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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 8:08 pm 

As the 11+ has now been completed up here in this cold, dull, wet northern outpost I would like to offer the following:

In recent weeks students have been completing VR papers quickly and accurately, so to fill a bit of time I have been giving them some "basic" maths.

I have been bemused by the number of children who can complete VR at a high standard, but cannot multiply two two-digit numbers together or a three-digit number by a two-digit number. Some cannot subtract a two-digit number from a three-digit number and most cannot do long division.

If Wirral LEA were to introduce a Maths 11+ test, it is my belief that at least 30% of the children who pass the VR papers would not pass the Maths papers. In fact I also believe that if Wirral introduced NVR and English tests that each of the four grammar schools would probably only have 20-30 pupils attending them.



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 8:48 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 1:06 pm
Posts: 438

Sorry Mike, but for once I don't agree with you on this one. Surely if Wirral introduced a Maths paper, then children would simply be tutored up to the required standard in maths. I concur that some children can't do maths as well as VR but the revese is also true, wouldn't you therefore get a different mix of children at Wirral grammar schools?

Also I admit that I was shocked when, through tutoring my daugher last year, I discovered that her school simply hadn't covered enough of the basics in maths to give her even an outside chance of completing an NFER paper in Maths let alone stand a chance of gaining a place at our preferred school. Division and multiplication in particular were barely covered by the November of Y6 as the school is geared to KS2 exams in May. I should add that this is a primary school whose KS2 results are well above average.

Have to say I think that level 4b reflects a pretty low standard in maths, and is achievable without knowing chunks of the curriculum. To illustrate this, let me put forward my own son as an example. End of Year 4 achieved level 3b in Maths and therefore theoretically on target for level 4b at the end of Year 6. Ok so he has severe learning difficulties so school think this is great. Looking at how he acheived this tremendous mark :? he scores about 80% in one area of maths and 30% in another. The 30% troubles me greatly but school aren't bothered one iota as he's average. (won't get into the politics of SEN at this point but I'm sure that you get my drift). Having worked with children other than my own on their primary maths I know that whilst exaggerated the example of my own child is not unique.

Isn't it therefore possible that the deficit is in the Education system rather than in the child's ability?

Just a thought..


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 10:47 pm 

Agree fundamentally on what you say, but the NFER Maths 11+ is so far away from curriculum Maths that children would have to be tutored for approximately 40-50% of the content. NVR is not covered in the curriculum and NFER 11+ English is pitched at a far higher standard than the curriculum.

Some of the places available to students on the Wirral are awarded on the basis of an appeal for failing to reach the required standard at VR only. Therefore it would be reasonable to surmise that the borderline students for VR would have difficulty reaching the standards in the three other 11+ assesment areas.

My estimate of the number of students who would be capable of passing a test in VR, NVR, Maths and English (which is closer to the national standard than a regional standard) on the Wirral is based on a personal observation of a number of students I have tutored for VR.



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