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Massive insult to primary teachers

Discussion in 'Education news' started by moscowbore, Feb 14, 2018.

  1. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Horses led to water do not always drink.

    Several years ago. The Primary mathematics syllabus changed much? Category theory on there now, is it?

    We call it Year 7.


    Then why has a retired Primary teacher leading mathematics interventions for the same pupils in the same Primary for the past three years? What are their teachers doing? Category theory after all?

    There is not that much mathematics to cover. You've got seven years to teach pupils basic arithmetic and introduce them to a couple of other areas. You're not being asked to build Rome in a day but still Primary teachers stray into non-statutory areas.

    Teach the methods, the understanding follows.
    monicabilongame likes this.
  2. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    "Published 10 September 2015
    From: Ofsted
    Gov.uk, 10th September 2015.

    Fruit of the poisonous tree.
    Scintillant likes this.
  3. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    Really feel for the primary teachers on this one. And I agree with the OP, primary teachers know what they are doing and are doing a great job and NO MORE TESTS are needed at KS2 they already have the boring Year 1 Phonics, Year 2 SATs, End of Year 5/Transfer tests which although not compulsory every school in my LA seems to do, and the dreadful Year 6 SATs.

    Too much stress, too many tests. Leave the kids alone...
  4. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    The status of Key Stage 3 as the poor relation to other key stages was exemplified in the way schools monitored and assessed pupils’ progress. Inspectors found that too many secondary schools did not work effectively with partner primary schools to understand pupils’ prior learning and ensure that they built on this during Key Stage 3. Worryingly, some secondary leaders simply accepted that pupils would repeat what they had already done in primary school during the early part of Key Stage 3, particularly in Year 7.

    Ask any Year Six teacher what they think when their previous year's students turn-up and share what's in their new books...

    Maybe they are all poisonous too.
  5. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Ah, yes, the annual Visit-Last-Year's-Teacher-To-Show-Them-Your-Current-Exercise-Book Day. We all love that day so much, particularly the special hats. I heard they're making it into a bank holiday. Can't wait.
    Scintillant and elder_cat like this.
  6. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    I somehow doubt you'd have to worry about it to much...
  7. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    The elephant in the room, here, is that there is a much wider ability range (or lack of ability range) in primary and secondary schools nowadays compared to when I was a pupil in the 1950s, 60s and early 70s. Then, Special schools catered for the lower cohort.

    Despite this, schools seem to be required to get an ever larger percentage of pupils 'up to standard'.
    In my schooldays, despite there being a narrower ability range, there were still pupils who struggled with the Times Tables on which we spent a lot of time. There were still pupils who couldn't master long multiplication and long division (are those even done at KS2 today?).There were still pupils who struggled with accurate spellings and who were insecure with basic grammar.
    peter12171 likes this.
  8. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    As much as any teacher.
  9. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    Oh yes...:)
    h001, Lara mfl 05 and chelsea2 like this.
  10. peter12171

    peter12171 Star commenter

    That was my experience in my two weeks in primary prior to starting my PGCE. Times tables are taught, and tested, on a regular basis. In a way one more formal test wouldn’t add much in terms of testing and students shouldn’t need to stress about them.

    Having been on supply, and currently working as a TA, I am often amazed by students’ lack of ability in this area. I think it’s partly because the idea of learning by rote has gone out of fashion. For me there ae times for learning by rote, one of which is the times tables. Of course it should not be the only method, but it is a valid one.
    palmtree100 likes this.
  11. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Vince_Ulam likes this.
  12. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    STA bod told me that schools will be able to administer this test in small groups (many don't have the IT resources to do it a class/year group at a time), so there is bound to be speculation about the validity of any results anyway.

    As stated above, primaries all do some type of TT test anyway, so this shouldn't really be a big deal, particularly if it doesn't constitute part of the accountability model.
    peter12171 likes this.
  13. Grandsire

    Grandsire Star commenter

    In the Y4 class I teach, about quarter know their times-tables thoroughly, with the sort of rapid recall I used to demand from my top ability Year 6 pupils, and can use them in all sorts of ways - to find all the factors of any number up to 100, for example. There’s another quarter who will be able to do this by the end of the year, too. For them, learning and instant recall is relatively easy.

