I took O level Maths in 1979, also O level statistics in 1980.

]]>I’m quite stunned. A maths teacher for 14 years (11 – 18 year olds). It is clear that exams became much easier between this paper and 2016. The year 2017 saw the introduction of the new 1-9 syllabus which does contain slightly more challenging questions and the trend is for that to continue. On the content side I notice that there is nothing on statistics/data handling. Some questions are trigonometry related but implicit rather than in today’s papers which tend to be explicit. There seems to be much more emphasis back then on geometry and geometric reasoning. Also it is clear today that students are doing far too much. The whole school syllabus is too broad and so is the maths syllabus itself. So I believe that the answer is right there. If you broaden a syllabus it will lack depth. There are only a certain number of maths lesson in the week. The amount of distractions both inside and outside of school today is also a serious problem. I don’t think students are any less bright today, but I do think modern culture has failed them.

]]>The books we used were mostly pages and pages of closely-typed calculations – yawn!

And those early calculators were frighteningly expensive.

I’m an arty type so I did General Science rather than ‘proper’ science. Managed to get a B in both, and haven’t used maths since for anything other than checking my change.

I am, however, considering taking a GCSE in astronomy with my daughter. The maths looks a bit scary for someone of my background.

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