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Year 6 Level 6 Paper and preparation - Guidance please

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by adamcreen, Jun 26, 2012.

  1. adamcreen

    adamcreen Occasional commenter

    I am a secondary teacher who did work with Year 6 (and 5 and 4 and 3!) children at a local primary, leading to a few sessions of Level 6 coverage in the 2nd half of the spring term. I also marked them for the STA this year.

    Firstly, most importantly, do not say anything to the students about it until well after Christmas. It is NOT important and they do not need to be stressed about it. When you do, explain that it is not part of the SATS, it is an extra test just to see what they can do - it is not pass or fail and it will not affect their future.

    You should not try to cover everything at Level 6 - your focus should be to get them as confident on Level 5 work as you can. Level 6 is a bonus, and you should pick a few key topics to cover, e.g. trial and improvement, ratio, probability.

    I could go on but will stop there for now.
  2. is it usual in your school to do the level 6 paper?
    adam - from your current standpoint, do you see advantages to kids arriving having worked towards a level 6 paper?

  3. adamcreen

    adamcreen Occasional commenter

    Vicky - I can send you the Assessment Guidelines that I used to when planning my sessions - it's an old strategy document with Level 5 and Level 6 on one page so you can see progression. DM your email address.

    Flora - we look forward to receiving all the data from our primary schools, SATs raw scores, and information on any Level 6 tests they have taken. Of course there will be students who took it but didn't get 6 and we never know, and others who didn't take it but could have got a 6 if they had. Our set 1 classes all come to us with 5a anyway so it won't change who's at the top end. Set 1 and 2 have a textbook that goes up to Level 7 anyway so we will continue to stretch them, whatever Level 6 work they have done.
  4. i was wondering if having worked to y6, with exam taken or not, made for a gentler transition to secondary - but hard to assess if you don't always know what work they've actually done
  5. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Which of course is why it might be rather better for everyone if it was a 5* paper: challenging questions on level 5 material, which do not depend on the year 6 teacher having been able to cover the entire level 6 syllabus with their top group.
  6. Hear! hear!
    i'm curious as to how L6 works as we made a decision a few years ago to drop L6 teaching in favour of other maths extension work
    i know it's more fun for me to teach, but have wondered if learning more KS3 stuff before Y7 has advantages for the kids
  7. The recently reintroduced level 6 paper is somewhat different to the old style ones from several years ago in my opinion. There have only been two years of it so far, but there seems to be much less specifically level 6 content and much more that is level 5 but at a more challenging level which I think is probably much better. I also have a suspicion it's now much easier to get a level 6, but don't have any hard evidence to back that up! I'd echo a previous poster in saying that it's probably better to make sure they are really secure in level 5 than trying to teach lots of level 6 content and not to worry about it until after Christmas.
    I taught a small group for this earlier this year and covered things like trial and improvement, operations with fractions and bits of algebra. I also taught them how to use compasses to draw circles and sketch 3D shapes from different angles on dotty paper. I found lots of useful stuff on the Kangaroo maths site for dipping into L6 topics and also used one of the CGP workbooks and picked topics out of that for practice.
  8. ignorant junior school teacher here -
    what is trial and improvement?
  9. adamcreen

    adamcreen Occasional commenter

    Say you have an equation you can't solve using algebra, e.g. x^3 - x = 24. You can try numbers out. So 3^3 - 3 = 24 works, and x = 3.

    But if the answer is not an integer, you can only work it out to a chosen degree of accuracy (usually 1 decimal place at GCSE).

    New question: x^3 - x = 20, we know x is between 2 and 3 so we start with our first TRIAL x = 2.5.

    This gives us 2.5^3 - 2.5 = 13.125 which is too small. We IMPROVE our answer by trying a number between 2.5 and 3.

    2.8^3 - 2.8 = 19.152 (too small). 2.9^3 - 2.9 = 21.489 (too big)

    Now 19.152 LOOKS closer to 20 but we have to check because the function is not linear.

    So for another mark, we try halfway as a check: 2.85^3 - 2.85 = 20.299 (too big).

    So if the answer lies between 2.8 and 2.85, any value in that range ROUNDS to 2.8, so x = 2.8 is our answer.

    Ta-daa Level 6!
  10. oh god - i had had the horrible thought that was what it was
    but does x^3 really ever happen at L6 - or even L7? - even x^2 - wouldn't you do better to factorise/square/use the formula?
    i teach my Y6's the balance scale - poor miss post had to do 'trial and improvement' at sec school - we worked out, as she could find the actual answer A, she trialled A+1 or A-1 so she could 'improve' to the correct answer asap
    so maybe i won't do L6 papers
    now master p's sec school also used the balance scale - parents' evenings were torture, as i forced myself not to hug his maths teachers [​IMG]

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