Is your child failing maths in the first year of high school? Here's some help

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Is your child failing to succeed in Maths in their first year of high school? Read further here. Photo:  Supplied/Advantage Learn.
Is your child failing to succeed in Maths in their first year of high school? Read further here. Photo: Supplied/Advantage Learn.

In order to pass to the next grade, students in Grades 7, 8 and 9 must pass their mathematics exams, at the end of the year, with at least a moderate achievement or level 3. 

Students in grades 10, 11 and 12 are expected to have at least level 2 or 3 to pass. 

These requirements are among those put forward for passing from one grade to another, according to the rules set out by the Department of Basic Education.

The policy also states that even if a pupil passes all other subjects with distinction, should they achieve less than 40% for mathematics, they will fail that year.

Unfortunately, pupils are failing to meet these requirements.  

According to Trish Pike, Director of Teaching and Curriculum Development at Advantage Learn, many parents are scared of mathematics because of their own experiences with it, but stresses that telling their children about their bad experiences with maths does not help increase their child's interest in mathematics.

She says this is sad, considering that if you want your child to succeed academically as a worker and a functioning adult in the 21st century, you need to be positive about mathematics.

Read: 'Don't give up on maths': Why mathematics is critical in high school

Parental assistance

Pike stresses that success in mathematics in the first year of high school is vital, but she says that there is a way to recover should a pupil fail mathematics in their first year of high school.

She believes that revisiting the following concepts thoroughly may be necessary, if the child fails mathematics:

  • Gr 9 Products as that revises Gr 8 algebra. Must not use a calculator.
  • Gr 9 Factorising needs excessive practice.
  • Gr 9 Fractions - significant to be successful in maths.
  • Gr 9 solving equations revises Gr 8 concepts.
  • Revise Gr 8 geometry.

Pike says that when parents start working through additional questions with their child from their child's textbooks, sending their child for extra lessons or getting online assistance using various online resources, like Maths Online, they give their children more confidence to tackle more complex mathematics topics. 

Also read: Multi-award-winning teacher tells us how he makes maths fun for his students.

Teacher assistance

Pike notes that the Maths Online platform is an affordable resource for educators, offering a complete walkthrough of all DBE, IEB and Cambridge Maths topics via video lessons, worksheets and even quizzes.

She says that educators around South Africa can access these resources to learn how to teach specific topics by using their free Neo Series digital textbook for questions, and work alongside video lessons to learn more about the best approach to teach Maths in their classroom.

Pike also states that the following topics are essential to get right, to ensure that your child is ready for Grade 10.

  • Products
  • Factorising
  • Fractions
  • Trigonometry 
  • Equations

She adds that a good indicator is to ensure your child gets 75% or above for each of the abovementioned topics.


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