Grammar Schools - Kent announces intention to introduce new tutor-proof test by 2014.

(49 Posts)
breadandbutterfly Sun 02-Dec-12 17:20:08
TalkinPeace2 Sun 02-Dec-12 18:50:57

bread
would you rather a secondary modern than a comp?
for your child
- because there is nothing to prevent the freakiness of results into selective schools

grovel Sun 02-Dec-12 18:54:18

breadandbutterfly, that's a good point. Eton also interview all the boys. The test is to make sure that boys have the ability to keep up and hopefully enjoy the teaching. The interview is to establish whether boys will make the most of what the school can offer and will enjoy boarding etc. Interviews may be impossible for 11+.

I don't think Eton would mind sharing their methodology with anyone.

FastidiaBlueberry Sun 02-Dec-12 18:58:29

I don't see why they need a test at all.

Why can't they take a selection of representative work from the last couple of years, taking into account the curriculum of the school (so that posh prep school kids don't get all the places)?

Would that be technically impossible?

breadandbutterfly Sun 02-Dec-12 18:59:04

I'd probably prefer something closer to an improved version of the German system - different but equal. I teach 16-18 year olds in a FE college - these are kids who largely went to poor schools previously and failed there. My dd saw some of their English homework I was marking - she correctly ascertained that it was worse than the average level at her old primary school. But thy're nice kids and could be successful in non-academic ways - but it's a pointless waste of everyone's time to imagine that these kids are going to be capable of or interested in following an academic path long term. Kids like this would be much better served by an educational path that allowed them to focus on their strengths not ramming their noses into their weaknesses, and trained them to have well-paid careers in interesting (non-academic) fields.

breadandbutterfly Sun 02-Dec-12 18:59:30

@talkinpeace

breadandbutterfly Sun 02-Dec-12 19:00:32

Fastidia - no, not impossible - it's exactly what happens in Germany where the system works fairly well.

FastidiaBlueberry Sun 02-Dec-12 19:01:43

Why don't they just have that here?

Surely it would cut down on all the stress, all the middle class buying of places by tutor, etc.?

Would it be more expensive?

breadandbutterfly Sun 02-Dec-12 19:05:29

I suppose the fear is that it allows for personal bias/favouritism to creep in. social class may affect judgements. Though in Germany you can appeal - and social class prob less of a hot potato there.

FastidiaBlueberry Sun 02-Dec-12 19:09:20

Oh I see, it's done by teacher?

The way to get round that is to ensure that it's all marked by outside examiners. No school is going to disadvantage a pupil they don't like by not sending in the work at a parent's request, because it is a junior school's interest to get as many pupils into grammar as possible.

I'm always staggered that we still have this antiquated system of testing tbh. It is SO unreliable.

TalkinPeace2 Sun 02-Dec-12 19:31:02

Eton interview to make sure that boys (and their parents' wallets) "fit in"
not a legal (or ethical) option for state funded schools

the trouble with any single day, narrow subject test
is that it will exclude many of the children who make schools more creative and dynamic
and deny those children access to academic excellence in the process

in an all ability school, every child gets to excel in each of their subjects with access to teaching among the able

and are judged for who they are - not for what their parents earn or believe

breadandbutterfly Sun 02-Dec-12 19:36:57

That's very pie in the sky, TalkinPeace - the reality is that comps segregate children based on house prices - what is that, if not being judged on what your parents earn? Are you really expecting me to believe you just sent your dc to the nearest comp without looking at its results or intake before doing so?

That is rank hypocrisy - selection on merit (even imperfectly) is a damn sight fairer than selection on house prices.

breadandbutterfly Sun 02-Dec-12 19:38:12

And if you'd read the thread, TalkinPeace, we're discussing alternatives to a single day, pass or fail test - there are many other, fairer ways to enable entrance to selective schools.

TalkinPeace2 Sun 02-Dec-12 19:43:07

I have read the thread, and the other one about this.

Under the current system, there is no way to make the / any Grammar School exam equal opportunity.

Indeed, my children are not at the local school - because it is a god bothering sponsored academy that had shit results before conversion and even more shit results now

they are at the comp up the road - along with 500 more of the kids from my shitty area of cheap housing
and they will get to top universities ....

LaVolcan Sun 02-Dec-12 19:58:40

Not all comprehensives segregate on house prices - the chances are if you live in a market town they will have an intake across the whole range of housing.

Mintyy Sun 02-Dec-12 20:01:06

Goodness me breadandbutterfly, if you wanted a thread just to discuss how to get your dc into a grammar, why didn't you start one? There's plenty of them on mumsnet.

Did you know that some intellectually and financially advantaged parents want to send their children to go to their closest comprehensive school and, providing it isn't positively stinking, that is what they actually do (if they are lucky enough to get a place at their nearest comprehensive of course)? You appear to struggle with this concept but its not that unusual, ime.

dinkybinky Sun 02-Dec-12 20:08:34

But I remain unconvinced that expectations are high enough at the top set of comps

Watford grammar is basically just a comp

Arisbottle Sun 02-Dec-12 20:31:16

I teach in a comprehensive that cuts across incomes and house prices. We have children living on the breadline and children who come from homes with eye wateringly high incomes. In our sixth form we are even more comprehensive as we pick up students from independents and the grammar

breadandbutterfly Sun 02-Dec-12 21:44:19

I still don't buy it - sorry, as a teacher myself, I simply don't think that pupils learn effectively in mixed ability settings.

My dh was totally failed by his bog standard comp. I'm sure there are some that do a much better job - but I still think education aimed more at the needs of individual children will do a better job. Don't get me wrong - I'm far more in favour of compsthan private schools, as at least they don't only discriminate on financial grounds. But it is still a nonsense to suggest that access via house prices - which is certainly the case in the market town near me - is somehow 'fair'.

breadandbutterfly Sun 02-Dec-12 21:45:31

dinkybinky - no idea who you are but if you're going to refer (inaccurately) to info posted on old threads, you could at least have the good manners to share who you are, so I can enjoy the same privilege of rehashing old info.

breadandbutterfly Sun 02-Dec-12 21:48:07

Mintyy - no idea why you think I want info on 'how to get my children into grammar schools - 2 have got in already and one is 6 and I have no idea at all if he would be suited to a grammar school. If you had bothered to read the thread, you would see it was about proposed changes to the 11+ exam in Kent. I don't live in Kent, nor am I likely to.

Are you having a dim day? Or is reading just not your thing?

TalkinPeace2 Sun 02-Dec-12 21:49:48

breadandbutterfly
I simply don't think that pupils learn effectively in mixed ability settings
how many non selective schools have you worked in?
and how much experience do you have of the methods of setting that schools use to ensure that individual classes are often NOT mixed ability

DH goes to over 100 schools a year - I'll take his word against most teachers because his experience is far broader than most (including private and special schools)

dinkybinky Sun 02-Dec-12 21:50:00

Breadandbutterfly, I have only been reading MN since September I have seen you mention WGSG several times therefor I thought it okay to post what I did. Would you like me to remove it?

Arisbottle Sun 02-Dec-12 22:36:42

Gosh breadandbutterfly you are being a tad abrasive .

I teach in a comprehensive school, my lessons are all taught by ability groups.

AfterEightMintyy Sun 02-Dec-12 22:40:13

Way to get people interested in your subject and engaged with you op! Well done.

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