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 Post subject: Taking GCSE privately
PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2015 11:27 am 
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Somebody recently suggested to me that since my ds Y5 is working at a much higher level in maths than his peers, He could possibly sit GCSEs early. It wasn't a teacher (his teachers do not give him challanging material and I don't think they are aware of how much more he knows. Although they do say he is a high achiever). It was just a parent who heard of another child who sat his GCSEs early.
I am going to give him a GCSE paper foundation to complete out of curiousity to see how well he does.
Could you advice me how to find out whether he could sit GCSE Maths next year and if so, where and how to organise it.
Could you please recommend any good books for GCSE Maths as I would like to see what it covers.
What is the difference between GCSE foundation and higher? I am guessing it is the level of difficulty, but who decides which one a child will sit and is the GCSE mark lower if a child sits foundation not higher?
If he sat GCSE early and his score Wasn't brilliant, could he sit it again next year? Would it Show in his 'history' that he attempted it several times? Would there be any negative side to it? I figure that would be a brilliant way for him to get stretched rather than getting bored with stuff that is too easy for him.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2015 11:33 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
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ninanina wrote:
Somebody recently suggested to me that since my ds Y5 is working at a much higher level in maths than his peers, He could possibly sit GCSEs early. It wasn't a teacher (his teachers do not give him challanging material and I don't think they are aware of how much more he knows. Although they do say he is a high achiever). It was just a parent who heard of another child who sat his GCSEs early.
I am going to give him a GCSE paper foundation to complete out of curiousity to see how well he does.
Could you advice me how to find out whether he could sit GCSE Maths next year and if so, where and how to organise it.
Could you please recommend any good books for GCSE Maths as I would like to see what it covers.
What is the difference between GCSE foundation and higher? I am guessing it is the level of difficulty, but who decides which one a child will sit and is the GCSE mark lower if a child sits foundation not higher?
If he sat GCSE early and his score Wasn't brilliant, could he sit it again next year? Would it Show in his 'history' that he attempted it several times? Would there be any negative side to it? I figure that would be a brilliant way for him to get stretched rather than getting bored with stuff that is too easy for him.


Please don't do this it is against all the advice from the ACME report:

http://www.acme-uk.org/media/10498/raisingthebar.pdf

In addition GCSE maths now has a new specification so it will be very obvious amongst his results when he comes to apply to uni. Do you really want a grade C on his record at that stage?

Foundation goes to a grade C and Higher from a grade D to an A*. However the new GCSE [first sitting 2107] will have results 9 to 1 with the top grade of 9 going to fewer than the current A* as it will be capped.

There are plenty of other routes for able students:

Primary Maths challenge, UKMT challenges, NRICH [www.nrich.maths.org have a curriculum map with materials linked to teaching objectives and weekly challenges]


Last edited by Guest55 on Sat Nov 21, 2015 11:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2015 11:41 am 
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There are in my opinion several reasons why this is a bad idea, but I will stick to just the one: what will he do in Maths lessons for five years when he gets to secondary school if he has already sat his Maths GCSE?


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2015 11:59 am 
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Yes, that's true. I can only answer: the same as he is doing now in year 5 in maths and English - getting bored. But when I see that he is capable of so much more than what the school does, I feel it is a waste to just let him go as slow as the rest of the kids, especially that I see he enjoys being challenged and has a very inquisitive mind, wants to know more, asks lots of questions, it is just his thing. So why slow him down?


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2015 12:02 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:24 pm
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Location: Petts Wood, Bromley, Kent
Isn't there some rule now that subsequent papers are not counted so there is no advantage in taking early. Or perhaps that is just the forthcoming year due to the changes in GCSE. A foundation paper as I gather has a max grade of C. Fine to sit a sample paper but sitting the real thing has lots of implications. The new maths curriculum at secondary is meant to be harder just so it can challenge the brightest, and some parents are rushing their kids to sit the paper earlier to avoid the harder content but your DC is way off that concern so be careful about getting mixed up in conversations about early sitting that aren't so relevant to your year group.

DD when first doing eleven plus practice got demoralised by the harder papers, being used to always getting everything right. We went back to easier papers and worked back up and had conversations about 100% is not expected, there are questions there to purposefully stretch and you won't always get them right. Sitting something really hard can put even the brightest DCs off and give them the wrong impression that they can't do a subject they've normally excelled in.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2015 12:03 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:59 am
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Quote:
Why slow him down?


I am the wrong person to try and answer that - hopefully someone who understands this way of thinking will be along soon to help you. Good luck.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2015 1:02 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:02 pm
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ninanina wrote:
especially that I see he enjoys being challenged and has a very inquisitive mind, wants to know more, asks lots of questions, it is just his thing. So why slow him down?


Then don't just push repetitive questions at the next level at him.

Let him enjoy the beauty of the subject by following Guest 55's suggestions. They will challenge him.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2015 1:12 pm 
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I had a look at the acme link that Guest55 posted. I wish that schools were really applying it! At the moment my ds's school like to team him up with weaker students so they can benefit, but there is nothing extra they are doing for particularly able students. I understand they are not able to focus on each pupil individually with 30 pupils in the class. But for my ds it simply means that he is neither stretched nor is his understanding deepened as per acme recommendation. I suggested the Primary Challange to the headteacher for which I got a reply that the school doesn't have money to spend on extra things like this and that they already have sufficient challanges for their pupils (which are.....???)

Taking GCSE early is not a must. We will continue challanging him at home regardless of him sitting any exams or not, but that was just a though. Would there be a benefit in it for him if he would be able to do it? It seems everyone is suggesting it would be more negative than positive.

I do not quite understand the linear and modular system. In the new GCSE system (which is linear, right?) can students sit subjects individually or only all GCSEs together?


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2015 2:06 pm 
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You can deal woth 30 individuals - most teachers do it all the time. The Primary Maths Challenge is about £10 - if I were you I'd offer to pay it! The papers are online so you can use them at home:

http://www.primarymathschallenge.org.uk/

I'd really recommend NRICH - look at the puzzles that he can submit answers to himself:

http://nrich.maths.org/8495

He can get his solutions published which would be great.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2015 3:11 pm 
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Just to reiterate others. Please don't push him to GCSE at this age. It's pretty pointless, many negatives and few if any positives.

Develop his maths brain by side ways extension - maths challenges, problem solving, science puzzles, coding.

Hopefully once he gets to secondary school things will improve for him.


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