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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:03 pm 
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I've been reading with interest the recent posts on maths levels, and Schofield and Sims' Mental Arithmetic books 5&6 have often been mentioned.

However, I've just had a brief skim through S&S 5. It asks, among other things for square roots, areas of circles etc. Are these part of the ks2 or 11+ grammar school curriculums? If not, do people therefore use these books because, of the various topics that are covered at ks2, the questions in S&S 5 and 6 are asked in a particularly challenging/ higher level way that one might find in an 11+ exam in order to distinguish the super-selective-type children?

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 5:37 pm 
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We used them because the state school we were in started using them to try and improve its' maths performance. My boys were on the Level 5 books in Y5 and Level 6 in Y6 (almost finished it by the end of the first term) because that was the level the school deemed them to be on - (for info they were both level 5A Sats at the end of Y5 and ds1 was a L6 on leaving primary and ds2 is predicted L6 on leaving.)

Technically book 5&6 are above ks2 but, in reality, in my experience, certainly book 5 covers the type of stuff found in the CEM 11+ This is based on one boy already at a super selective, and the other joining him in Sept 2014. I suppose I would say that if your dc is coping with book 5 well, then they should have a good chance - but recall of times tables accurately and speedily are the key to doing well, as so much relies on this.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 6:16 pm 
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My DS went up to and including S&S Book 5. We didn't get a chance to do Book 6 and he managed to get into a superselective a couple of years ago. However, for my DD who is in Year 5 now, my intention is to go all the way to Book 6 just to make sure. As KCG says, making sure their adding, subtracting etc is sound will be extremely beneficial.

Good luck!


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 10:36 pm 
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My DS passed the QE and Reading school exam, both have a maths paper. We did not do Schofield book 5 or 6. We did do till book 4 and he had had enough of them. It was the type of questions and the wording which put him off at that time. We did do all eleven plus papers that were available and that was enough.

Good Luck!


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 8:23 am 
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Fatbananas...I thought you were in Kent? Are you trying to get your dc into superselective, or normal grammar? No point in scaring dc or yourself with book 5 just yet, after all they have not even completed year 5 curriculum, so things like ratios, percentages, proportion, in my ds' s school are studied this coming term, he only learnt multiplying and dividing decimals last half term, which features a lot in book 4.
I think kcg' s primary school is exceptional in their use of these books to a high level, and her boys are v v clever! Square roots are done to a minimum in year 5 and 6, my ds who is at grammar, had to decorate the inside of his maths book with square roots at the beginning of year 7, and areas of circles are generally year 7 and 8!
One thing I have been using from the books, is the terminology, there was a chat in a thread about this somewhere before. Awkward questions use: sum,product, total, derived, difference, etc which are a swine to learn...to be honest, they throw a lot of adults too, so it is worth using the c questions to get dc used to the variations that may be thrown at them.

Happy days. :D


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 9:23 am 
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Bless you, south bucks! The reality is the primary school only has a few children on L6 books now (and my ds2 is certainly much further ahead) and slightly more on L5 - which tallies with expected SATs levels, I suppose. They had to show improvement in Maths as it was very poor before and this was the reaction to an Ofsted inspection - it's worked in my favour but am not sure it is the best way to improve maths!

I would agree with south bucks - use Book 5 for the A section regularly - they are relatively straightforward "fast" mental maths where accuracy and speed are key. Section C are good examples of the type of wordy problem solving CEM questions...don't underestimate these in the test - there was one which followed a family to France where they were given the calculations to change mph to km per hour, £ to Euros, costs of fuel in different countries and speeds they travelled at and the children had to work out how much it had cost them to get from home to holiday and back and how long it had taken...multi stepped, very complicated...but, fortunately, there are not huge numbers of this sort of question as the timed sections are so choppy and changy!

Just don't panic, do what you are doing, recite times tables, reverse times tables (ie division) and, as southbucks says, get a firm grip of the terminology (mean, median and mode are another favourite which comes up in CEM and is only just covered in Nat Curric)


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 9:53 am 
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kenyancowgirl wrote:
I would agree with south bucks - use Book 5 for the A section regularly - they are relatively straightforward "fast" mental maths where accuracy and speed are key. Section C are good examples of the type of wordy problem solving CEM questions...don't underestimate these in the test - there was one which followed a family to France where they were given the calculations to change mph to km per hour, £ to Euros, costs of fuel in different countries and speeds they travelled at and the children had to work out how much it had cost them to get from home to holiday and back and how long it had taken...multi stepped, very complicated...but, fortunately, there are not huge numbers of this sort of question as the timed sections are so choppy and changy!

Just don't panic, do what you are doing, recite times tables, reverse times tables (ie division) and, as southbucks says, get a firm grip of the terminology (mean, median and mode are another favourite which comes up in CEM and is only just covered in Nat Curric)


Great advice, much appreciated :)

Should Dd remember unit conversions too, ie lb to kilo, mph to kmh, miles to km, ltr to gal etc or would they been given the actual unit conversions in the CEM test?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 10:56 am 
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Only if you want her to take granny shopping :lol:

They would provide the conversions...they would have to, as we do not recognise imperial in the uk from weights and measures any more.

Btw...nothing like this at all in bucks cem this year.

Sonasona, stop worrying about detail, it is really hard, but you must just do lots of practise with dd of any year 5/6 maths you have in your house that she is happy doing, oh and lots of playing too.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 11:20 am 
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southbucks3 wrote:
Sonasona, stop worrying about detail, it is really hard, but you must just do lots of practise with dd of any year 5/6 maths you have in your house that she is happy doing, oh and lots of playing too.


We'll do lots of playing alright 8)


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 12:00 pm 
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southbucks3 wrote:
Only if you want her to take granny shopping :lol:

They would provide the conversions...they would have to, as we do not recognise imperial in the uk from weights and measures any more.


Really? How tall are you? What's the speed limit on a British motorway?

I've always found it quite strange that for the last 40 years schools have exclusively taught only metric measurements while in everyday life almost everyone continues to use imperial units for a lot of things. :?


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