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to think if you do well at primary, you should do well in secondary?

(73 Posts)
kim147 Thu 13-Jun-13 09:46:46

www.guardian.co.uk/education/2013/jun/13/state-schools-pupils-ofsted-chief

If you do well at primary and go to a selective secondary school, you have a 59% chance of getting an A or A* at GCSE.

If you do well at primary and go to a comprehensive, you have a 35% chance of getting an A or A*.

No shit - you've got a very different range of pupils in the schools. But it does look like you are let down if you are bright and go to a comprehensive school.

But what can be done?

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Thu 13-Jun-13 09:54:41

Shouldn't have got rid of grammar schools, in my opinion. I know a lot of people think selection is elitist but, let's face it, so is life. Everything is competitive in some way and it's best to learn that early on.

I was top in my primary school every year and went to a grammar school where I continued to do well. Then they closed it and I had to go to a comprehensive where I was not stretched in the same way and my results, while perfectly OK, should have been better.

It's like the constant drone of university. It's just not right for everyone. Everyone needs to have a good grounding in certain subjects. But it would be better for those who are academically gifted to go one way and those who aren't another and for the latter to be stretched in other areas. Yes, they still need teaching but if they are better with practical things, then focus on those.

Sparklymommy Thu 13-Jun-13 09:55:35

I was let down by a comp. I chose to go there rather than the selective grammar. I had that choice. I made the wrong decision. Comps tend to have more pupils and mixed ability sets. I coasted. I got the required 9 a*-c grades, but mostly at a B. I should have got More As.

Not going to make the same mistake with my own dc!

echt Thu 13-Jun-13 09:58:25

Save yourself the hassle and look at the comments that follow this article that point out the statistical conundrums unexplored by the lazy journalism of this article.

The Guardian should be ashamed.

<Guardinista posting>

Sparklingbrook Thu 13-Jun-13 09:58:43

Can you clarify 'selective secondary' I don't think I know of any in this area....

MNBlackpoolandFylde Thu 13-Jun-13 10:00:13

It does not surprise me in the slightest to be honest. Its not always a case of better teaching but often smaller classes.

wordfactory Thu 13-Jun-13 10:00:21

Comprehensives ask too much of teachers.

An outstannding school will ensure that the vast majority of its pupils get a good standard of education ie 5GCSEs including Eng and Maths.

There will only ever be a smallish number of very bright pupils so you can't really justify allocating the type of resources you would need to give them an appropriately good standard of education.

kim147 Thu 13-Jun-13 10:02:11

I'm guessing they looked at grammar schools - we have some near here that select by ability.

Sparklingbrook Thu 13-Jun-13 10:04:52

Oh right thanks Kim. It must vary by area, we don't have any Grammar schools locally.

kim147 Thu 13-Jun-13 10:06:05

From the report:

"Indeed, just over three million students attend non-selective state secondary schools. Only 160,000 students attend selective state secondary schools. Therefore, it is right that the focus of this survey should be on the ablest young people in these non-selective schools."

www.ofsted.gov.uk/sites/default/files/documents/surveys-and-good-practice/t/The%20most%20able%20students.pdf

Salbertina Thu 13-Jun-13 10:11:27

Yep, unless times have really changed, i did exceptionally well in an exceptional, v competitive primary, was sent to nearest comp where I swear l learnt nothing new for the next 2 years hmm. No one noticed and ended up coasting thro with ok GCSE and ok A levels. And that was perfectly acceptable- i remember one of my A level teachers celebrating us passing (all with Ds so we hadn't got our desired uni places!) What a waste! In my experience, some comps can be little more than a celebration of mediocrity. I don't blame the teachers at all but the system which confines them.

Renniehorta Thu 13-Jun-13 10:11:34

This article leads me to ask a whole list of questions.

1. How many children leaving primary with L5 have been coached to within an inch of their lives to reach L5? How many have the natural ability and will continue to progress without hothousing? I would say that there is probably quite a difference between these two figures.

2. Why do selective schools only achieve 59%? Surely since the vast majority of their intake must have L5?

3. Students at secondary school are subject to all sorts of factors that effect their outcomes at school. Puberty is the big one. How many times have I seen talented girls go completely off the rails under the influence of some lazy lad. There is nothing their parents can do, let alone some pressurised teacher. All you can do is wait for the penny to drop and hope it will be in time to rescue the girls' GCSE grades.

DowntonTrout Thu 13-Jun-13 10:15:09

I'm afraid that it just doesn't follow.

At 11 I was top 1% in the country. We did not have grammars and I railed against the idea of a private school, instead insisting I went to the local comp where all my friends were going. Myself, and three others were told we were the Oxbridge candidates of the future. My parents were relieved at not having to pay another lot of school fees. It was a huge mistake.

