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PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:52 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 1:20 pm
Posts: 257
One of mine is showing huge promise in literacy but maths looks average/weak.

What happens if a child is exceptional, possibly 'gifted' in English but poor in maths? Do they usually fail to get to grammar school as not a good all rounder?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:33 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:38 pm
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Location: Maidstone
It depends on what schools you want and what they test for. Down here in Kent English is not tested for and you need to pass all the three subjects, my daughter passed 2 and failed 1 and that makes an overal fail. Other regions like our neighouring Medway put all the scores together but they put more weight in extending writing and maths.

In short it varies and I thinks schools like Pates and Tiffins only test VR and Non VR so the child may not be strong in numeracy. Generally I think there are fewer grammar schools that test for English (and it tends to be multiple choice or a piece of writing), a lot more test for Maths but worth investigating the particular schools you have in mind.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:49 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
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Cranleigh, I am still having huge problems with my children's school, and I'm not giving up either with telling the school exactly what I think, or with having a good bash at getting through everything needed in order to have a good shot at 11+ and level 5s at KS2.

I don't know what makes you think that your child is average / weak in maths, but it may be something to do with the teaching your child is receiving, or the school's judgement of your child, or both put together.

Maths is a funny subject - sometimes you have to put some time into thinking of different ways the child could think about it in order to get over whatever the stumbling block is, and there isn't time in a group maths lesson for this to happen, even if the school is doing their very best.

e.g. this is example from my child - not yet 7 - new to counting up and down in halves in the car this morning. I ask "what's the difference between seven and a half and ten?" Child very confused and could not get head round it (kept on guessing either one and a half or three and a half). Then instead I did it as an interesting problem - a little girl is three and a half and she can't wait for her seventh birthday when she will have a princess party. How many years will she have to wait? Child answered correctly straightaway to this and several other similar problems. I could have hammered on with my other way of trying to explain it for hours, had tears, got nowhere, assumed child is thick. It's a mystery what goes in their heads, and exactly how they do think about maths. Primary maths is a lot about being fast at remembering number facts quickly, less on abstract concepts. There are children who are poor on the former, good on the latter, and will do much better at maths later on than a primary approach might have spotted ........ some teachers are tempted to keep child on lower level stuff until they have got that right, and big gaps develop.

You only have to get approx 50% of the Kent maths questions right to pass. Have you faced the fear and looked at the NFER sample maths papers?

What year is your child in? I don't think it's ever too late with maths to make some massive progress fast, with the right approach for the child concerned. The only hindrance is having to go to school all day each day!!

Yes if your child is truly average for the population as a whole in maths ability (rather than in what they have been taught to do so far) you will probably be hitting your head on a wall to get to the standard needed to be in the top 25% in the Kent maths paper. But if your child is above average ability wise, and is only receiving a diet of maths that will enable them to be average at maths, then that is a different story.

If you and child are keen, need to identify now what the barriers in maths are, and come up with a plan ........... me I'm still feeling flexi-schooling might be the only way forward, but it's probably pie in the sky the hope of getting permission.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:01 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 1:51 am
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Both mu children passed the 11 plus with a very average maths paper result - the result was expeced with dd2 but with dd1, who is very good a maths, it was a surprise. However in my area - medway - the dc's results are all added together so if a child scores very well on the other papers(creative writing and vr) then a pass is achieved. Now in yr 7 at grammar dd2 does have to work hard at her maths to keep up but she is certainly not falling behind in it. What area are you?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:08 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 6966
Location: East Kent
There is a lot you can do at home to help boost her ability and confidence.
Quick recall of bonds and times table facts will be really useful for things like fractions and decimals.

Try googling times table games or similar, you will find loads of fun stuff.

you could begin by looking at woodlands junior site, it has lots of links to games to play online
http://www.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk ... index.html

this is another one

http://www.arcademicskillbuilders.com/g ... eteor.html

it even gives you a progress report and tells you which ones need more practice.

I can also recommend the Usborn Illustrated Dictionary of Maths


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:21 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:41 pm
Posts: 1008
Have tried any workbooks with him at home? WHSmiths are great for year-appropriate books by various publishers. You haven't stated if he is Y4 or Y5, but if you go through a book or two it should point out his weaker areas and by trying to teach them it will give you an idea if his maths is average, or if the school is allowing him to drift.

I was always told that my dd was doing well in her English, but the truth was that she had only progressed from L3a (Y3) to 4b (Y5), and the teachers were trying to drag the below average pupils up to the appropriate level at the expense of the more able children. We had no idea of this until we started working with her last year. DH and I worked with her at weekends, and in 10 months she moved from a 4b to a 5a and loves writing stories now(unlike before!).


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 9:39 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 1:34 pm
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we had same - son was accelerated and now in yr6 for 2nd time (too young to take exams as Jan DOB) he is at lv8a in maths (tested at local secondary) his primary managed to get him extension work there. English he just did in class - he has just got into Reading school whose exam is very maths centric - look at the schools papers


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