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PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 6:14 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 5:53 pm
Posts: 79
My son came top in his entrance exam for selective secondary school and it was suggested he could get a scholarship had he needed one on the strength of his maths. He now finds his new maths teacher very boring and having just overseen his revision for end of year exams I am truly horrified by how far his maths has slid back. He doesn't seem able to remember the simplest of things and I am tearing my hair out in frustration at him. He just can't be paying any attention in class and is making the most ridiculous of careless mistakes as though he wouldn't even scrape a level 4 whereas previously he was working at level 7!
He is inately lazy and needs pushing and I'm afraid that he is just coasting in class and doing absolutely nothing! He is at a good school but obviously no-one has noticed he is doing this except me. Maybe they think he is just an idiot at maths. I have no idea.
Feeling very disappointed at this and fed up.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 6:45 pm 
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I had some truly terrible maths teachers which is partly the reason I went into maths teaching!

I'm sorry to hear his experience but there is far less scrutiny of teaching quality in private schools. All you can do is complain and make sure he gets a different teacher next year ... hopefully a more inspiring one.

You could get him to try an old KS3 test paper to see where his level is now (they did tend to over level); these are freely available here:
http://www.emaths.co.uk/index.php/4-stu ... sat-papers


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 10:04 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:28 pm
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I wouldn't worry too much - if he is gifted at maths then he will easily regain the ground.
The change to secondary school is a big deal and he may have been developing in other ways this year.

I agree that you need to speak to the school to find out why he has lost his enthusiasm for the subject and talk about what they are going to do about it next year.
Its possible that they know the teacher isn't great but its not that easy to find good maths teachers so they may be putting up with them and the best you can do is make a fuss and hope the management decide to avoid giving the teacher to your son next year.
Alternatively if enough parents complain the school may decide to take action.

I had an issue with laziness with one of my DCs and made them spend much of their school holiday (2 weeks) studying to make up what they should have done during term time on the basis they had not earned a holiday. Vast improvement after that :)
Maybe you could get DS to spend a few days over the summer redoing the year 7 curriculum including extension work to get back up to speed for September?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 10:24 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
Posts: 6693
Location: Herts
My dd was not challenged in Maths when she first started Y7. I met with the school about it and got her moved to sit with a more able peer group and got her allocated more challenging work that was on her desk automatically so she did not have to ask for it. The school responded immediately. We all have the same goal, for our dc's to perform to the best of her ability, so it makes sense to work with the school to achieve that. Now in Y9 she is flying as she should be. I am delighted with her progress which might not have been what it is now had I not acted. DG


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 10:39 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
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Are you at a selective independent school? What do the other parents think? I think independents vary - some treat the parents and customers and do try and do something about poor teaching e.g. find a better teacher, others are unpleasant to parents who complain. Which type is yours?

It's nearly the end of year 7. It would be wise to do some detective work this year to find out if a) your son will have this teacher again in future years b) if it is the teacher that is poor or your son that has been backsliding c) what they are expecting of him longer term d) if he is in the top set or they have made a mistake!

Forewarned is forearmed. You might find for example that the maths teaching is poor right the way through the whole department and you are just going to have to "go solo" for the next few years, or you might find that it is your son's motivation that needs addressing both by you and the school, or you might find that there has been some kind of mistake. Best of all you might find out that this teacher is leaving and maths will be fab from now on.

I find ropey maths teaching very annoying too, particularly when teachers seem to waste the skills a child entered their class with. Don't get me onto that one. :cry: Even the right homework would at least keep things going during the year even where the teacher is ineffective in class for some reason outside their control.


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