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 Post subject: split from GCSE maths
PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 4:48 pm 
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Location: caversham
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I have just had a lesson from DD1's school saying she has been chosen for the accelerated maths group which will mean she takes gcse in year 10.


:) Just been to the meeting inviting DS2 to extended maths at his state primary school so that he can take GCSE Maths lower tier in year 6. :shock:

They have been running the scheme for a couple of years, 90% getting the top grade of GCSE C.

The school stated they looked at various schemes and decided this was the best way forward for those scoring a level 5 or age standardised 130 in year 5.

They have one hour extended maths in school time and an hour after school once a week in year 6.

If the DCs are ready, willing and able I think it is a good scheme. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Accelerated Maths
PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 5:15 pm 
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What happens when they got to secondary, or does the school go through to Y11?


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 Post subject: Re: Accelerated Maths
PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 5:53 pm 
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SSM wrote:
What happens when they got to secondary, or does the school go through to Y11?


That question was raised at the meeting. :)

No they don't go through to Y11, leave at end of Y6 and go to a wide range of schools.

The program teacher (who happens to be an ex-pupil and now head of school) said they had not had negative feedback from secondary schools and suggested that it was up to the secondary schools to teach (set) at the appropriate level.

Her comparison was, "We don't teach reception children to read/write/spell their own name, if they are already capable, but move them on to the next level."

It is a high achieving school in an affluent area, but rightly so they do spend most resources on boosting the lower levels up to the league table scores. This scheme is something for those who would have had to spend year 6 doing the same maths over and over.

As an aside, and quite illuminating, the top set do a week long level 6 maths investigation, not many get the level six. At age 11 easier to teach them to pass an exam than plan and execute a week long project?

Sorry for going OT, again, if this conversation continues I will try and split the thread.


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 Post subject: Re: Accelerated Maths
PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 6:20 pm 
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They SHOULD be able to do the foundation GCSE if they have middling or above maths ability in year 6 - It isn't anything special I'm afraid. It might be more worthwhile to do the UK Maths Challenge which needs genuine ability rather than lots of coaching or rote learning.


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 Post subject: Re: Accelerated Maths
PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 6:49 pm 
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Location: caversham
magwich2 wrote:
They SHOULD be able to do the foundation GCSE if they have middling or above maths ability in year 6 - It isn't anything special I'm afraid. It might be more worthwhile to do the UK Maths Challenge which needs genuine ability rather than lots of coaching or rote learning.


BUT only TWO primary schools in the UK are trialing the GCSE. Horses for courses.

The school looked into "other" options and made a CONSIDERED decision. :) Special or not, oh and no need to be afraid. :wink:


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:12 pm 
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The foundation level GCSE is, I am sorry to say, surprisingly easy for a bright primary child - I taught it last year and found my little one, then in Year 3, could do quite a lot of it, and he is by no means a maths whizz kid.

But what is the point? What will they do when they get to secondary school? Are the secondary schools going to be happy to have children who have already, supposedly, covered 4 years of a maths syllabus kicking their heels in regular maths lessons? I am sorry, but surely there must be some other enrichment activities they can do - this seems a very blinkered approach to me.

Unless I am missing something advantageous - I expect someone will soon tell me!


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2010 8:50 am 
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Good luck and have fun - the curriculum is not that wide, nor is it that different from primary school. My only concern is the C grade on CV. On other threads posters have mentioned that a GCSE taken early is viewed in the same way as one taken at the appropriate time. The "it was taken early" statement being met by universities with a flat "why?"


Last edited by moved on Sat Jul 10, 2010 10:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2010 9:44 am 
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I'm struggling to imagine that an exam taken in primary school is going to hamper uni entry. :lol:

I do take on board that enrichment is considered much better than acceleration but you are at the mercy of the provision offered. I would much rather go down the GCSE option than have them bored to tears in year 6.

I think there will be much more opportunity to provide enrichment in Secondary school.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2010 10:20 am 
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I don't think it will have any bearing on their university application...presumably they will do the higher tier GCSE in year 11 or earlier. My son's school has said that they will allow their MFL students doing well to sit the foundation level GCSE in Year 9, again I am assuming this C will be replaced with a higher grade on the higher tier at Y11.
I don't know whether doing this in Y6 is a great idea, but as others have said, it is better to keep their interest alive than have them bored continually doing SATs paper after SATs paper keeping them stuck at level 5.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2010 2:43 pm 
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I got the impression in previous years they had tried other forms of extension work, but had noticed pupils became de-motivated, the reward for completing a worksheet was another worksheet!
The benefits seemed to be
- It was a continuation of the national curriculum and so built on KS2 and led into KS3
- Experience of a different teaching style, like a tutorial, fast paced no time to revisit topics
- The kids (or was it the parents) were motivated
- They gained the experience of sitting two 90 minute exam papers under GCSE conditions
- It was a massive boost in confidence and motivation
- It was inexpensive!!!
As they say, if it seems too good to be true it probably is, we are giving it a go and will see what happens.


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