I was let down, and let myself down I have to add, by coasting along. Having never had to put any effort in to be top of the class, I was left to put in minimum effort and was not challenged or pushed at all. They preferred to concentrate on the medium to low achievers. I was bored and consequently passed 5 O levels, 2 As 2Bs and a C, with no effort and really not caring ( I failed Maths, french and physics spectacularly and did not even turn up for the other two exams because I ran away to Paris- but that's another story!)

A true comprehensive should be able to challenge and support, in equal measures, the able and the less able. In reality, that doesn't always happen.

wordfactory Thu 13-Jun-13 10:15:24

I don't think it's so much a celebration of the mediochre salbertina as the schools concentrating on the majority of their cohort.

They are judged on how many pupils they can get through 5 GCSEs.

It is very hard to be all things to all men.

kim147 Thu 13-Jun-13 10:17:30

It seems from the report that secondary schools aren't too aware of what they've done in primary so year 7 can be wasted as they are not challenged like they were used to be in year 6.

Differentiation is a massive thing in primary and it's really hard to teach a class with a wide range of ability to ensure they all make progress.

So streaming and setting gets talked about - but isn't that also a self fulfilling prophecy. You're in the bottom set and you'll stay there. OTOH, setting helps children get work aimed at their ability.

HibiscusIsland Thu 13-Jun-13 10:26:15

Doesn't it vary from one comp to another? Some seem to get very good results and some don't

kim147 Thu 13-Jun-13 10:27:53

That's the point of the report - to look at different schools and ask why a child with Level 5 does well in one school but not well in another school.

So many reasons.

GraduateofPoorComp Thu 13-Jun-13 10:28:06

My username says it all. (It was a long time ago, so admittedly not relevant to today's story)

I did do well enough at external exams but I bear witness to the waste of talent in my secondary school. I was gobsmacked by the number of dim people I met at university.

ShabbyButNotChic Thu 13-Jun-13 10:29:11

I got all level 5's at primary, with no coaching/revision, we were just goven the test on the day. It was always planned for me to go to grammar, until i refused to take the test as my mates were all going to the comp. i then coasted through 5years of high school, and 2 years of 6th form, never revised for a test in my life, got all A's and B's. while i didnt do badly, i could have done better, and more inportantly i could have enjoyed ot a lot more! It is the biggest regret of my life that i didnt go to the grammar. I would have been pushed and encouraged to improve. instead i spent years sat in class, rolling my eyes in boredom having completed the given work. This led to me falling out of love with learning as i just associated it with boredom, and i started to hate school.

All teachers were happy to have me sit doing nothing/read a book as they were focusing on the children who couldnt do the work. Someone commented above that it would be too much cost for so few children, but can you imagine someone saying 'oh 10% of this year is really thick, lets sit them at the back and they can colour in, its too expensive to employ extra staff' it would never happen!!!

I feel like education is constantly concerned about the lower end of ability but not bothered about encouraging those who are naturally clever, which is a massive shame.

ShabbyButNotChic Thu 13-Jun-13 10:29:47

Sorry for spelling, iphone+fat fingers

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 13-Jun-13 10:30:29

Shouted at the radio this morning when J Humpshries said something about 'when grammar schools were replaced by comprehensives' - no, grammar schools and secondary moderns were replaced by comprehensives!

How can the bright pupils be getting crap grades and absolutely everyone gets all A* because it's all so easy? Bollocks.

kim147 Thu 13-Jun-13 10:34:18

You mean when Gove complained that too many people were getting A and A* so it's too easy.

But today, not enough people are achieving their potential to get A and A*

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 13-Jun-13 10:35:44

Maybe exams now are so bad that only less intelligent children can pass them, and the clever children are just too clever for them. Or something.

katyclogg Thu 13-Jun-13 10:43:59

My Y9 daughter left Y6 with 5a for her English grade. She never struggled in this subject but did with maths and science which was I think around the 4 grade.
She has just taken a maths mock GCSE and did far better than we hoped and her achievable target is now 7b. Unfortunately her grades in English seem to have shown no improvement what so ever; her current level being 5b and her target level at the end of Y9 is 6B.
Is there a continuation in the grading from primary to comp school? I was told in her first Y7 parents evening that the grading is different / harder at Comprehensive school. Confused!!

kim147 Thu 13-Jun-13 10:46:06

This is the expectation from KS2 to GCSE.

www.education.gov.uk/schools/performance/archive/schools_10/s11.shtml

The continuation and expectation is still the same.

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