Dd enjoyed the first week back but came home fed up yesterday. Teacher asked her what area was, holding up a piece of paper- she said "base times height", and was told "no, it's not. That is volume. It's the space the object takes up." She said she looked surprised. In the next class after break, with a different teacher, was told off for being slow getting ready, and told "none of your faces, now"- obviously to her she had been discussed in the teacher's tea room.
She asked for more work in maths as multiplying a list of 10 figures by 10 and 100 doesn't take long, and was told no, so she got out her reading book and was told to put it away. She said she had to sit there staring straight ahead for 7 minutes - I think that's a long time for a bright ten year old. Meanwhile, boys around her were chatting instead of doing the tasks, and when they make faces or whine "oh, man!" The teacher smiles indulgently (her words).
I feel frustrated as she has worked so hard, has so little chance of passing for a superselective with the competition, then feels punished for it at school. I told her to keep her head down for now as she will soon be set luckily with another teacher who had her last year and didn't take offence at her attempts to do well. I'm starting to dread year six though! My older dd was really bored when she did it and really lost enthusiasm for school.
I agree it is rubbish, but I kind of wonder if your daughter has put 2 and 2 together and got 5. The first teacher was just expecting to hear the words length times width or such-like and when she heard base x height was not quick witted enough to think that your daughter was meaning the same thing, or to ask her some secondary questions to establish what she meant by her base and height. She has recognised that your daughter knows about volume, but has jumped to the conclusion that your daughter is muddling area with volume and was incorrectly assuming that your daughter was meaning to say area of base x height. Which would have been a very odd answer as there was no third dimension. So really, this was a bit of poor questioning (and listening) technique, (hopefully), rather than an intentional dig at your daughter. Maybe the class was noisy and she thought she had heard area of base x height.
Not having any other work for your daughter other than multiplying by 10, 100, and 1000 is another bad patch in the lesson. She had not prepared a lesson fit for everyone in the room, and had nothing up her sleeve for some children. Your daughter should not have been the only year 6 child in the room to find she had run out of work to do at that point. If she was, the maths standard of year 6 there is low at the top end of the class.
So both these two examples are bad blips in the lesson, hopefully, rather than anything personal towards your daughter. As you say, hopefully it will be sorted out by setting and a different maths teacher.
The bit about faces after the break with a different teacher - hopefully this was not connected with the teaching blip before break.
I would encourage your daughter to go and tell the first teacher what she meant by base x height and explain her knowledge of area versus volume. The area of a triangle is frequently described as half base x height. There is no reason really why base x height could not be used to describe the area of a rectangle or any other parallelogram.
The teacher was, at that moment, questioning with a very closed mind.
Hope it gets better! I am sorry it has been hard to prepare for a superselective from that school. It would be. However, the blessing of a superselective is that it is extremely hard to get in to, like a lottery really, so the comprehensive will have lots of very able children still and it should be possible to get a long string of very high grades in the top sets.
Good luck. Hope year 6 bucks up a bit after a highly inauspicious start.