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chrisboote
1040753.  Thu Dec 12, 2013 7:22 am Reply with quote

dr.bob wrote:

I have a question at this point. I know very little about schools in the UK, but I was under the impression that even comprehensive schools stream their students to some extent, having top sets in different subjects. You seem to be implying that the norm is quite the opposite.

Can anyone provide any actual hard evidence, or recent personal experience, as to what the current prevalence of "streaming" is in today's comprehensive schools?

In most - possibly all - London boroughs, and in Birmingham, Wales, Hampshire, Essex and (I think) Berkshire the councils have decreed no streaming by ability at all inside a school
Some schools have 'sets' for Maths and/or science which gets round this, but the general melting pot in other subjects results in worse education for all

 
Chowchilla
1040780.  Thu Dec 12, 2013 8:54 am Reply with quote

franticllama wrote:
Efros wrote:
Poverty is usually the number one obstacle to achievement in education. If you are in a family where you don't know if you are going to have heat or food, education probably wont strike you as having any sort of priority.


So then how do you explain the thirst for education in places like India? I work with Nepalese people who were poverty stricken and they had to walk for over 2 hours to get to school. They all went and they all wanted an education. In my experience poverty makes you want an education more than anything - most see it as a way out of their desperate situation. They may be denied an education because of their poverty but I don't believe its for lack of wanting an education.
Which is fairly close to what I was saying.

We were quite exceptionally poor when I was little, but nonetheless we never expected anything to be given to us. In fact I was mystified as to why many of my English contemporaries expected the State to provide. We wanted to better ourselves and work our way out of poverty; something my self and my three sisters all did.

 
suze
1040825.  Thu Dec 12, 2013 12:34 pm Reply with quote

We have a terminology issue here and it seems to be causing a bit of confusion, so let me begin with a clarification.


Streaming is the process of dividing pupils into groups based on general educational ability, and then teaching them within those groups for all subjects. In those counties which have grammar schools, pupils are effectively streamed before entry.

As chrisboote has noted, some LEAs do not allow streaming, although they can't stop academies and foundations from doing it if they choose.


Setting is the process of dividing pupils into groups based on ability at a particular subject, and then teaching them within those groups for that subject, independent of other subjects.

The vast majority of schools set for Mathematics from Year 10 if not earlier, whether or not they stream. I do know of at least one school where Math is taught Mixed Ability right up to GCSE; the teachers hate it and the pupils assuredly don't like it.

English and MFL are the subjects next most often setted; Art is the subject least often setted. There hasn't really been enough research on this yet, but such research as does exist suggests that ICT* should never be setted - mixed ability teaching seems to work better than anything else. Even so, a lot of schools do set for it.


What with being a grammar school, our pupils are pre-streamed and we do not stream further. French is set from Day 1, because some pupils have done French in primary school and some haven't. Just as at swot's school, English, Math, and Science are set from Christmas in Year 7. Our Year 7 girls will learn the details of that on Monday; I need to finalize the set lists for English tomorrow.

Geog and Hist are set from Year 9, and most other subjects from Year 10. Art is taught mixed ability because that is the preference of the Head of Art, and subjects which only have enough students for one GCSE group are perforce taught mixed ability. At present this is Economics, Latin, Music, and sadly Physics.

We do not at present set for PE. The Head of PE is leaving next week though, and her replacement apparently intends to change this.


* By which I mean the subject where pupils are taught how to do spreadsheets, send emails, and so on. Proper CompSci is a different matter altogether.

 
chrisboote
1040869.  Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:00 pm Reply with quote

Is there anyone on here who feels that teaching all pupils in mixed ability classes is good for either the pupils or the teachers?

 
Efros
1040872.  Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:02 pm Reply with quote

nope.

 
swot
1040882.  Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:23 pm Reply with quote

Not even slightly.

 
sally carr
1040885.  Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:26 pm Reply with quote

No

 
chrisboote
1040888.  Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:28 pm Reply with quote

Then I think it seems that once again, a group of intelligent people are fiercely agreeing with each other - so we should probably return to the original topic?

 
dr.bob
1041049.  Fri Dec 13, 2013 7:29 am Reply with quote

I think we can put this bit to rest now.

I was simply a bit confused when, in post 1040623, you said that streaming* by ability in all subjects "wouldn't be allowed under most local councils' guidelines."

It seems that this is not the case and only a minority of Local Councils oppose streaming, and it seems that none of them oppose setting.



*By which I think you meant, according to suze's definitions above, setting

 
PDR
1041054.  Fri Dec 13, 2013 7:45 am Reply with quote

chrisboote wrote:
Is there anyone on here who feels that teaching all pupils in mixed ability classes is good for either the pupils or the teachers?


It surely depends how mixed, because the only way to teach non-mixed-ability classes is to reduce the class size to 1. The issue with streaming (and by the same token, grammar/selective schools) is that it is based on the false premise that ability is the same across all subjects, whreas setting is not.

PDR

 
suze
1041105.  Fri Dec 13, 2013 11:55 am Reply with quote

PDR wrote:
It surely depends how mixed, because the only way to teach non-mixed-ability classes is to reduce the class size to 1.


This is of course true. Education jargon uses the word "differentiation" to describe the ways that teachers deal with this. There are three kinds of differentiation - two of them better than the third - and quite a few lectures on a teaching course talk about them. At considerable length.

Clearly, more thought must be given to differentiation when preparing lessons for a mixed ability group than for a set. Some teachers will assert that bottom sets require more differentiation than top sets, but that's a comprehensive school attitude. (It's an attitude which ignores the needs of the most able pupils, and in a grammar school that's a thing that we try not to do.)


In passing, I'll say "Grrr" at the government's decision not to allow a new grammar school campus in Sevenoaks. I shall say no more than "Grrr", since I'm not really at liberty to go into the detail.

 
zomgmouse
1043720.  Thu Dec 26, 2013 5:28 am Reply with quote

Rebecca Front.

 
AlmondFacialBar
1048917.  Sat Jan 18, 2014 8:29 am Reply with quote

Ben Cumberbatch

Seriously (which should be implied in the fact that I'm referring to him by a sensible name), I think he'd be good. Articulate guy with an interest in the world around him, and quite wonderfully silly when the opportunity arises.

:-)

AlmondFacialBar

 
djgordy
1048954.  Sat Jan 18, 2014 11:20 am Reply with quote

AlmondFacialBar wrote:
Ben Cumberbatch

Seriously (which should be implied in the fact that I'm referring to him by a sensible name),


As opposed to "Ben Cum" as she normally thinks of him.....

I doubt that the Q.I. budget would stretch that far.


Last edited by djgordy on Sat Jan 18, 2014 3:36 pm; edited 1 time in total

 
AlmondFacialBar
1048956.  Sat Jan 18, 2014 11:27 am Reply with quote

He wouldn't exactly be the first big name they have, would he? And the type who'd probably do it for the shits and giggles.

And no, I usually think of him as something along the lines of Curlyfries Burgerhatch.

:-)

AlmondFacialBar

 

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