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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 6:58 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2012 7:15 pm
Posts: 81
I was just wondering if anyone else is in agreement that since the changes to reduce the maths weighting, the grammar schools will be missing out on a whole cohort of kids strong in maths (and therefore probably science) in favour of children with who have been tutored to learn reams of long words, book worms (and probably those with more educated backgrounds).
From the primary I work at it was clearly apparent this year that the maths was quite unchallenging with many kids who are big readers but poor/average maths getting good scores, and those level 6 high flyer maths with good level 5 reading skills doing surprisingly badly.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 7:21 am 
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Personally I think tutoring has a bigger impact on improving maths - it is harder to "teach" the intricacies of words needed for a CEM test but there is certainly truth in the fact that those from "bookish" families who read from an early age may have an advantage. Their ability at NVR may have had an impact on their score as well - they could be very good at maths, but a poor NVR score would pull that average down.

My experience suggests that a) Level 6 maths in Primary isn't, and b) sometimes expected high fliers are not that great at problem solving maths and can get caught out by the timing issues.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 8:06 am 
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Bookish children tend to be good all rounders. The 11+ maths is still not easy! Those who qualify do so because they are suitable for GS and good all rounders, this idea that somehow the maths needs to be especially hard seems to speak more to me of children who haven't been wide readers and who rely on their maths skills to make up the deficit, as it's much more "quantifiable". As KCG says, it's easier to teach maths skills than make up for 11 years worth of absorbing vocab and a wide range of reading. Those who rely on getting through on maths make a big mistake.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 8:25 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
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Location: Herts
The intake to a selective school has the biggest impact on the school's position in the league tables so they link their exams to the skills they believe are necessary to GCSE/A level success. QE boy changed their 50 questions in 50 minutes for Maths and English this year to more questions in English (56) and less time 45 minutes. This is a clear indication that QE is looking for boys who are strong in English. The DAO English paper this year was a passage that many students completely misread and the creative writing required a wide range of vocabulary. I know of students who got full marks in the VR and high 90's in Maths but 30's in English. There was a deliberate choice made by DAO to have a more challenging English paper. With word problems in Maths and long written answers in Science it is the students with the strong literacy skills who are more likely to get high marks. CEM also favours students who are widely read. Some schools that were only using VR and NVR previously were having to hold special classes in Y7 to improve general literacy. It will be interesting to see if the move to CEM will remove the need for these classes. I deal with students every day who at ten years old have never heard of Peter Pan or Oliver Twist or Alice in Wonderland or the Wizard of Oz but are at very high levels on a whole range of computer games. Their parents tell me they are not interested in reading books. DG


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 8:30 am 
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If your children have unlimited access to computer games of course they will not be interested in books! How many adults do you know (and I am one) who genuinely enjoy reading (I read every night in bed) but who sit in front of tv or internet in the evening once kids in bed? I do, because it's passive and easy. If I could only read I would read far more and enjoy it. I don't, because I don't feel bad about an hour in front of tv, but if that was all the time my boys had and I let them fill it with computer, they would, and would not choose books, even though they love them. Our relatively mean screen time means they are highly read and highly skilled verbally with a wide ranging vocab and a broad knowledge of literature. When they are grown up, they can then decide what they do, but at least they have that broad base of literary knowledge and it's benefits to help them on their way. No one needs to be 'taught' to practise at computer games!


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 8:38 am 
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Perhaps the title should read:

11 plus this year bad news for those who are only good at Maths

?

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 8:45 am 
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Stroller wrote:
Perhaps the title should read:

11 plus this year bad news for those who are only good at Maths

?



Yes, indeed.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 9:26 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:47 pm
Posts: 2151
Location: Warwickshire
You're right; this year's 11+ didn't seem to contain much Maths compared to English.

I thought the year before was the other way round - and had more Maths in it?

Maybe it will just change each year - I hope it doesn't alternate as my ds is good at maths, but never reads, apart from school books.

I know all about the problems with computers; we have time limits set. My ds is up at 5 every morning (and always has been), making things (usually involving a mess with string, sellotape etc). He does football and chess after school, and often plays football after school (that will change when it gets dark). After that he has an hour of computer time. He's in bed by 7 and falls straight asleep. He watches very little tv as it is "boring". He is just not interested in reading and I've tried everything. :( He is mostly too busy doing things or too tired from being up early.

Given the chance, he would be on the computer most of the time. Weekends are about homework.

However, he is doing well at school - and he is only 8 - year 4.

Yamin151, he has plenty of access to books (he's the youngest of four) but he is just not interested and too tired most of the time. I am like you, I read in bed, I actually don't watch much tv, but use the computer too much as well, so who am I to talk.

I think you are right and the 11+ is bad for those who are only good at Maths. I do feel this year's paper was mostly English.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 9:44 am 
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Making things with string and Sellotape, I love that!! Wish mine were in bed asleep at 7! How I remember those days! They are both up at 6.15, by necessity, but don't go to sleep until after 9. We leave them upstairs at 8.40 but then they read. And when we insisted on lights out, they just 'sneak read', so short of spending my evening sitting on the landing I felt we had no choice but to leave it up to them. No screens of any sort in bedrooms of course.
Sad that it's getting dark, although one of mine happy to kick football around in the dark it's obviously a bit more perilous for cars etc! The other loves the trampoline, which is getting a bit dark and soggy now for evening bouncing. I was on it this morning though, very cold and wet on the feet (ice chips!) but lovely and sunny, good dose achieved!!


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 9:44 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 3:14 pm
Posts: 625
Every year children with strong literacy skills seem to better in the exams. Even the Maths papers have long wordy questions so children who are excellent in Maths but weak English flounder in those questions affecting their scores


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