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 Post subject: Further Maths
PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:00 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:59 am
Posts: 512
Location: N London
I wonder if anyone has any pearls of wisdom on this topic - its on my mind at the moment!
Further Maths is one of the A level choices DD is keen on along with Maths History and Geography (or perhaps Chemistry). The trouble is there is only one other DD intending to choose FM. School have said they will still run it but DD is worried that one and a half A levels is a lot of time in a class of just 2 and might be a bit dull. I think that shouldn't stop her choosing it, she's always been very good at Maths - but she is the one who has got to do it of course. The school teach the Maths and FM together so there is no chance of joining with the regular Maths classes (expected to be 15-20 DDs). Its a small school.
She has also applied to our local comprehensive who usually have around 20 DC doing FM with a requirement of an 8 or 9 at GCSE (same as her school). I am nervous of a move at 16 but wonder if this is one of those situations in which its worth the risk.


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 Post subject: Re: Further Maths
PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:13 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:41 am
Posts: 7686
Location: Essex
fairyelephant wrote:
I wonder if anyone has any pearls of wisdom on this topic - its on my mind at the moment!
Further Maths is one of the A level choices DD is keen on along with Maths History and Geography (or perhaps Chemistry). The trouble is there is only one other DD intending to choose FM. School have said they will still run it but DD is worried that one and a half A levels is a lot of time in a class of just 2 and might be a bit dull. I think that shouldn't stop her choosing it, she's always been very good at Maths - but she is the one who has got to do it of course. The school teach the Maths and FM together so there is no chance of joining with the regular Maths classes (expected to be 15-20 DDs). Its a small school.
She has also applied to our local comprehensive who usually have around 20 DC doing FM with a requirement of an 8 or 9 at GCSE (same as her school). I am nervous of a move at 16 but wonder if this is one of those situations in which its worth the risk.


Does her current school have new students starting in the sixth form? If so, the class might not be quite so small?

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 Post subject: Re: Further Maths
PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:33 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:59 am
Posts: 7545
I can't comment on the ins and outs of further maths but will say that moving at 16 is very common. Most seem to cope OK with it - though I have one who didn't, especially, but that had to do with the school she moved to rather than anything else, and she still got excellent results, just wasn't at all happy. That was a move from a small school to a highly competitive and stressed superselective and depending on your daughter's personality I might not recommend that. At my sons' school around half the sixth form is new intake.


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 Post subject: Re: Further Maths
PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:08 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 14991
Joint teaching of Math and F Maths is problematic. I had that at school and it was never clear which topics were in Maths and which were in F Maths. I was in a group of 5 which reduced to 3 - not ideal.

If the results of the comp are good then I would seriously consider it. It's much more fun to be in a group of 10 and, ironically for thoe who 'sell' schools on the basis of small classses, a slightly bigger group is easier to teach.
[edited for typos]


Last edited by Guest55 on Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Further Maths
PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:18 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:28 pm
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Guest55 will hopefully be along with thoughts on teaching a class of just 2.

I would look at it like this-
If DD is otherwise happy with the school is this sufficient reason to move?
Lots of students do move for 6th form and generally without issue it does have challenges, particularly if you are in the minority of those leaving and/or its a decision that you are not sure about.

If DD takes FM at the current school, do they have a staff member with the experience to teach it?

Also, in the circumstances is FM the best choice.
Is the need to study it sufficient to move schools ( if that's what is decided to achieve it )?
There's the question of taking 4 A levels at all and then given her other choices if FM is going to be useful.

Crossed post with G55 :)


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 Post subject: Re: Further Maths
PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:37 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:34 pm
Posts: 1093
Hi my dd bas just moved schools at 16 and it has been absolutely the right thing to do...I think if they are wanting to go off to university then making such a transition with family support still around can be a useful thing. She moved from a girls school with a co ed sixth form which would still have been top heavy with girls to a much more equally mixed sixth form...she decided rather late to do further maths as a 4 th alevel ....I think she surprised herself making the required gcse grades...then discovered all her friends doing maths were also doing FM so she might just give it a go...
The chance to be in a bigger group would swing it for me but some might like the more individual attention and support....


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 Post subject: Re: Further Maths
PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:37 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 1:05 pm
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Location: Reading
What is she intending to do afterwards? Check the entry requirements if it’s not something like engineering, maths, physics etc. My DD found that the subjects she was interested in wouldn’t count both maths and FM, so not a lot of point her doing FM. Of course the subjects I’ve mentioned it would be.


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 Post subject: Re: Further Maths
PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:46 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:59 am
Posts: 512
Location: N London
Thanks everyone, you have, as ever given super solid advice. Only one or two DC join her sixth form so unlikely to increase FM.
Guest55 I will take your point up with the School. Amber and DC17C, very reassuring! She is interested in Economics at the moment for which FM is useful I am told. I think if she is set on doing the subject for its own sake, I will support her to move. I'm sure it will all become clearer in the next couple of weeks.

Thanks again everyone, I feel much better now. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Further Maths
PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:47 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 14991
fairyelephant - another point is that it is a full A level. A school should NOT be timetabling it as 1.5 especially with the new specification.

As someone who has actually taught Maths/F Maths for many years I feel very strongly about giving each A level enough time.

PM me if you want more detail :)


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 Post subject: Re: Further Maths
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:13 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:45 pm
Posts: 5713
Yes, DS's school teach it as a full A level although what they seem to be doing is covering the A level first & then FM, with the people doing FM in a separate class to the others going maths. At least that what DS says!


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