As a direct, less emotional response I would see how quickly they can complete the tests in schofield and Simms mental maths level 4, if fast and correct, move on to level 5. These two books seem to be a realistic level of attainment for 9/10 year olds. Obviously not a complete picture but a good start.
Please, what is a 'fast' time for these books? My DS is half way through level 5 in year 5 and does them around 35-50 mins depending how tired he is. What times should they be achieving a finished paper to level 5a/6c?
Are we talking about the same thing? The mental maths book?
Each page has A,B,C questions, C being the wordier ones? Supposed to take 20mins.
My boy is getting to the end of book four now, he completes the three sections in about 25-30 minutes, but will still leave a few section c questions that throw him by their format, and gets upset and stares at questions for 5 mins occasionally if I am not around to poke him.
Have not tried him on book 5 and do not intend to until he has finished book 4 in a few weeks time. He is not a confident mathematician though and we are not aiming for grammar school, but he does not want to opt out of the test either. He is achieving level 5c and 5b in school Sat tests for maths and the books have helped a lot, which is very pleasing for him, he is also a summer baby.