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GCSE Maths year 11

(10 Posts)
eatingtomuch Sat 16-Mar-19 13:50:23

I'm feeling confused and frustrated. DD has always been predicted a 6 (think this came from year 6 SATs). She seems to have made little progress and been recorded as working at a level 4 for ages. She is in a group that is sitting the higher paper.

At the first parents evening this year I questioned if foundation would be more appropriate. I was assured it wasn't and that moving her at the start of year 11 could be detriment as she has been studying the higher paper curriculum.

Her Xmas mocks were a 4 (she cried through most the first paper). Again I wrote to the maths teacher and was assured all was ok.

She recently sat more mocks. On Monday the class were all told they had passed, no marks given out but they all had a 4 or higher. The teacher went on to say eight of the students had a 4 and that by now he would of expected them to achieve a 5. He went on to say that he is considering giving the eight the option to sit the foundation paper and will speak to those concerned next week (this coming Monday).

My dd is convinced she is one of the eight.

Can any maths teachers advice if the curriculum between foundation and higher is different and what would you advise my dd to do if she is one of the eight.

Just to add we are supporting her maths at home. She has all the revision guides and her grandad who is a whiz at maths sits with her weekly to go over anything she is struggling with.

OP’s posts: |
eatingtomuch Sat 16-Mar-19 13:56:52

Just to add she seriously lacks confidence in maths. It has become a real barrier in her learning. Her actual ability is probably better than her mick grades, but in the exams she goes into panic mode.

Teacher has said her class work is to a higher standard.

OP’s posts: |
noblegiraffe Sat 16-Mar-19 16:28:43

If she seriously lacks confidence in maths and is working at a grade 4, then Foundation would be absolutely the right choice for her.

It is a little bit late in the day to be making the swap, but it’s worth knowing that there is an overlap between the papers - 20% of the marks appear on both papers, so the easiest questions on the higher paper are the hardest questions on Foundation.

What she needs to do is try some foundation papers over this weekend (look at the exam board website) and see how she gets on with them. She needs to be getting a much higher percentage correct on Foundation to get her 4, but of easier questions. She should have covered all the Foundation content at some point so won’t have anything new to learn, but she will need lots of practice.

eatingtomuch Sat 16-Mar-19 17:11:23

Thank you Noble I was hoping you would respond.

I do think she has just lost all her confidence now, which is a shame. She is working at 7's in her sciences and they have said she manages the maths parts in these well.

We are going to look at the foundation papers and see his she does. Also, I think from what the teacher has said the eight will be taught together as a small group. So that might help boost her.

OP’s posts: |
clary Sat 16-Mar-19 17:37:51

YY what Noble said. I taught MFL not maths but that is also tiered; a student who was getting a 4 at this stage on higher paper would definitely be best to do foundation.

I imagine she will find the F papers relatively easy. Certainly in MFL it is totally possible for a capable student to achieve top marks on many elements on the F paper eg the easier essay. I imagine something similar is true for maths.

Also if you are hitting a 4 on the higher paper, you are only getting wpquite a small percentage correct and you probably realise this as you are doing it. What a blow to your confidence. Whereas if she does F and thinks, woah, I can do most of this, it might boost her up and see her achieve a 5 - perfectly possible in F. Remember she never has to quote which paper she did eg in uni applications etc, just her grade.

Soursprout Sat 16-Mar-19 19:46:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Michaelahpurple Mon 18-Mar-19 11:47:57

Having looked at gcse H papers with my son I am staggered as to how weak mathematicians can deal with them psychologically. When one looks at the grade thresholds for lower grades, these children must be left flicking through endless pages they can’t even attempt - I don’t know how they deal with this and am so impressed by their resilience - I don’t think I would be able to stay calm in that situation.

noblegiraffe Mon 18-Mar-19 12:29:38

I’ve known perfectly decent mathematicians who could probably get a 6 end up moving to Foundation and having achievement capped at a 5 simply because of the psychological element of being faced with a paper you can’t do most of.

Having had grade 6 and even 7 students fall to pieces unexpectedly in the first set of Y11 mocks for the new spec, we’ve now pulled this level of difficulty down to KS3 so that these students get used to getting really low percentages in tests and not being able to do half the questions, but as mathematical experiences go it’s really poor.

eatingtomuch Wed 20-Mar-19 21:19:08

I do think the new curriculum has destroyed her confidence, it's very sad to watch as a parent.

She achieved a level 5 in her SATs, so this is a child that historically has been able to complete the majority of a test paper (or at the very least give it a go).

She did achieve a level 4 again in the mocks. I've asked to speak to her teacher because they have not mentioned moving to the foundation paper. I'm not impressed with the lack of communication.

OP’s posts: |
Cats100 Thu 21-Mar-19 21:11:13

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

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