turnip08 wrote:

Thanks for all your replies. So, for this particular question, would you say that a highly gifted child in Y6 would be able to solve this particular question by using their existing up-to-year 6 maths syllabus knowledge if they simply applied their thinking/logical skills (assuming no maths focused parents/teachers in the family)?

Very curious as I have no clue in how to solve this!

I don't believe that even gifted year-6 children around Nov or Jan (when most Independent 11+ exams are taken) would be likely to solve the particular question unless they had some additional home schooling. I know it's possible to solve the particular problem without Algebra(as shown in the posts above), but quite frankly it's so much easier with Algebra as my solution shows. I'm not an expert of KS2 maths but I don't think the curriculum covers Algebra in year-6 (any KS2 State Maths teachers???).

I taught both of my 2 children additional Maths material at home as part of their preparation for the 11+ exams (for both State & Independent Schools) and we did cover quite a bit a Algebra, quite simply because they took to this like a duck to water in some Maths problem solving situations. We did cover some of the advanced Independent School Maths final questions from previous papers. (some free papers used to be able on this site). With my 2 children I sometimes found that they had difficulty trying to understand a non Algebraic solution (which often took more time) whereas an Algebra solution they found a lot easier (and faster). Having said that both of my children were very good at Maths (my DD studied Maths & Philosophy and my DS Natural Sciences) so maybe our family is a bit unusual.

Would be interested to hear Guest55's thoughts on this and whether she taught her own children any Algebra prior to their 11+ exams