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Advantage of doing GCSE Maths in yr 10

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by robyn147, Feb 8, 2011.

  1. I do private tutoring and some of my clients have asked me the advantages of doing GCSEs early. I got a new client tonight and she was surprised to learn she was doing GCSE Maths this June at the end of year 10. When I asked her about a few things like trigonometry, quadratics etc - well she hasn't done any trig and quadratics has been rushed through (in her opinion!)
    What are the advantages of doing GCSEs at the end of year 10? What would they do in year 11? Is it too rushed for some to consolidate all the knowledge?
    Any comments would be appreciated.

  2. DM

    DM New commenter

  3. DM

    DM New commenter

    That should have said "The purpose of this ..."
  4. DM

    DM New commenter

    As for what the students will do in Year 11, some schools are abandoning mathematics altogether in Year 11 and are forcing their students to take a humanity or a modern foreign language instead so that they qualify for the English Baccalaureate.
    Hopefully this will not be the case for your student and she will study GCSE statistics or FSMQ Additional Mathematics and not just be reentered for GCSE mathematics to improve her grade.

  5. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    Ah yes- the English Bacc. She has happily dropped humanities!
    That's what I've told my parents - the league table obsessed schools. One of my tutees was moved to set 2 at the start of year 9 and is doing the first unit of GCSE Maths at the end of year 9.
    Whereas another one of mine (an A*) is comfortably doing Module 5 at the end of year 11.

  6. For approximately 3% of students, doing it in year 10 means not treading water. For the rest, it is indeed a waste of time, effort and potential. Yet it is the new way forward. Some schools are even doing modules/units in year 9. Frankly, at that stage, 50%+ of candidates are too immature either mathe matically or emotionall or both to have any chance of fulfilling their potential, but it makes the school look as if it's challenging the G&T kids, giving more opportunities for all etc, when in actuality it's making it harder for kids to pass.

    cyolba, wondering when KS4 will start in year 6 :)
  7. Are you suggesting that it's quite likely that the school doesn't give a stuff about the best interests of their student DM? That they are only interested in their league tables?

    I wonder if we could argue that it is in the interest of this student for her maths to be rushed and then dropped in the interest of her taking a language?

    happy times =/

    Hopefully there will be sensible reasons why this is happening in this case but I'm afraid it's going to be hard for us to guess.
  8. There you go then. Proof in action that Gove has achieved his primary objective of liberating teachers to teach in the ways they feel are in the best interests of students. Clever man.
  9. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    The school is a "specialist maths" school - it seems that all students are doing maths GCSE in year 10.

  10. Isn't there a statutory obligation for all students to learn maths until the end of Y11, regardless of whether they have been rushed through their GCSE?
  11. We entered our Year 11s for their final module in November. The advantage to these pupils is that some now have a grade C in the bag, and can either work towards Higher tier entry to try to improve to a B (or an A) without the worry that they will drop off the end of the grades (as had happened in the past); others can spend more time doing English or other subjects: it will be more use to them leaving school with a grade C in both maths and English than, say a grade B in maths and a D in English.
    For those with grade D or below (or grade B or C at Higher), we can use the November exam as a mock, with the advantage that it has been externally marked and we can analyse the results to give specific targets for improvement. We know precisely which pupils to target for interventions.
    There may be a further advantage to moving this process forward to the end of Year 10 - we could set accordingly for the start of Year 11 and perhaps offer a wider range of options for study for, say, those who achieve A*s.
    From the viewpoint of one high-flying pupil, early entry might seem counter productive. From the viewpoint of a whole cohort, the options and flexibility it offers are more obvious.
  12. My son's school entered the top set for gcse at the end of yr 10. I thought this would give more time for his other weaker subjects. However at the end of yr 11 they then sat C1 C2 C3 and D1.  (a few didnt sit C3)

    This was obviously an extremely bright group.  The advantages were that those giving up maths already had an AS; those continuing (the majority) were able to do maths and further maths in a single A level timetable slot which meant an extra A level opportunity.

    The next set down did GCSE in the November of yr 11 and I think C1 in the summer so just got a small headstart for the following year. 

    With bright kids there is some justification; all but a couple across both sets got their A*s (at gcse). 
  13. DM

    DM New commenter

    No statutory number of hours so a school can just say numeracy is embedded across the whole curriculum. They have accessed the programme of study at KS4 so jobs a good 'un.
  14. DM

    DM New commenter

    This sort of approach can damage university opportunities for some students. For example, at Cambridge, no resits are permitted and they want the whole A Level to be taken over 2 years not 3.
  15. My daughter sat her GCSE maths at the end of year 10 and gained an A. I wasn't in favour of this but all her class, and one other so 60 pupils in all, sat the exam a year early. The intention was for the students to either do further maths or statistics GCSE's, My daughter did neither. She was already studying french and german on the same line so year 11 meant she then had spare time to catch up with these subjects. The school was perfectly fine with this, especially as she got A* in both of them!

  16. googolplex

    googolplex Occasional commenter

    I don't think Cambridge would mind students starting A-level's early if they then carried on and did more at the other end - ie more than Maths and Further Maths. MEI offer lots of additional modules - about 1.5 extra A-level's worth...
  17. KYP

    KYP New commenter

    Just a couple of observations from a teacher at a large comprehensive sixth form college:
    This year we have a significant number of students who have already taken GCSE Maths at least twice at school and are re-sitting yet again in search of that elusive grade C. Demotivated and confidence destroyed, they are likely to get yet another D, because their attitude has become so negative.
    At the other end of the spectrum, we have students who got Bs and weak As at the end of year 10, who have done no substantial maths for a year, and are struggling at A Level.
  18. LiamD

    LiamD New commenter

    Wierd, I totally agree with everything you posted except this part:
    Unfortunately, this I fundamentally disagree with. Getting an 'A' instead of an 'A*' is not a huge impediment to most students. Getting a 'D' rather than a 'C' at GCSE can be a real show-stopper. It can preclude them from a chosen career, a college course or a place at Uni. It always seems to be about the 'poor downtrodden potential A* kid'. Let's face it - if they're genuinely worthy of a top grade, they'll get there anyway.
    I tutored a lass who got a 'C' at Maths on her third attempt. She desperately wanted join the police force . She'll make a fantastic police-dog handler!
    Sorry - don't mean to be contrary - but the highspot of results day is always when hard-working kids with TMGs of D & E gain a well-deserved 'C'. Priceless
  19. Most got over the 90% mark in all four papers first time round; so no retakes.  Several of the group started at Oxford or Cambridge this year including a couple doing maths. So in this case no damage to prospects. All of the group did at least 4 main stream A levels and many did 5.  However I'm not advocating this as an ideal route for all, just saying that it worked for them. 

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