# Improving girl's maths?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by franob, Sep 11, 2011.

1. ### franob

Ooo - did my dissertation on this! If you want to give me your email I can ping it to you, should point you in the direction of a few good sources of info to look into.

2. ### MszEstablished commenter

The percentages of pupils achieving Level 4 or above in the 2011 Key Stage 2 tests by subject are as follows:
English 81% (86% for girls, 77% for boys)
Reading 84% (87% for girls, 80% for boys)
Writing 75% (81% for girls, 68% for boys)
Mathematics 80% (80% for girls, 80% for boys).
The percentages of pupils achieving Level 5 in the 2011 Key Stage 2 tests by subject are as follows:
English 29% (35% for girls, 23% for boys)
Reading 42% (48% for girls, 37% for boys)
Writing 20% (25% for girls, 15% for boys)
Mathematics 35% (33% for girls, 37% for boys)

3. ### wonderdog

We did all girl intervention groups last year and that worked really well - are continuing with this next year. Really worth a go.

4. ### mystery10Occasional commenter

Thanks Msz, was that a typical year, and is the level 5 difference between girls and boys statistically significant or not, year on year?
Doesn't look worth sweating over and doing maths especially for girls does it, whatever that is?

5. ### MszEstablished commenter

Those were the 2011 (intrim) stats so fairly typical (if you compare to the previous years )
The key points from the Key Stage 2 test results for 2010 are that the percentages of pupils achieving Level 4 or above in the 2010 Key Stage 2 tests by subject are as follows:
English 81% (85% for girls, 76% for boys)
Reading 84% (87% for girls, 81% for boys)
Writing 71% (79% for girls, 64% for boys)
Mathematics 80% (80% for girls, 80% for boys).
The percentages of pupils achieving Level 5 in the 2010 Key Stage 2 tests by subject are as follows:
English 33% (40% for girls, 26% for boys)
Reading 51% (56% for girls, 46% for boys)
Writing 21% (26% for girls, 15% for boys)
Mathematics 35% (32% for girls, 37% for boys).
The key points from the Key Stage 2 test results for 2009 are that the percentages of pupils achieving Level 4 or above in the 2009 Key Stage 2 tests by subject are as follows:
English 80% (85% for girls, 75% for boys)
Reading 86% (89% for girls, 82% for boys)
Writing 67% (75% for girls, 60% for boys)
Mathematics 79% (78% for girls, 79% for boys)
Science 88% (89% for girls, 88% for boys)
The percentages of pupils achieving Level 5 in the 2009 Key Stage 2 tests by subject are as follows:
English 29% (35% for girls, 23% for boys)
Reading 47% (54% for girls, 41% for boys)
Writing 19% (24% for girls, 15% for boys)
Mathematics 35% (32% for girls, 37% for boys)
Science 43% (43% for girls, 43% for boys)

As a school we don't really see gender differences in either English or Maths

6. ### mystery10Occasional commenter

Interesting, and even though the difference in maths at level 5 for boys and girls is the opposite way round than for English, it may not be statistically significant. And even if it was, it may not apply to an individual school.
One has to be so careful with the interpretation of these statistics. (Do some boy maths on them not girl maths!!)
Even if in a particular year group at a particular school the girls on average were achieving much much lower than the boys you still can't jump to the conclusion that you need girls' maths and boys' maths. You might just happen that year to have a clever bunch of boys and a not so clever bunch of girls, and it's nothing to do with them being girls or boys.
It might be more appropriate to look at how maths is taught school-wide to see whether teaching styles, materials, etc etc have something of interest to all children in them rather than singling out girls or boys, blonds or brunettes for some extra boost.
It would make a jolly interesting PhD, if there really was a big difference at primary age. Is there though?
Has it been like this every year since KS2 tests started?
Do the markers know the gender of a child?

7. ### 24601_

girls' , not girl's

8. ### mystery10Occasional commenter

Maybe it is just one girl dragging down the results for all of them.

