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It's a question about Foundation Maths GCSE. Sorry!

Discussion in 'Personal' started by grumpydogwoman, Jan 7, 2016.

  1. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Went on Maths forum. No bloomin' activity there.


    My friend's daughter sits GCSE in June. She doesn't enjoy Maths and has been advised to do Foundation rather than Higher.

    It's obviously important she gets a C. She's going to Post 16 College to do History, Media, Psychology.

    Which is easier?
    1. Get a lowish mark in Higher but still get a C
    2. Get lots of questions right in Foundation and get a C?

    My reasoning is you don't feel as discouraged doing the easier paper so may be less panic-stricken. Kids in studentroom seem to say that getting a C is easy on Higher because you only need 30% correct answers.

  2. Eureka!

    Eureka! Lead commenter

    I cannot offer practical advice, and I wish your friend's daughter well.

    Nothing personal Grumpy, but isn't it sad that "education" comes down to this!!
  3. RedQuilt

    RedQuilt Star commenter

    The only insight I can offer is that at the 6th Form Colleges I've worked at all students doing a retake are entered for Foundation. I think because getting a C on that was easier.
  4. rouxx

    rouxx Lead commenter

    With higher easier to train to get around 30% - answer the questions that you KNOW how to do.
    Can mess up with foundation - need around 75% - can make silly mistakes.

    So if she is borderline C - probably go for the higher.
    If she can't be trained then that is a different matter.
  5. rouxx

    rouxx Lead commenter

    Oppsss...sorry you now have conflicting information
  6. Eureka!

    Eureka! Lead commenter

    Actually I think I can offer practical advice - she should enter herself privately for GCSE maths with different boards...more chances of passing that way.
  7. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Thanks for all the advice, folks.

    This is what came over on studentroom. Conflicting opinion. Hmmm.

    Oh, and it is a shame that maths and English have become mere hurdles. I supported students at FE who hadn't got their C grades and the resentment at having to keep at it until they passed!

    I'm all for people being literate and numerate but there must be better ways to go about it whereby the subjects can be treated with enthusiasm.
  8. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    The intention was that borderline C students would do the Foundation paper. It would be a more positive experience for them. The reality is that it is much harder to get 75% on the easier paper than to scrape enough for a C on the Higher.

    Most schools now enter as many pupils for the Higher as possible. It isn't a great experience for the kids but it gets them the grade that they need. It is a shame that they got rid of the Intermediate tier!
  9. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    Aim high, if you fall short at least you have achieved your best.
  10. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    If you aim high, you'll miss

    Aim at the target.
    (those platitudes that teachers overuse grate on me)

    I think the best tactic is to study at foundation level and then sit the higher paper. The % for a C is so low that you have a better chance on higher - you can spend more time on the questions you can do, there is less reading to be done and less panic as you do not have to get all the way through the paper - nowhere near it in fact.
  11. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Ooh, I love it when you get all technical on me. Food for thought. Food for thought.

    Then I have to explain it to my friend! She didn't get GCSE at school but she passed it as an adult. She's not confident though.

    I just worry that friend's daughter will freak at the tough questions and just flip. Hey, if she doesn't get it the worst that will happen is that she has to keep on with it at FE.

    Thank you, one and all!
  12. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    It depends on the child. Some do better answering a few questions accurately, some do better answering lots of easy questions.

    I would trust her teacher's intuition on this one.
    grumpydogwoman and rouxx like this.
  13. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    BUMP to clear front page of Spammers

  14. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    You're quite right @lilachardy
    I should just have told her mother I'm out of my depth on this one. Which I am.

    Hard to admit I don't 'know it all'. But obviously I don't! :)

    I shall just reassure my friend that it'll all be fine and her teacher will make the right choice.
    rouxx likes this.
  15. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Study helps enormously.
  16. racroesus

    racroesus Star commenter

    Long hours of reading, doing examples, struggling with answers, asking for help and that sort of thing?
  17. strawbs

    strawbs Established commenter

    I am a Maths teacher and would recommend Foundation if that is what her teachers are recommending!! What do they say?
    Higher A*/A/B material will be totally inaccessible if she has never studied it, which could freak her if she sat higher.
    Depending on exam board, pass mark for C on Foundation could be well below 75%.
    We only enter those with a decent chance of a B, and IMPORTANTLY, those who have studied the higher material, for higher.
  18. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    She's YR11 and I think she's been 'demoted' once but shall check.

    She is in a panic about her tests/mocks/whatever and hasn't had the results yet. I think she fears being put down again for the age old reason of pride!

    But it's an excellent point. Teachers know best and will make the right selection for her in due course. I just need to reassure her mother that it's not a sign of terminal idiocy. She just needs her C and will promptly give it up so I don't know why she's so concerned.

    I'd think an insecure student would be better off taking an easier paper.
  19. strawbs

    strawbs Established commenter

    agree 100%

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