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GCSE Maths - Question from a concerned parent.

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by Manyjobs, Jul 17, 2011.

  1. What would you do?

    I am a teacher, but I am writing this as a parent.
    My child has just started GCSE Maths and recently did a ‘mock’ exam. The grade she obtained was not as high as expected (B rather than A) and the teacher said “You didn’t revise did you?” Not wanting to stupid, by only getting a B even though she revised hard, she agreed that she hadn’t revised. In reality she had done a lot of revision – evenings and weekends.
    My problem is this: do I inform the teacher that she did revise? My child is adamant that I shouldn’t but I feel uneasy leaving the situation as it is. The teacher must think she’s a slacker and capable of more. I want him to know she tries really hard and may need some extra support.
    She finds him a bit intimidating and I think that’s why she agreed with his leading question but surely he needs to know if she’s working hard and still not getting the grades he expects of her. (The teacher seems to think she’s a A* student – I’m worried that his expectations may be too high).
    Should I let it slide this time and see what happens next time? Should I go against my child’s wishes and speak to the teacher this time? Should I just book a private Maths tutor to make sure she gets that A* no matter how much revision time she puts in?

    Advice would be appreciated.
     
  2. What would you do?

    I am a teacher, but I am writing this as a parent.
    My child has just started GCSE Maths and recently did a ‘mock’ exam. The grade she obtained was not as high as expected (B rather than A) and the teacher said “You didn’t revise did you?” Not wanting to stupid, by only getting a B even though she revised hard, she agreed that she hadn’t revised. In reality she had done a lot of revision – evenings and weekends.
    My problem is this: do I inform the teacher that she did revise? My child is adamant that I shouldn’t but I feel uneasy leaving the situation as it is. The teacher must think she’s a slacker and capable of more. I want him to know she tries really hard and may need some extra support.
    She finds him a bit intimidating and I think that’s why she agreed with his leading question but surely he needs to know if she’s working hard and still not getting the grades he expects of her. (The teacher seems to think she’s a A* student – I’m worried that his expectations may be too high).
    Should I let it slide this time and see what happens next time? Should I go against my child’s wishes and speak to the teacher this time? Should I just book a private Maths tutor to make sure she gets that A* no matter how much revision time she puts in?

    Advice would be appreciated.
     
  3. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    Was that the predicted grade for the mock exam, or for the final exam? Don't forget that she hasn't finished the course yet, and has time to improve.
     
  4. From my experience, it is common for a student to increase their mark by a grade over this period of time. If she is a B grade now and a grafter, I'd be quietly confident of an A or A* by this time next year.
     
  5. DM

    DM New commenter

    If the OP's child has "just started GCSE maths", she is probably in Year 9 so has two years to improve.
     
  6. Maths_Mike

    Maths_Mike New commenter

    I peronally would ask the teacher for more detail on which aspects of the test she got wrong.
    a) so that she can rectify this
    and b) oyu can establish if it is lack of knowledge (suggesting revision would help i.e learning formulae and standard methods) or lack of undersatnding in which case he is wrong and undermining her confidence.
     
  7. Hi
    I am assuming your child has finished yr 10. To get a B grade is very good at this stage. Revising for maths is very difficult and students can waste a lot of time reading notes and looking at examples. In my mind the only effective type of revision is exam questions. This helps improve exam technique and builds an understanding of what to expect. A B grade at a first attempt is therefore very good.
    Old exam papers are easy to find on the internet use these to help revise next time.
    Hope this helps
     
  8. my daughter had issues with her german teacher, though hard to say if they were quite the same - but no doubt the teacher thought she was under-achieving due to slacking when(a) daughter is just not as good at languages as other subjects and (b) she did not get on with the teacher, not as a person, not wrt teaching style
    i got a tutor [​IMG]
     
  9. I advise you to work on your child to pluck up the courage to speak to the teacher out of class and confess to actually having revised. His response may be telling.
    Ask to go through the paper with your child and try to convince the her that questions are from material that has been covered.
    It is helpful if children get away from the "I have to be perfect all the time" mind set and work forward by correcting what they get wrong and clearing up their misconceptions.
    Your OP suggests that she is afraid to be candid with the teacher.
    There are many questions that can asked;
    • what, if any, exam technique did she employ?
    • does she fully understand what the questions are asking?
    Sometimes these things all come to together at the end, and then again sometimes they don't.
    If you can afford it, consider getting her tutor for a while to boost her confidence in her mathematical abilities.
    Grade B is a very good starting place. Yes, there is room to improve.
    Is your daughter afraid of being moved down a set?
    You are right to feel uneasy leaving things as they are. I say gently steer from afar as it were.
    Insist that she speaks to the teacher in private [without an audience] or this event may come back and bite.

     

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