9. ### 24601_

Hehe! I'd hate to see the English attainment.

10. ### stevieDG

Could I please have a copy too!!!! I have been set the same task. It would be much appreciated. Thank you!
stevie.doran@lesliemanser.lincs.sch.uk

11. ### imogenfurlong

Despite what some people seem to think on here this girls/ boys thing is a significant trend. I am currently doing the Maths Sspecialist Teacher course and nationally there is a growing trend for girls to be significantly less confident than boys and these differences may seem like a small percentage currently, but if issues aren't addressed then it could become worse.
We're are currently trying to address underachieving girls in our school by doing Guided Reasoning with an all girl group in Maths. It's not girl or boy teaching as some of these others seem to suggest. However sometimes without boys in a group then quieter girls have to voice their opinion.
For those of you above that have issues with this perhaps you don't understand the idea of individual needs in a school. If we all go around burying our heads in the sand and saying it's not an issue nationally, therefore it can't be an issue for any school then you must be so out of touch it's untrue. I guess it depends on which school you're in. But something that may be insignificant in one catchment could be totally different in another. You just can't sweep the board with National Statistics.
I agree that boys are as important as girls. However if the boys are doing well in this teacher's school why shouldn't they address a girl issue.

I would say all girl or all boy groups for some activitie may work well (depends on the demographic of the class). Equally keep practical equipment out throughout the school as children need it to help them go from concrete to abstract. Good luck

PS anyone wanting to pick on my spelling, grammar or punctuation then go ahead. This is a forum not an essay therefore I won't be proof reading this and I've written it on my phone so will mo doubt be full of errors!

12. ### MszEstablished commenter

Self fulfilling prophecy perhaps

13. ### teejay100000

How do you measure confidence in such a way to be confident in making that statement?

14. ### MandyPanda

Plain not squared paper and i you may be surprised if you give them pink paper sounds mad but you may be amazed

15. ### minnieminxNew commenter

I was going to say that if you let the girls use coloured (or even smelly) gel pens they suddenly engage with the most boy friendly of tasks. I don't often do this as I'm a 'pencils only in maths books' kind of teacher really, but sometimes I relent and let them. I'm just starting the MaST programme in a couple of weeks, so maybe I'll use this sort of thing as research...coloured paper and pens is all it takes to improve girl's maths!

I do agree that sometimes some girls are more confident without boys around, especially higher up primary schools. But a teacher can allow gender seating in their class to allow girl or boy only groups for guided, shared or group work.

16. ### tracky1

Hello,
Sorry if it's really cheeky of me to ask, but would you mind sending it to me too. I've been sent a similar task. So far, I'm considering setting up some single sex booster groups, but any further ideas would be appreciated. Tracey tfkeane@hotmail.com

17. ### milliebear1

My school (and in fact most of the schools in my LA) buck this trend. We have girls outperforming boys in all subjects, including maths, at both level 4 and level 5. We are actually concentrating on how to raise boys attainment in maths (and English).
Seems to me we can't win! The differences, nationally speaking, seem fairly small (perhaps smaller than they have historically been?), and although I am not saying we should be complacent, I am perhaps saying there are much bigger issues to focus on.

18. ### NQT2004

Can I ask a little more about Guided maths.. I know it is a few posts back but I am just sat trying to decide what to do with my Y6 class and one idea I had was replacing Guided Reading with some 'quick maths skills' slots... (our reading is strong) So am interested in this as a concept, what you do and how?

19. ### 24601_

Guided maths? Guided Reasoning? Has "guided" become yet another meaningless buzzword? (Big Writing, Big maths, Big Anything....) What are teachers doing in maths lessons if they are not guiding learning in maths, and what are they not doing for those they are not guiding? One word is always missing..."teaching".

20. ### Gertie Grumbles

Sorry, but if you are teaching yr 6 you really ought to be clear about how apostophes work!
girl's maths should be girls' maths