Something does not add up

1st June 2012 at 01:00

In its recent report Mathematics: made to measure, Ofsted states that "many of the brightest pupils do not fulfil their potential when they get to secondary school. Figures showed that 37,000 of the highest attaining primary school pupils went on to achieve no better than a grade C at GCSE in maths last year."

Clearly, there is an inherent suggestion that secondary maths staff are not doing their job properly. However, years of experience teaching secondary maths have taught me that the abilities required for key stage 2 are not the same as those for GCSE. While Sats are mainly arithmetic based, top-level GCSE is more algebra based, and some of the highest-attaining pupils in Sats achieve those results using skills that won't work at GCSE.

Mike Rath, Barnstaple, Devon.

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