The CSSE group has decided to make some changes to the 11+ examination

The decision has been taken in order to bring the papers more in line with the expectations of Level 5, KS2, National Curriculum, for both English and Mathematics and to better reflect the educational experience of primary school pupils.

There will not be a discrete Verbal Reasoning Paper.

New English Paper

The new English paper (in line with the expectation of Level 5, KS2, National Curriculum) will comprise:

  • Comprehension, grammar and vocabulary questions
  • Two pieces of creative writing
  • Applied reasoning (literacy/verbal)
 The paper will last 1 hour, with some additional reading time and will be worth 60 marks in total.

New Mathematics paper

The new Mathematics paper (in line with the expectations of Level 5, KS2, National Curriculum) will comprise:

  • Questions consistent with KS2 of the National Curriculum
  • Applied reasoning (mathematical/non-verbal)
The paper will last 1 hour and be worth 60 marks in total.

Michael Gove has announced that, with effect from 29 September 2013, only a student’s first entry to a GCSE examination will count in their school’s performance tables. . 
This change is being made to address the significant increase in early entry in recent years. In summer 2013, 23% of maths entries were from students who were not yet at the end of Year 11. 
The Secretary of State has previously described early entry as a “damaging trend that is harming the interests of many pupils”, adding:The evidence shows that candidates who enter early perform worse overall than those who do not, even after resits are taken into account.
The Secretary of State said that “It seems likely that candidates are being entered before they are ready, and ‘banking’ a C grade where their performance at key stage 2 would suggest that if they had continued to study the subject and taken the GCSE at the end of year 11 they could have achieved a top grade. This is of particular concern in maths, where there is high progression from A*/A grade at GCSE to A level, but low progression from grades B and C”.
He also claimed that this narrowed the curriculum, focused not on sound subject teaching as a basis for successful progression, but on preparation to pass exams.
In reality this has meant disappointment to a significant number of students who were expecting to sit their Maths GCSE in 6 weeks time and have now had their exam postponed until June.

New research suggests Secondary school pupils are so scared of looking stupid in maths lessons that they will
not tell their teachers if they do not understand.

A survey of 1,000 10- to 16-year-olds by “Opinion Matters” found two-thirds would rather struggle alone or ask friends or family for help. 
The reasons pupils gave for not asking for help more often were that they were worried about looking foolish, were embarrassed or did not want to draw attention to themselves.

Peter Lacey, of the Association of Teachers of Mathematics, said schools should focus on developing pupils' confidence in mathematics slowly, rather than racing through concepts too quickly and leaving some students behind. 
The research also included a questionnaire of 1,000 parents which suggested that about a fifth felt they did not have the maths skills to help their children. 

Almost two-thirds of parents said they were not comfortable with some of the new mathematical methods now being taught in schools. 

Please go to to see how Sue Comber can help parents and children

The Mums, Coffee , Cakes and Maths sessions are proving very popular. Run on a roughly monthly basis, these sessions are an opportunity for us mums to come to grips with this new-fangled way they have of teaching Maths nowadays. In a fun and relaxed way we chat through why maths is being taught so differently and how we can help our children to become more confident and capable in maths.
Here is what some of the mums have been saying about the sessions.......

...."A big, massive thank you to Sue Comber for being a fantastic Mum's tutor today. The Maths will not be so painful as I now have a better understanding of how it is taught in school. Thank you so much Sue, you did a great job. Keep up the good work. I feel like I have learnt so much today."
...."Thank you so much Sue for the brilliant maths lesson today. I now understand the way my 8 year old is being taught maths. Olivia is loving the 9 times table trick she was even doing it in bed tonight!"
...."A big thank you to Sue Comber, it was great to be shown how my little monkeys, are now taught Maths, a really informative, basic introduction for mums with infants or juniors. It was really worth it. It's great to finally grasp the methods that the kids are learning and to also see how that will go forwards up to year 6 and beyond."

Contact me on for future session dates
Perhaps now is the time for the year 10 students to seriously consider getting some extra help with their Maths if they are struggling. Time after time I see enquiries coming in March, when although I can help to bring understanding in some Maths subjects, it just simply does not give me the time to cover the whole syllabus.

Please see my website for more information or call 07920 842569 to make a booking
A Government review panel has suggested that students failing GCSE Maths will be required to re-sit it until they pass.

The review has been carried out by Professor Alison Wolf, an expert in education and skills who said, “We've got more than half our 15-16 year olds failing to get get good maths and good English at GCSE the first time round and two years later it's no better”

She believes children should study mainly academic subjects until they are 16 and that if they do not get a good GCSE in English and maths by that age, they should be made to continue with those subjects.

"We've got more than half our 15-16 year olds failing to get good maths and good English at GCSE the first time round and two years later it's no better," Prof Wolf told the BBC. Until 16, she says, pupils should spend 80% of their time on core subjects.

For Private Maths Tuition please see

.    Did you know that In England only 55% of children get five A to C grade GCSE results, including English and maths. 

.    A Government-commissioned report has concluded  that 47 % of adults have maths skills below the standard expected of a 14-year-old pupil at school. It means their numeracy is so poor they would be unable to pass a GCSE and achieve even the lowest G grade. Meanwhile 16 per cent, around five million, have literacy skills at the same low standards (Source - Daily Mail Feb 2011)

.    An eight-year-old boy and his nine year-old sister have both gained A* grades in GCSE maths. The boy said: ''I love doing maths, it's really fun. It was exciting to do the exam and get the results, I just want to keep on doing it.'' He wants to become a mathematician one day but his sister's favourite subject is English and she is keeping her options open for the future (Source Daily Telegraph Jan 2010)