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 Post subject: Possibly a bad teacher?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:00 am 
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I am not sure how to handle a particular situation. My Dd who is good at Maths usual test scores are around 90% is due to have her first proper test of this year with a teacher who will apparently remain with her until the end of her GCSE course. Apparently most of her class mates have been complaining that the teacher is terrible and that they are clueless about what he is teaching in Further maths and that their grades are going down (they are all comfortable with the ordinary maths stuff apparently). My Dd has until now said that she is OK with his teaching as long as she listens very carefully and consolidates at home with books and video's. However she went to revise for her test last night, looked at the practice questions particularly on Statistics, that they had been given and came to the realisation that they had not been taught what they needed to know for the test in their lessons.

I am not sure how to handle this. So far we have e-mailed the teacher who my daughter had last year and said that my dd finds it difficult to ask for help but feels comfortable taking help from her so please would she give her some support in this one topic. I CCed her teacher so that it was all open. I am not sure how to go on from here though. I don't like complaining about teachers but I am concerned. Do I just bite the bullet and get a tutor for the odd session to teach what the teacher is not or do I speak to the head of maths? I am worried that this could affect my Dd's GCSE result and would like to tackle it early (she is in year 10 now) before it becomes a problem.

I would appreciate some advice. And possibly some places where she can learn the further maths Statistics topic online herself. (we couldn't find anything yesterday on FM only Ordinary Maths Statistics which she is perfectly happy with).


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:57 am 
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Location: Essex
On your last point, does this help at all, or have you already looked here?

http://furthermaths.org.uk/gcse

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:49 am 
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ToadMum wrote:
On your last point, does this help at all, or have you already looked here?

http://furthermaths.org.uk/gcse


Thank you ToadMum, I am grateful for this . No we hadn't seen this. I will get Dd to look this evening.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:54 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
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She should ask her current teacher for help first and then, if that does not work, she could approach another teacher. If a number of students are struggling then they could go as a group to see the HOD or Curriculum Manager as I think they call them.

Marks may well go down in GCSE years as the difficulty ramps up so don't be surprised by that. I'm not sure why they are doing FM rather than focusing on getting grade 9s.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:42 am 
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The top class does FM and the lower ones don't.

She has already tried asking for help from her current teacher. Apparently if she puts her hand up in class to ask a question sh is ignored. She finds it quite hard to put herself forward at the best of times.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:50 am 
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She needs to persevere with the hand up until she gets help or stay behind and ask. It really it is not good form to go to another teacher before having real sustained evidence that she isn't getting support.

Is this teacher new to the school? New teachers tend to get this 'hopeless' tag just because they aren't the previous teacher and have a different approach.

You need real evidence before taking it further - books not marked, topics not taught etc.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 2:41 pm 
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Guest55 wrote:
I'm not sure why they are doing FM rather than focusing on getting grade 9s.

Agreed. It should be an option at best.

From a personal perspective I wouldn't want my "top set" daughter to do it. She isn't a natural mathematician and gets through by pure hard work. I think she'd get frustrated with FM.

If the "problem" doesn't get resolved then I'd suggest picking up a book to work through independently. CGP do a revision guide for FM.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 5:45 pm 
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Thank you for all your help. It was all sorted in 5 minutes before form with her form tutor who is also a maths teacher.
In regards to FM I had a chat with my Dd about it this afternoon and she is enjoying it. The maths test went fine apparently and she said she was silly to get her knickers in a twist about it. Regarding the teacher I am going to keep a watch however I think it might be a good idea to find a maths tutor who can give occasional consolidation. Does anyone know of anyone in the Aylesbury area?


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 6:03 pm 
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Eccentric, I would be wary of leaping in with a maths tutor at your DDs first hiccup. That sends the message that if there is a problem mummy will sort it by paying and I am sure that is not what you want to do. Be firm with her that if there is an issue she needs to speak to the teacher first - either by putting her hand up, or by going at the end of the lesson and asking or asking to arrange a time when it would be convenient to see them. If she still does not understand, she can then go and ask another teacher and legitimately say that she has spoken to the teacher concerned but would like someone to explain it in a different way. She has to learn how to deal with not getting something first time and throwing your hands up (metaphorically) in a panic, even if you do try and rationalise it as "occasional consolidation" is not the answer.

I do speak from experience - ds1 is doing A level Maths and has a terrible teacher for some modules - not completely the teachers fault as he is covering and it is a bit above his expertise so he is not as confident as he should be. DS1 has worked with him several times to try and understand some bits but, as this has not helped, has gone to see a different teacher, explained that his learning style is different to the way he is being taught and the teacher has happily offered a bit of time each week to give him a crash course in that module and get him up to speed. Nothing to do with me - I was only told once it had been sorted as it will take place at a time I would usually have collected DS1. It's practice for sorting issues in the real world - I won't be there to pay a tutor for him at Uni - and, at the same time, he has had to realise that, unlike GCSE where everything was really easy, he has to work at some subjects now.

Save parachuting in for when the problems are bigger than she can sort on her own.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 6:15 pm 
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I totally agree with KCG - this is a school with plenty of experienced well-qualified maths staff. There must be a help session she could go to and it is more satisfying if she can sort it from in-school support.


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