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Advice about Maths GCSE retakes please!

(12 Posts)
Radoy Thu 19-Sep-19 12:17:47

My daughter had a great maths teacher at GCSE and a great tutor. She worked incredibly hard and put her heart and soul into it. And got a "1" at Foundation Maths GCSE. She did well enough in her other subjects to qualify for sixth form and is planning to be a designer.

She needs to retake her GCSE Maths at sixth form and is completely demoralised. I'm hoping someone knows about this because it's not easy to understand.

1) Should she continue to take the GCSE Maths and (likely) fail? Should I continue to shell out £200 a month (money I don't have) on a tutor to keep trying or just accept we're on a treadmill we can't get off.

2) Should she accept she can't do this and I ask her college if she can take Functional Skills Math instead?

3) She is 18 in April. Can she decide to opt out then?

4) And lastly...what is the consequence of not getting a Maths GCSE. Her career choice, which she is very good at, has no maths whatsoever but I wonder if universities decline and she narrows her future if you don't have this.

Just want to do the right thing. She's devastated at her result and can't imagine passing now given how hard she worked so it's mentally very tough for her. Not all of us are mathematicians sadly. Many thanks.

OP’s posts: |
noblegiraffe Thu 19-Sep-19 17:42:44

If she got a 1 at GCSE, that shouldn’t have been an unexpected surprise. How did she get on in her mocks and why is she a year behind in her schooling?

As she got a 1, she doesn’t have to continue to study GCSE, she can do functional maths level 2 - GCSE is only compulsory for those who got a 3. She does, however, have to do maths, even when she is 18. It’s a condition of funding for her sixth form courses.

Not getting a maths GCSE equivalent can close doors to further study and jobs, which is why resits are compulsory. If she knows what she wants to do, she can look on university websites at admissions requirements to see if she needs it, and check out job websites to see if it’s needed in her employment field.

Radoy Fri 20-Sep-19 13:43:51

Thanks for your help with this. Her reports the last year showed she was working at a "3" but they felt she would scrape a "4." She has severe dyslexia and APD and has always struggled with Maths, but she's had good teachers who cared and no one could ever fault her work ethic.

She lost a year to cancer as a child but is in remission.

I think it was a case of being overwhelmed with the exams - the maths exams were in the last week and she was really exhausted by that point. And nerves - she was so afraid of failing that she did far worse than her mocks. The teacher took me aside to say she was putting too much pressure on herself and it was counter-productive. She ends up over-thinking and over-complicating everything in her desire to do well. It's hard to overcome.

I have a tutor lined up for Sunday mornings and we'll keep going. Cannot imagine that we will get anywhere and it's absolutely demoralising, especially when I consider that her field (which is also mine) has absolutely no maths whatsoever.

OP’s posts: |
JakeAllfree Fri 20-Sep-19 15:25:02

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dootball Sat 21-Sep-19 07:54:58

It's pretty hard to see how a great teacher could forecast so badly. The difference between someone who might scrap a 4 and someone who gets a 1 is a giant chasm which I don't think could be explained by just tiredness etc.

clary Sat 21-Sep-19 08:05:43

Op firstly I am sorry your dd has had to deal with so much.

Have you checked the maths requirement for the post -18 course she would like to take? Would level 2 functional skills suffice? My ds got E then E again in English but passed FS level 2.

What did she get in her other exams? If she us doing A levels she must be able. did she have a scribe/reader for exams?

I know by the way that this is a bit nit picky but in fact maths exams were not in the last week, one was before half term and ds2 had a few exams after the third maths one, so you can't blame that. I agree that a teacher who thought she might get a 4 when she got a 1 did not do a great job, especially if she worked hard. I would certainly push for FS2.

jeanne16 Sat 21-Sep-19 09:04:20

You need to check that the tutor you have hired is a trained teacher and understands the exact requirements of the course. The tutor needs to be prepping your DD to be focused on particular topics where she might be able to achieve marks.

ilovesushi Sat 21-Sep-19 09:20:26

I would look at functional skills 2 maths which is equivalent to maths GCSE. Sounds like she has a long way to go to achieve a pass at GCSE. FS may suit her more. I run a (non maths related) degree course and am always happy to accept students with FS maths. Often they are students who are high achieving in other areas but have a specific maths disability (dyscalculia). Good luck to her! Sounds like she has overcome a lot!

ilovesushi Sat 21-Sep-19 09:26:46

Just to add, it is worth contacting specific university/ college courses direct via the admissions department to explain the situation. I have let talented, motivated students in without any maths whatsoever. There is often wriggle room for individual circumstances.

Radoy Sat 21-Sep-19 12:21:41

Thanks everyone for your help and support - it's so appreciated.

We were told throughout her young life she would never do GCSEs as her dyslexia was so severe but she has 7s in Photography and Design, a 6 in English Language and 5s in Drama, History and Literature. It was just maths that she couldn't handle.

The tutor we're seeing tomorrow has coached friends' children successfully with this particular maths board. I'll look into the Functional Skills - thanks for that. I accept getting her there will take several years and will cost me a fortune but we'll keep pushing forward. Just need to keep her whole throughout it as continuing to fail is tough. I cannot imagine how I would handle it myself...

OP’s posts: |
IsobelRae23 Tue 24-Sep-19 00:59:07

@Radoy Just a thought have you considered a tutor who specialises in GCSE maths for children with a learning disability? As they will often use different strategies to how a normal tutor would teach.

ChocolateTea Fri 27-Sep-19 13:08:03

There wasn't anything in the (edexcel) paper that was that surprising and would drop a predicted 3/4 to a 1. So I would be cautious about what the teacher was predicting. What did she get in mock papers?

Which exam board did she sit with? She doesn't have to resit. She can do functional skills. But functional skills has a lot of reading and worded stuff, which if she's dyslexic she may struggle with

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