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Should I be thinking about a tutor

(9 Posts)
Parket Tue 26-Feb-19 18:23:04

My son is Y7 at a good state school with a high achieving intake. He got good SATS scores (107) in maths, but this has always been his weaker subject compared to literacy based subjects. His initial test results were strong and he was given a flightpath A, however on the basis of other subsequent assessments he has been put in the 3rd of 4 sets for maths. I wasn't too concerned about this because I knew there would be an opportunity to move up, and I know he takes a bit of time to grasp some concepts before they sink in. As far as I am aware they cover the same topics as other sets, but probably going at a slightly different pace. However he keeps just missing out on being moved sets and now he is starting to say he is rubbish at maths and I just feel he is losing confidence. I'm not bothered about what set he is in, I just don't want him to be held back or to hold himself back by lack of confidence in his abilities, which concerns me. I think a big part of the 'issue' is that he doesn't read questions properly and he rushes through things, rather than him not being able to understand maths. Would it be a good idea though to start thinking about a tutor or should I just chat through my concerns with the school initially? Any thoughts would be welcome.

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Panicmode1 Tue 26-Feb-19 18:29:21

I would start with the school and maybe have a meeting with his maths teacher to see if they can help you identify the issues. I had a similar problem with my DD, who is at a grammar school, and had started in the top set, but then kept sliding. After a conversation with DD and the Head of Maths, it transpired that it was a clash with the teacher, who had eroded her confidence with her sarcastic approach, so we have now moved her to a lower set where she is gaining confidence again. Had the school not helped, I would probably have gone via a tutor, but maybe best to try and get the school to resolve it first.....

Parket Tue 26-Feb-19 18:35:19

Thanks for replying, I think the maths teacher is aware that he is a bit of an oddity, in terms of his apparent potential v test results so far. The teacher seems quite approachable and I'm not aware of any problems there. Homework is painful though, he just moans his way through it and refuses to write down his workings which is infuriating (though he says he does do it properly in tests!) Maybe I need to ask the teacher whether it is a technique thing rather than understanding, because I'm not sure really and I think it would be good to get an independent view on this...

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TheFrendo Tue 26-Feb-19 18:37:24

Just on the SATS: In 2018, the average maths SATS score was 104. So, 107 is a little above average. The 100 is the government set 'expected' floor - it is not done with 100 as the average.

Parket Tue 26-Feb-19 18:39:11

Yep I know how SATS work wink

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Panicmode1 Tue 26-Feb-19 18:51:19

Oh I see. Well if the teacher is approachable, perhaps ask them how you can help because you can see he's losing confidence..?

I think maths is SO much about confidence and once lost, it's hard to rebuild (well it was in my case - I've spent my life feeling I was crap because I was at the bottom of the top set and ALWAYS struggling, but they would NOT move me down!). Maybe if you have tried the school and don't feel that they are being very proactive or helpful about his confidence, then a couple of sessions with a tutor would help give you an independent view on what they see as the issues and help him to regain his feet....

SweetMarmalade Tue 26-Feb-19 20:00:35

We decided to find a maths tutor for Y7 Ds.

He passed his maths SATs but only just. He’s always been very capable but lost his way in Y6.

He currently goes once a week for a 45 min session. It has helped.

Tbh tutor can explain anything he’s unsure of far better than me. I’m rubbish at maths so this suits us.

MariaNovella Tue 26-Feb-19 20:04:59

If you can find a good maths tutor, please do this for your child. Tutoring in maths can make a huge difference.

Parket Tue 26-Feb-19 20:21:50

Agree that maths is a lot about confidence, which is why I'm not so worried about the set he is in but more him saying he is 'rubbish at maths' - he clearly isn't, and I don't want him to spiral down from there.

They are doing another assessment this week so I will see what the results are like, then speak to the teacher I think and see what his thoughts are. I didn't want to come across like a pushy mum asking for him to be moved up, which I suppose has been my hesitancy before. We just did a few practice questions together that had been set as revision for the test wine and it does seem like he gets a lot wrong by just not reading the question properly rather than not having grasped the concept.

Far more open to the tutor idea now though if we need to go down that route, really appreciate hearing people have had positive experiences with it.

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