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A long post about postGCSE preAS, and how to stop Us at AS Level.

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by pipipi, Oct 5, 2011.

  1. pipipi

    pipipi New commenter

    Last year quite a few of our Year 12 achieved Us at AS, despite monitoring and contacting parents etc. I'm not bothered by pressure from SMT to eradicate any failure, but I do feel anxious that there could have been something else we could have done. I am planning on speaking to those Us to see if there is anything extra we could have done, or done differently.
    Currently we take all three units in the Summer, so one idea is to take C1 in January. Would this be an early wake up call, or would it just be an exam to resit in the summer?

    One point that particularly affects us is that we take the GCSE Maths exam in the November of Year 11. We then rattle through GCSE Statistics by the summer. This means that pupils would not have done the algebra bit for nearly a year by the time they start AS.So maybe we should do a course that helps their algebra. I have heard of Additional Maths / FSMQ but I don't know how hard it would be, and would it put off some of the successful pupils, even though it may be excellent preparation for those doing Further Maths. Any hands on feedback would be great.
    We don't want to start C1 because we have heard that some unis look down upon a 3 year Alevel. And this might also cause some issue with pupils joining from different schools.

    So in a nutshell. Any ideas to stop U's at AS? Any one got any feedback on Additional Maths (or anything else)?
    I've got a parents evening and a dentist appt, so I won't be looking at this for a few days, but thanks in advance!
     
  2. pipipi

    pipipi New commenter

    Last year quite a few of our Year 12 achieved Us at AS, despite monitoring and contacting parents etc. I'm not bothered by pressure from SMT to eradicate any failure, but I do feel anxious that there could have been something else we could have done. I am planning on speaking to those Us to see if there is anything extra we could have done, or done differently.
    Currently we take all three units in the Summer, so one idea is to take C1 in January. Would this be an early wake up call, or would it just be an exam to resit in the summer?

    One point that particularly affects us is that we take the GCSE Maths exam in the November of Year 11. We then rattle through GCSE Statistics by the summer. This means that pupils would not have done the algebra bit for nearly a year by the time they start AS.So maybe we should do a course that helps their algebra. I have heard of Additional Maths / FSMQ but I don't know how hard it would be, and would it put off some of the successful pupils, even though it may be excellent preparation for those doing Further Maths. Any hands on feedback would be great.
    We don't want to start C1 because we have heard that some unis look down upon a 3 year Alevel. And this might also cause some issue with pupils joining from different schools.

    So in a nutshell. Any ideas to stop U's at AS? Any one got any feedback on Additional Maths (or anything else)?
    I've got a parents evening and a dentist appt, so I won't be looking at this for a few days, but thanks in advance!
     
  3. What GCSE grade do you require for entry onto As maths?

    I'm not convinced all A* candidates are up to it. I'm certain some A grade candidates are not. I know some schools let people with B at GCSE take As maths. I think that's a mistake.

    I get the impression that C1 in January is the more usual way to do things but I could easily be wrong about that. Certainly a bad result then might help to get them to work a little harder but you don't have to rely on external exams to that. Presumably you're giving them regular tests. I think setting your test pass mark at say 80% and retesting anyone who doesn't achieve that would go a long way towards stopping the U grades.

    Have you considered IGCSE maths. Your students would meet differentiation and functions (and sets) as part of their GCSE course.

    I'm not a big fan of GCSE statistics. It's not needed for S1 or S2 and as you say it does nothing for their algebra. Is it just another GCSE grade for the results table?

    If you're students are ready for GCSE maths in November that's great but why not make them wait and use the extra time to get them better prepared for As. You could even use C1 materials without telling them and without any intention of entering them for C1.
     
  4. your students.

    How do I edit a post? I hate making careless mistakes like that. Sad I know.
     
