Middle class access to grammars via tutorproof 11+ part 2

(1000 Posts)
boschy Thu 06-Dec-12 13:27:32

May I do this? only there were some contrasting views at the end of the last thread which I found interesting.

One was mine (sorry!): "I think fear actually drives a lot of those parents who are desperate to get their child into GS, so they can be 'protected' from these gangs of feral teenagers who apparently run rampage through every non-selective school in the country.

Because clearly if you are not 11+ material you are a knuckle-dragging Neanderthal who likes nothing better than beating up a geek before breakfast and then going to score behind the bike shed before chucking a chair at the maths teacher and making the lives of the nice but dim kids a misery."

And one was from gazzalw: "If you had the choice would you opt for a grammar school or a comprehensive that has gangs?"

Soooo, do people really think that all comprehensives have vicious gangs, and all GS children are angels? Or that only those of academic ability adequate enough to get them through the 11+ should not have to face behavioural disruption of any kind? If you are borderline, or struggling but still work hard, should you just have to put up with disruption because let's face it you're not academic?

PS, re the knuckle dragging Neanderthals I mention above, should have said - "and that's only the girls" grin

LaQueen Thu 06-Dec-12 16:44:07

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TalkinPeace2 Thu 06-Dec-12 16:45:25

But academic ability is not all there is in life.
Sport, Art, music, drama, travel are all things that enrich the learning experience
that and an understanding of the thought processes of those who are not academic

something that is SEVERELY lacking in our politicians who have never set foot outside a selective environment in their gilded lives
hence why they make such crap decisions about people they do not comprehend

it may be that the bottom of the top set at DCs comp are thick by your standards, but they seem to do pretty well at University and onwards.

Well surely the parents putting their children through the selection process know the success-failure rate.
If you choose to put your child into a process knowing that 75% of children don't make it, you can't possibly complain that the system makes them feel like failures.
Surely we all go into this with our eyes open and the correct info?

Ds2 will not be doing the selective process because the grammar is not a good fit and he would very much struggle to be in the top 25%
It's doesn't mean he is a failure.

LaQueen Thu 06-Dec-12 16:51:00

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Marni23 Thu 06-Dec-12 16:51:12

That's an interesting pointLaQueen and I was thinking about it in relation to my own secondary education earlier today.
I went to a comprehensive, in quite a nice area. It was unusual in that it streamed quite rigidly and there were only 15 of us in the 'top' class (we did Latin grin.)
Even so, the outcomes in terms of OLevels differed a lot within the 15 of us. Some of us got 9, all/mostly As. Some got 6-7 mostly Cs and some Bs.
So there's no way that the class was equivalent to Grammar School.

I guess the next question is, does it matter? The top of the top set still got great results, so I'm not sure what difference going to a Grammar would have made

Marni23 Thu 06-Dec-12 16:52:56

Mind you, the teaching was pretty uninspiring

LaQueen Thu 06-Dec-12 16:54:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Exactly, that's ds2. Creative, arty and I'm sure he will do well but not at a selective.
People cannot blame the process if they are still willing to take the chance, knowing that there's only a 25% success rate.

If you believe your dc is in the top 25%, and you believe in the grammar system then go for it.
But if in actual fact they do not pass, they certainley haven't become failures at 10.

LaQueen Thu 06-Dec-12 17:02:22

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OhDearConfused Thu 06-Dec-12 17:29:44

Got a maths degree, but am confused by your maths LaQueen. smile I think you didn't mean top 5% of the top 25% - but in fact meant the top 25% of the top 25% (meaning the top 5% of the original cohort across the GS county).

Anyway, not convinced that is an elephant in the room that people are worried about (the spread of abilities in the top set). First I've heard of this concern on the many, many, many debates on MN on these issues.

OhDearConfused Thu 06-Dec-12 17:32:32

tantrums I'm not in a GS county, but it seems to me that if you do live in one you really don't have any choice but to go for a GS and risk the failure (and I do believe it will feel like a failure to a 10 yr old however you dress it up). Most people on here want to avoid the neanderthals mentioned (here or the original thread, can't remember), and it seems you need - if I understand people correctly - to get into a GS to avoid them!

LaQueen Thu 06-Dec-12 17:35:01

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PlaySchool Thu 06-Dec-12 17:36:51

I'm just wondering why people think grammars are populated by nicer children. There are some pretty obnoxious rich, clever kids too.

seeker Thu 06-Dec-12 17:42:41

I'm puzzled. People are saying that the top set of a comprehensive is not the same as a grammar school.

In areas (the majority) where there are no grammars, where do the people who would have gone to the grammar school if there was one go? Presumably to the comprehensive school to populate the top set?

PlaySchool Thu 06-Dec-12 17:45:06

Seeker agreed. Totally illogical argument.

seeker Thu 06-Dec-12 17:45:17

Can I ask- have the people who are saying that children do not feel failures if they fail the 11+ ever seen a year 6 class on results day? Or live in a town where this "sorting" happens?

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 06-Dec-12 17:47:30

But so what if it isn't, laqueen, if the members of the comprehensive top set are still there doing what they would have, and some other people get to be in the top set who might have been set two in a grammar, who loses?

OhDearConfused Thu 06-Dec-12 17:49:32

LaQueen meh likewise for me too on the maths. Top 25% of top 25% is not 5 but the top 6.25% of the overall. wink

You might be right (ok, you are) but do people really care about the extra concentration / smaller spread of abilities? If the DCs are amongst bright kids, does it really matter if they are all as bright (as in the more concentrated streams in the GS) with a spread of say 2% "brightness" rather than some 10% brighter others 10% thicker not so bright.

Not sure I would care to be honest.

Once you get the behaviour sorted out of course so the culture of learning is there .... as pre the discussion at the end of the last thread.

OhDearConfused Thu 06-Dec-12 17:50:47

TOSN exactly!

LaQueen Thu 06-Dec-12 17:55:27

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gelo Thu 06-Dec-12 17:56:57

So in LaQueens example the top GS set is the top 5% of the entire cohort and in her comp it's the top 20%. So 4x bigger ability range in the comp which is noticeable, but not too bad, and actually it will be less than this since the ability spread in the top 5% is greater than for each of the half deciles below it (think of the shape of the bell curve).

In any case, all the GSs I've ever encountered don't set since they claim to already have a highly selective intake which leaves a class ability spread about the same as the comp, but without the ability to move the low performers down. Actually it will probably be much bigger in this GS, since they can't set by subject, so within the able overall cohort there will be some who are lower at maths or english, but got in on the strength of their other subjects.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 06-Dec-12 17:57:00

Well, as someone with a child in top sets, at a comprehensive, I haven't found that to be the case. Maybe they could go faster, I suppose that's always possible, but I can't really see to what purpose.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 06-Dec-12 17:58:17

Also, not all teaching is 'whole class teaching': you can differentiate so that the exceptional can move on whilst the merely very good thrive also.

Arisbottle Thu 06-Dec-12 18:00:18

I teach at a comprehensive and the top of our top sets are comparable to a grammar school , possibly because we are in the edge of the catchment and our parents seem to want a comprehensive . Last year we had students achieving top national marks in exams and every year we send students to Oxford and Cambridge . We also pick up some grammar students at A level and they are rarely at the top of our class .

So if parents value a comprehensive education it is simply wrong to say that it necessarily offers lower academic standards than a grammar.

LaQueen Thu 06-Dec-12 18:00:53

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