    The next quarter of my class know most of them now, and will know them better still by the end of the year, but will struggle to recall them quickly enough to pass the sort of test the government has in mind. We chant them, we teach them, we test them, but they’re not there yet.

    Sadly, the remaining quarter know pretty much nothing beyond twos, fives and tens said in order. One child has no concept of multiplication beyond doubling using cubes, and can only do that with support; two more have such poor memories that anything mastered today is gone by tomorrow - they’ve learned their threes this half term but now they’ve pretty much forgotten the higher twos and fives! I could probably drill them to learn more of their tables, but that would be ALL I’d do all year... and frankly, their knowledge of number bonds to ten or telling the time is just as weak. Where should I put my effort?

    The class has a natural spread of ability, no more or less than I’d expect. Parental support helps, but even that isn’t enough sometimes. I once taught a very weak SEN child who’d learned her tables by rote, helped by her well-meaning parents. “Six sevens?” you’d ask. “Six sevens are forty two,” would come the reply, like a parrot. But put it into any sort of useful context - “Six pencils are in a pack, and I have seven packs - how many pencils?” or “6 x 70 = ?” or even “42 divided by 6 = ?” and she had no idea what to do. But yes, she ‘knew’ her tables!
  14. Grandsire

    Grandsire Star commenter

    ... and I certainly don’t need a national test to tell me which children in my class don’t know their tables well enough!
  15. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter

    I'm quite sure that teachers can and should test their children on tables. I remember in the days of my youth, long ago, that we all had to learn our tables and woe betide us if we hadn't done this by the time we were tested. Knowing tables is so useful in life. We used to skip to our times tables and it was lots of fun.
    peter12171 likes this.
  16. JessicaRabbit1

    JessicaRabbit1 Senior commenter

    Y6 teacher here and I can guarantee you that Arithmetic will be being hammered up and down the land in most Y6 classrooms at this time of year with that week in May approaching. I have at least a quarter in my class that are not fluent beyond their 2/5 and 10s and as others have said, this seriously hampers mathematical knowledge in so many other areas of the curriculum. I am cautiously hopeful that some kind of test further down the school might make my life easier but agree that to suggest that we don't already know the children struggling is an insult.
  17. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    As others have said, any dexeng school and teacher would be doing this anyway. It’s obviously cheap ‘Look at me!’ PR from the new boy. And it’s only up to the 12 times table, isn’t it? In China, the students go way beyond that. I wish that BBC News bod who interviewed Damien Handy this morning has asked him what 13x14 was.....
  18. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    I use ‘times table snap’ cards with my littluns. They love it, quickly twig that if they have mastered their three and five times tables they have also got the 6 and 10 times...they progress so quickly.
    Pomza likes this.
  19. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    The intention to introduce this 'screen' was made clear a couple of years back. There were also questions about during which year(group) 'we' thought it best for pupils to take the test in the March 2017 open consultation.

    This exciting STA video, broadcast in November 17 also details the new arrangements...


    I bet none of you can stand to watch it all. I had to :(

    So it's nothing to do with the new guy.

    Still stupid though...
    Mrsmumbles and chelsea2 like this.
  20. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    No, you've lost me there.

    Why don't you have a look at it and see? The you might be able to speak from knowledge rather than assumption.

    That's the problem - you have no idea what happens in primary.

    Is that yes or no? Why not have a look?

    Where is your evidence for that? You clearly don't teach primary.

    Pedagogically, that is carp.

    I'm not leading interventions. I work 3 hours a week with PP children who need support in maths (and that can mean support to achieve higher levels). The teachers of these particular two children have been judged outstanding by OFSTED. The school has achieved 100% at 'expected' or 'exceeded expectations' in maths for the last two years. But despite the best efforts of excellent teachers, and the support I have provided (where every child I have worked with has achieved or exceeded their 'target') these two children just won't / can't get there.

    It would be great if you would accept that in primary schools teachers DO teach the curriculum and do their damnedest to ensure their pupils achieve, especially when your experience of the recent primary sector seems limited at best.

    We are surely on the same side - we want our pupils to do well, despite the government!
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018

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