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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 4:00 pm 
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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-28143937

A report suggest that changes to Maths curriculum and exams would put off students from choosing Maths at GCSE and A levels.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 5:23 pm 
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Well if the new gcse maths is harder, and the teens are still under the illusion they need to obtain an A at gcse to study maths at A level it may indeed put them off opting to study A level maths and further maths.
However, presumably a harder gcse will mean they are more prepared for the big jump to A level and I am sure teachers will put a positive spin on the changes, as that is part of their job, to support and encourage, even if they disagree.

I quite like the sound of the " core maths " for students that achieved at least a C at gcse, it would have helped me out a lot when I swapped to a techy degree later to have continued with a bit of maths as well as my A levels.


Last edited by southbucks3 on Thu Jul 03, 2014 6:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 6:25 pm 
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I don't see any changes putting children off studying Maths at GCSE! It is a government requirement and is one of the subjects making up the core curriculum!


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 6:34 am 
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They will be better prepared for A Level so I can't see that they will be put off.

Also the current A pupils are not equipped to do A Level Maths at all.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 6:59 am 
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nts wrote:
Also the current A pupils are not equipped to do A Level Maths at all.
Possibly a slightly contentious assertion.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 9:36 am 
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I think there has been a big jump between GCSE and A level in many subjects. It was a major factor in local GS moving to IGCSE in science subjects for example.

Perhaps this has been because historically GCSEs were supposed to be open to all 16 year olds whereas A levels were designed for the academic ones who chose to continue down this route. Over time a broader range of pupils have taken A levels perhaps is not suprising many already find it difficult.

IMO it would be good to have an alternative post GCSE maths qualification that is designed to be less theoretical and more useful to those taking technical or practical subjects.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 4:07 pm 
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nts - your post is ill-informed.

I'm a maths teacher and have recently been looking back at mark books and our department results before modules alongwith national data.

It is a FACT that far more students take A level maths now than pre 2000 - terminal exams will, I am sure, reduce A level numbers.

There is a gap between GCSE and A level but if all the A* content is taught the gap is small ... some schools 'gamble' and do not teach all the syllabus as A* content is only 10% of the paper. There is nothing wrong with the content at GCSE what I think is wrong is the balance of questions on the higher paper:

50% of questions at grade D/C
20% of questions at grade B
20% of questions at grade A
10% at grade A*

The grade boundaries often mean an A can be obtained by a student getting no grade A questions correct - that is the real issue.

IMHO iGCSE is not the answer - good teaching of GCSE is.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 4:09 pm 
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Amber wrote:
nts wrote:
Also the current A pupils are not equipped to do A Level Maths at all.
Possibly a slightly contentious assertion.


The latest figures available (out in 2012, Subject progression from GCSE to AS Level and continuation to A Level by the DfE) suggested that out of all the pupils that got A at GCSE, 48% went on to take AS Maths and then on average 25% dropped Maths after AS, maybe mainly pupils who got B & C at GCSE and found out they couldn't cope but a fair few A and A* as well.

Those who went on to make it to the end of A Level maths, 4% got A%, 20% got A, 30% B, 23% C, 14% D, 8% E and 1% U. I know stats can be misleading so make what you want out of it. It also depends on what you consider a reasonable grade and many other factors. But the worst thing for me is, grade A at GCSE is around 60-68%. It means that pupils don't even need to learn most of the grade A topics and still will be able to get an A. Hence my comment.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 4:17 pm 
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They are if they have been taught properly ... we set work over the summer because they forget half the stuff over the summer. Most schools now ask for a GCSE grade A to reflect the issue of the exam structure. All our students pass A level and the vast majority with grade A* and A and a few Bs.

The problem is the exam paper NOT the content.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 4:22 pm 
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I just posted my reply and saw yours, Guest55. I agree with what you said but because of the system, a lot of schools teach pupils to pass exams, hence the reason they don't have the required knowledge. I know it is a flaw and it is wrong, but getting close to the exams, I still have to teach to the exam.

Admittedly, I have only been teaching for 4 years and only in grammar schools so my view can be limited but I teach on average 4-5 exam classes a year since my NQT . Out of those exam classes I have taught, there was only one occasion when I could honestly say to the class that I did not teach them to the exams but instead taught them everything that I found interesting because I was confident they would all go on to get A*.


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