  5. Co-teaching of GCSE and FSMQ Add Maths, taking both in the summer, is worth considering but only for students expected to achieve A or A* in the GCSE. Students who complete this course successfully should have no trouble at AS, since it's of about the same standard.
    Other than that, my advice would be pretty much the same as 161051's, ie to stop taking the GCSE early and bin GCSE Stats. Look around the GCSE topics - how can skills be consolidated or extended? You can explore the links between GCSE and AS without entering for another exam and indeed MEI has done exactly that to give you an idea. Some of this may dovetail with the IGCSE syllabus.
    Kevin

     

  6. *deleted double posting*
     
  7. googolplex

    googolplex Occasional commenter

    We do a lot of extra help sessions especially after school and put pressure on struggling students from an early stage to attend these. I also expect students to contact me if they get stuck or have problems with homework, and I tackle the situation head-on if they don't use this facility. There's no point beating about the bush. I can pretty much tell which students could be in that U grade territory by this stage (one month in) and I give them continuing and honest feedback, but give them copious opportunities to improve and lots of assessment opportunities. I also managed to wangle an extra period of maths for anyone taking up maths with a low A or a B at GCSE, since we were overstaffed. It only puts their lesson time up to 5hrs which is what some other schools have anyway, but I'm hoping this might have an impact. It's just my strategy, and we have previously been getting about 15% with Us at the end of AS. Like you, I'm set on reducing this figure.
     
  8. mmmmmaths

    mmmmmaths New commenter

    If they get A* in Y10 or Nov Y11 then they were correctly entered early. If they don't then why enter them. If they have to be entered then they will need to resit and cover all of the A and A star content so that they are ready for AS.
    For those with early A star grades FSMQ would be a good option. 10 months without any algebra turns good students into mediocre students and really knocks their confidence at the start of AS. "I was so good I was entered early now I can't remember how to factorise!"
    Does anyone have any data showing national progression from B grade GCSE to AS maths grade. or average points score to AS Maths grade?
     
  9. DM

    DM New commenter

    In my role as unofficial forum data person, this is the best I can do. It isn't very up-to-date.
    The document shows A Level grade against GCSE grade for mathematics (Table 15).
    However, it is really misleading as it only considers those students who progressed all the way through to the end of A2 i.e. it ignores all those who fell out along the way or dropped the subject after AS.
    http://www.cambridgeassessment.org.uk/ca/digitalAssets/181132_JB___JE_Statistics_Report_No_7.pdf
     
  10. mmmmmaths

    mmmmmaths New commenter

    Thanks

    I did originally write " does anyone (DM) have any data....." then thought that a bit cheeky!
     
  11. DM

    DM New commenter

    You could also Google LAT (Learner Achievement Tracker) to find the rubbish chances graphs for AS mathematics from average points scores - I would but I still have four lessons to sort out for tomorrow.
     
  12. googolplex

    googolplex Occasional commenter

    So, someone with an E grade at GCSE ended up with a grade A at A level...
    What are we worried about?!
     
  13. GCSE Statistics is a waste of time as a preparation for AS.
    Lots of algebra here.
    http://web.aqa.org.uk/qual/igcse/maths.php
     
  14. DM

    DM New commenter

    This report published by the DfE earlier this year may be of
    interest but it is simply too huge for me to trawl through right now.

    http://www.nationalstemcentre.org.uk/res/documents/page/110211124805Maths%20and%20Science%20Education%20-%20the%20supply%20of%20high%20achievers%20at%20A%20levels.pdf

    "Only 3% of A level maths entrants manage to progress from grades of B or
    lower at GCSE to achieve an A or B at A level. For biology, this is slightly
    higher at 7%, falling to 6% for chemistry, and 5% for physics. This suggests
    that B grades at GCSE are not enough to secure a good chance of achieving high A
    level grades for maths and science subjects."
     
  15. pipipi

    pipipi New commenter

    Thanks for all the replies everyone. Certainly some things to think about.
    I've got no problem with taking the GCSE Maths at the end of Year 11. That would seem to solve most of the problems. Myabe the Statistics could be run within the Maths program, or maybe forgotten altogether.
    I like the idea of Add Maths, but it does sound too difficult for most of my group.
    A large part of the motivation for my group to do well in November is that is just about the only exam on at the time, so they have less to worry about in the summer. they are aware that it is the 'end' of maths, and I think that gives them some motivation as well.
    Obviously what it doesn't give them is a great start to Alevel .
    Hmmmm
     

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