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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 2:46 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:41 am
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Location: London
Older Dd is in year 8 at a selective private school.
This year she is finding maths extremely easy and feels the teacher doesn’t stretch the girls. It’s not just her, most of the cohort are bored with the work being done. She is in top set.
For example, I was looking at her book a few days ago and she had spent last week recognising polygons and doing addition with big numbers. When she finishes her work and tells the teacher, she is told to wait(no extra work is given). I’m quite surprised seeing as she is in top set, but I think it depends a lot on the teacher.

Has anyone had a similar experience before and if so what have you done?Would it be rude to email the teacher?
Thank you so much :wink:


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 4:25 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
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Location: Herts
Yes.

This happened to my dd in the first term of Y7.

At her primary the whole year was set between the two classes in the year from the start of Y2 to the end of Y6. She was used to sitting and working with students who loved Maths as she did.

Then she found herself in a Y7 class where seating was done by surname. Unfortunately she was between two students who had no interest in Maths at all and were getting less than 30% in topic tests.

She went from loving Maths classes to hating it.

I contacted the school and it was fixed the same day. I was ready with the names of two students who were interested in Maths and she was moved to sit between them and extension work sheets were made available for her to go and collect from the teacher's desk without having to ask. She went back to loving Maths and easily got an A star at GCSE.

It sounds like yours is a lot easier to fix. The teacher simply needs to be teaching at a higher level.

If all the girls are bored then the level of the work is wrong.

Do you have a parent evening coming up? DG


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 4:30 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:29 am
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Which school is she at? what a shame you pay for this . :shock:


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 4:59 pm 
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Location: London
Parents evening in March. Might just email the teacher. Have to say, her year 7 teacher was very good and stretched the students immensely.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 6:38 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:28 pm
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Has your DD been to talk to the teacher herself? If she is able to do so it may be the best opening move. You could practice the conversation in advance if that helps her confidence. Or she could take a friend along with her. Either way she should think through what she is going to say so it is polite and can't be misconstrued.

If you need to contact the teacher I would email asking for a telephone conversation. You don't want to get off on the wrong foot and sometimes email isn't the best way to communicate delicate matters.

When do they have end of topic tests? The head of department should be monitoring these and picking up if the set isn't making expected progress?

It may be that the school has ended up with a weaker member of staff who they give to the top set lower down the school to minimise harm. Where this happens the staff member should be receiving support to improve so it's no excuse for not teaching at an appropriate level.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:14 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
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She could go to the NRICH website and look for problems on there usng the currculum map.
https://nrich.maths.org/secondary

There's the Advent problems I posted on another thread: https://nrich.maths.org/AdventSecondary

Look in the library for books by Rob Eastaway which are interesting and won't 'interfere' with what she's learning.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:37 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:28 pm
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We had same problem with our DD2 this year. Also Yr8 and Maths in particular (although we have this issue across various subjects over the years). I am afraid there is no specific answer as it is so very dependant on the teacher and the school.
I would ask the teacher (or tutor depending on how the school is set up) for extension work and escalate if no action is taken. I would also ask the school about lunch time clubs (my DD does a maths challenge team club something-e-rather). If the school refuses to help I would focus on out of school there are some fantastic free websites that can provide some challenge (eg Khan Academy).
Just showed your post to my DD, her response was - big number adding and Polynomials? - that is so sad. Those kind of teachers make me so mad!


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:41 pm 
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Just a reminder that Khan Academy is American and some of the terminology is incorrect for the UK. Plenty of other good free UK curriculum websites.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:47 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:28 pm
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If DD was at a state school and significantly more able in a subject than the rest of the cohort then it might be unrealistic to expect the teacher to provide for that.
However in a selective fee paying school it seems reasonable to expect some measure of individual provision
Moreover, it sounds like there are several children for who the teaching is not meeting their needs.
The pragmatic answer is no doubt to look for additional resources but I would respectfully and then reasonably forcefully explore what is happening in the classroom first.
Children do need to learn that lessons will not always be geared to their needs or interests but it sounds as if the teaching here may just not be very well targeted.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:21 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:41 am
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Location: London
Thanks all for the advice.


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