. Thinking they must be bad at maths because they have to work at it when no one thinks you must be bad at a musical instrument or a sport because you have to practice.

I'm really starting to think that girls shouldn't be asked whether they want to move up a set or not.

portico Sat 11-Mar-17 04:08:29

I recommend the Pearson Progression Workbooks for KS3. Try the Level 3 Tier, pitched at old SATS levels 5-8. Three books at £4 each. Pearson will reluctantly email answers for free. Great books for independent study at home. Much better than the usual revision guides: Collins, Letts, CGP.

Sometimes, it's impractical for a school to support a child, in a variety of situations and for a variety of reasons.You don't need a tutor, just uses Workbooks at home. I did' and it reaped dividends in exam performance for my children in KS3 maths.

JustRichmal Sat 11-Mar-17 08:01:11

I agree with everything Noblegiraffe has said.

I also think the anxiety of not being able to do the maths, ironically, stops some students being able to do the maths. If they do not get new topics in maths when they first encounter them they struggle, worry and then assume maths is not for them. If they just left it a day and came back to it, it all slowly becomes clearer. I taught dd maths and used to ask: Do you understand it more than you did before? rather than: Do you get it now?

You said ^I worry grades would be artificially inflated*. If your dd has learnt the maths, she had learnt the maths and that is the grade she is now at. However I think try CGP or Letts study guides before going to the expense of a tutor.

Khan Academy videos are also good for explaining the really tricky bits,

smellylittleorange Sat 11-Mar-17 11:03:40

yup are all right. She has the maths brain and she should be in too set. I think I am being short sighted by not helping to push it on . This is possibly because I was out in top tier gcse at secondary school and was constantly made to feel like I shouldn't be there by my male maths teacher..I ended up with a C. Mumsnet is too enlightening sometimes

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