Cheerful Dave - obviously we're from roughly the same era! I passed both English Language and Eng Lit at O level.
As far as I know they still have both, but even when I was at school, there wasn't really any grammar in English Language. I learnt all my grammar from reading literature.
As I remember it, English Language was actually creative writing - beneficial up to a point in that you'd learn sentence structure, punctuation etc. but not much real use by the time you were 15 if you were not at all creative.
And I maintain the best way to learn to spell is through spelling tests - when the same commonly misspelled words come up time after time they eventually sink in.
Yep English Langauge and English Lit.
I agree on the Arithmetic point. Tha ability to do that is something everybody needs. Algrebra, trignonometry and calculus is more specific.
Instead the GSCE tries to make sure that you get a C if you can add up etc and then the rest gives you the higher grades.
I remember using pythagoras theorem to explain to some kids at the County Schools why the Long jump is measured perpendicularly into the pit rather than from the centre of the board. i.e. if you land near the edge ot the pit you have to measure it straight out even if you have to extend the take-off board sideways to do it.
If you measure from the centre then you would get a greater distance if you jumped to the side which is fine except everybody would try it and end up landing out of the pit and injuring themselves!
hey brooks, I also used pythagoras to explain why you should run straight down lane one at the end of a distance race rather than veer out to lane 6 , 7 or 8...I think it worked out you run an extra 50cms if you end up in lane 8...
Tom. wrote (see)
KK the question is solved by basic algebra as some of the earlier posters have demonstrated, though I suspect that an eight year old would be expected to solve it using substitution. In both cases the key is to start with the number of coins in the second pile as the contents of the other piles (and by implication the total number of coins) are derived from the second pile. So, algebraically if there are x coins in pile 2: then (x+4)+x+(x+1) +2x=20 Ie 5x+5=20: 5x=15 and x=3, which determines 7 3 4 6 By substitution: Pile 2=1, hence pile 1=5, pile 3=2, pile 4=2...total 10 - no! Pile 2=2, hence pile 1=6, pile 3=3, pile 4=4...total 15 - getting there! Pile 2=3, hence pile 1=7, pile 3=4, pile 4=6...total 20 - result! Try this: A salesman is entitled to 10% commission on his sales after his commission has been charged. If his commission is 18 pounds, what are his sales?
200 (I think)
By the way KK, I did it by substitution, and I did further maths.
They do seem to do maths very differently now, but I think they're trying to instill "a sense of number", so when they get to using calculators they have a fair idea of whether the number that comes up is sensible.
I got thrown out of O level maths too KK - right at the last minute when it became obvious o the teacher I was going to fail (it had been obvious to me all along). I had to swap to the CSE class and catch up on the syllabus.
Got an "A" in A level English Lit though
literatin wrote (see)
I got it right but didn't bother to dredge up my algebra skills (which I'm fairly sure I didn't have when I was 8!). Try this instead: Pile 1 has 4 more coins than pile 2, so it has to have at least 4 coins in it. That would make it 4+0+1... oops, can't have 2x0, so that's not the answer and doesn't use all the coins anyway. Try again with 5 coins in pile 1. 5+1+2+2 works okay except they don't add up to 20. (By this point she'll probably be happy enough to skip stage 3..., but obvs it's 6+2+3+4=15) Then try it with 7 coins in pile 1 and it works AND adds up to 20, so you can stop.
I got it right but didn't bother to dredge up my algebra skills (which I'm fairly sure I didn't have when I was 8!). Try this instead:
Pile 1 has 4 more coins than pile 2, so it has to have at least 4 coins in it. That would make it 4+0+1... oops, can't have 2x0, so that's not the answer and doesn't use all the coins anyway.
Try again with 5 coins in pile 1. 5+1+2+2 works okay except they don't add up to 20.
(By this point she'll probably be happy enough to skip stage 3..., but obvs it's 6+2+3+4=15)
Then try it with 7 coins in pile 1 and it works AND adds up to 20, so you can stop.
2x0=0. You can multiply by zero, but if you try to multiply by zero the world as we know it can fall apart!
well, okay, yes you can, but not if you want all your piles to have coins in. Otherwise she hasn't made four piles of coins. I should have started with at least one in pile 2 really.
Hope she's better soon, KK, and not just so we can all do her homework...
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