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DS wants to do higher maths exam

(24 Posts)
LovelyBath77 Mon 08-May-17 21:23:47

and they won't let him. He's in Year 7. Some of them are doing the higher one and others the Core. They have asked selected ones to do the Higher one and he's upset not to be included.

I'm not sure if it will impact on the GCSEs but had a google and it seems the core paper can get you a 'good pass's that correct.

Should I ask if they will let him have a go or not? He seems to be doing quite well with the homework and revision sent home.

DermotOLogical Mon 08-May-17 21:25:58

He's in year 7 so surely this is an internal exam rather than external.

I'd say the teachers are a good judge of the paper he should take. If he does well he might be able to do higher next time.

BubbleBed Mon 08-May-17 21:26:26

I would more be arguing that they are pigeon holing a student in Y7 regarding their exams in four years time. Im presuming what they are putting them in for now is not what they will sit in Y11?

We have three tiers in each year group. Foundation learning, mixed ability, fast track. Usually fast track and two other sets go higher, the rest foundation. But that's not decided fully until Y10/11?

LockedOutOfMN Mon 08-May-17 21:28:34

Is it a choice between core and extended or is is GCSE "Further Maths"?

I think at Year 7 there is no point excluding a student from the extended gcse or igcse. I would ask for a meeting with the head of maths to clarify the situation.

TheFallenMadonna Mon 08-May-17 21:29:14

They won't be making tier of entry decisions for years!

MaisyPops Mon 08-May-17 21:29:46

All sounds very odd to me.

To be speaking of tiers then it sounds like gcse palers. I'm honestly stunned they're giving gcse papers to year 7s if I'm frank.

Final entries for gcse at in y11. So whatever they're doing it has zero effect on your kid.

Plus if it's the new 9-1 paper then most schools in my area are finding fewer year 11s are managing the higher maths than in thr old spec. But there's an overlap on tiers where you can get up to a grade 5 on foundation.

The entire thing sounds a bit silly to me but I'd just trust schools judgement on this one and get him to sit whatever they've said and see how he gets on.

LovelyBath77 Mon 08-May-17 21:30:19

They sent a letter saying groups 7a,b,c,d are doing higher and e.f doing core, and there are a few selected ones from the lower groups doing higher and 'they know who they are!' DS read this and said yes, he was disappointed not to be chosen.

Yes they are end of year exams.

LovelyBath77 Mon 08-May-17 21:32:17

I don't think it's GCSE papers, it's the ones for the end of Year 7. Or that's what it says in the letter. they have end of year exams over the next two weeks. Don't all schools do this? They are in every subject not just maths.

SaltyMyDear Mon 08-May-17 21:36:33

If he's in set e he's not doing very well. Or at least school doesn't think he's doing very well.

Does he think he's top of his class?

In most schools set 5 out of 6 would be sitting foundation paper not higher.

Just that most schools would be less obvious about it in Y7.....

DermotOLogical Mon 08-May-17 21:46:01

Sounds like internal exams.
Set e means he is towards the lower end ability wise so should be doing core.

LovelyBath77 Mon 08-May-17 21:49:02

No, these are the classes. they are actually called things like 7a, 7o, 7d, (he's in 7o) which makes it a bit more confusing. there are 120 in the year and around 20 in each class. It says the exams are to give the class groups for next year. So, some classes are doing the higher one, and the others the core one.

LovelyBath77 Mon 08-May-17 21:50:36

Yes, they do seem to go on about these exams setting them for next year etc, maybe to make them work hard or something? Not sure. That just seems to be in maths not the other subjects...

SaltyMyDear Mon 08-May-17 22:00:07

If 4 classes are doing higher and 2 doing core they're already in ability sets.

However it sounds like there will be some movement, based on the results of these tests, between sets for Y8.

Which again all sounds perfectly normal.

MaisyPops Mon 08-May-17 22:09:30

Sounds like they're using tiered papers for internal exams which is odd to me because no school I've been in has used exam tiers for anything other than y10/11. (I mentioned gcse papers as I know lots of schools are now using gcse materials in ks3 and the exam boards have done ks3 test papers like them).

It sounds like the teachers are giving him the paper that bests lets him achieve. Better to get 95% on core and be secure in those concepts than get 50% on higher and be wobbly on it.

WhatHaveIFound Mon 08-May-17 22:11:25

My Y7 DS has just sat internal exams and according to the parent portal, higher sets sat an extra Maths paper and lower sets didn't.

If your DS is in set E out of A-F, it seems to imply he's in a lower set. Do you suspect he's in the wrong set? Has there been any movement in the year so far?

If you think he's capable of doing the higher paper then there's probably no harm in asking but it could knock his confidence if he's not able to answer the questions.

DriftingDreamer Tue 09-May-17 06:43:39

Hopefully there is movement between years 7 and 11 in both directions over the years. Those that do very well on foundation surely have a chance to move paper in time? I am new to secondary= with a year 7..
Our classes at present are more mixed ability/ loosely set.
To the poster who says wishes things like setting less obvious I know a school nearby that prides itself on immediate streaming in year 7. No subtlety at all. A*/ A stream, A/b stream etc- horrible....

TeenAndTween Tue 09-May-17 08:46:28

Honestly - don't worry.
There is plenty of time to move sets over the years.
My DD1 started in ~7/10 so in y7 would have been given an easier paper for internal assessments. By the end she was in set 3/10 and narrowly missed an A grade.
The school will know how he is performing and who each of their papers is aimed at.

LovelyBath77 Tue 09-May-17 09:25:49

Thanks, yes the sets this year have been based on their SATs results in Year 6- and DS got just under the 100 mark which as far as I remember was the 'required standard- however he did much better in English - 106? I think...anyway so this I think has placed him in a lower group in the first year of secondary. It seems they all do it differently, another school nearby has a top set and then mixed ability groups...

RedSkyAtNight Tue 09-May-17 11:49:11

DS's school has maths groups that it calls "Higher" or "Core".
But DC move between the groups pretty freely (at least until they get much closer to actually taking their GCSEs!).
If he's currently in a "Core" group, then it makes sense he's taking the lower maths exam.

RedSkyAtNight Tue 09-May-17 12:00:47

... and actually if your school has 4 "higher" groups and 2 "core" - is this a selective school so the expectations generally are probably a lot higher? (DS's school has 4 higher and 5 core)

LovelyBath77 Tue 09-May-17 14:39:14

It's not selective but has high exam results. And probably high expectations...

LovelyBath77 Tue 09-May-17 14:39:46

Thanks this is reassuring. We have two doing core and five higher.

user1489830224 Fri 12-May-17 15:54:53

Hi LovelyBath77. It seems a pity to me that your DS's school is already using the terms "core" and "higher" in relation to exams in Yr 7. As he is keen to move up sets I would suggest you do some work with him at home. Find out what maths topics he has covered and then do regular revision with practice books from WHS or Waterstones etc, not just for the exams but perhaps an hour or two each week from now on. It is pretty easy to help children new to secondary raise their game in maths and early enough for him to show his school what he is capable of . Have a look at BBC Bitesize KS3 at www.bbc.co.uk/education/levels/z4kw2hv which is useful for maths, english and the sciences. If parental input is sensible and not too pushy I have found teachers will recognise the child's potential and be more keen to move the child up a set if they know he is supported at home. Then by Yrs 9/10 he will be in the set appropriate to take the higher GCSE, which is preferable to foundation level. Good luck.

LovelyBath77 Fri 12-May-17 16:24:09

Thanks! They did send the letter by email to parents not home with the children. They sent some links as well with the letter and thanks for these as well.

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