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 18:02:14

Ohdear of course I am right...I usually am wink

But very few on here are going to thank me for being so smile

78bunion Thu 06-Dec-12 18:02:56

Most of the country has no grammar schools so children will be gong to comprehensives. Surely the top sets of those should be the same as the children at grammar school. If you have say 100 children in area A which has grammars and 25 go to grammar school those 25 willdo wel. I fyou have 100 children in area B with just comps then the top 25 of those 100 should do as well as the 25 who to go grammar school.

APMF Thu 06-Dec-12 18:05:12

One or two posters wanted their DCs to go to the local GS because their LOCAL comprehensives had gang/bullying problems.

Yet when their points get summarised it becomes - MC parents think that bullying and gangs are rife in comps. Only an idiot would think that or summarize a point like that.

LaQueen Thu 06-Dec-12 18:05:24

Aris I'm not just talking about your regular GS pupils...I am talking about the top set GS pupils. The best of the best, so to speak smile

Do you pick up many maths top set GS pupils and find that they don't especially shine at your comprehensive hmm Really?

And, whilst you may have some students who achieve top national marks in exams...do you have everyone in your top sets achieving top national marks?

seeker Thu 06-Dec-12 18:06:04

"In a GS you don't have to make that distinction between exceptional and just very good - in the top maths set you can just have the very top elite. So, the lesson can be directed faster and higher to cater for only them, no need to explain anything more than once for the pupils who are only good. IYSWIM?"

Well, you do, actually. My dd went into a grammar school a level 4 in maths- she was neither exceptional nor very good and they had to cater for her!

I don't actually see why it's important to separate the exceptional from the very good- in a subject like maths, the exceptional will be streaking ahead anyway wherever they are. In any case, it does strike me that there won't be very many of the exceptional- structuring an entire educations system to cat for them strikes me as a little unbalanced.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 06-Dec-12 18:09:58

I'll tell my daughter she's being pulled back then, but I'll really struggle with the examples and the facts as to exactly how that's happening.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 06-Dec-12 18:11:18

Laqueen you've completely contradicted yourself: you're saying not all the top set will get a* in a comprehensive top set, but you've already said they're not all exceptional, so no, probably that won't happen, for the reason you've just used to explain why the most able will be held back!

Brycie Thu 06-Dec-12 18:17:42

Jolly good boschy smile

"I just dont think it is only the middle classes (whatever that means) who want and deserve a good education for their children via the state. "

Neither do I but one of the reasons people give for abolishing grammars is that grammar schools are not better, and there's no difference in the level of education offered.

Surely we need some clarity on what the objections to grammar education are.

I think all children deserve an excellent education through the state, it is THE most important engine of social mobility, the most important road to social and professional opportunity.

If non-grammar schools are poor IMPROVE them. Do not dismantle the better school. (and, wearily, again - if they are no worse than grammar schools then there is no problem, surely).

Brycie Thu 06-Dec-12 18:21:14

"I don't actually see why it's important to separate the exceptional from the very good- in a subject like maths, the exceptional will be streaking ahead anyway wherever they are."

Across the world, across the professions, sports, music, the exceptional ARE trained/educated whatever separately to provide the focus that creates an elite . An element of this could apply to grammars.

seeker Thu 06-Dec-12 18:22:40

"If non-grammar schools are poor IMPROVE them. Do not dismantle the better school. (and, wearily, again - if they are no worse than grammar schools then there is no problem, surely)."

What people re saying is that a comprehensive is the same as a grammar and a high school. Are you making the mistake of confusing high schools and comprehensives?

seeker Thu 06-Dec-12 18:25:05

"Across the world, across the professions, sports, music, the exceptional ARE trained/educated whatever separately to provide the focus that creates an elite . An element of this could apply to grammars."

As far as I aware, most grammars only set for maths.

Arisbottle Thu 06-Dec-12 18:29:15

No all of our top sets will not achieve the top national mark in an exam. Most will achieve an A* though, which is not the same thing. Not all the top set of a grammar will achieve the top national mark either .

Bonsoir Thu 06-Dec-12 18:30:43

seeker - "in a subject like maths, the exceptional will be streaking ahead anyway wherever they are"

You can only "streak ahead" if you are taught new things.

Arisbottle Thu 06-Dec-12 18:30:49

I don't teach maths , I do have ex grammar school pupils in a number of my classes . All the ones I teach are in the middle of their class . One is second in a group of 12.

Brycie Thu 06-Dec-12 18:30:57

No, I'm not - I understand that point. I did ask about this quite a lot on the last thread and didn't get answers.

It's clear some people believe comprehensives offer the same level of education as grammar schools, and that league tables don't represent their respective levels of education. It's also clear that many people disagree with this profoundly.

What was confusing was whether people believe high schools offer lower levels of education. One person said the only difference was the opportunity to learn an extra language. People were asked, specifically (and tiresomely often!) what the difference is, what they felt was missing. It was very hard to get a clear picture from some of the contradictory answers.

But whatever is missing, should be offered. There's no reason why education offered at a secondary modern should be lesser; why the teachers should be worse; why the exam and subject opportunities should be diminished.

This of course isn't an argument for abolishing grammars - it's an argument for improving the level of education in secondary moderns or high schools.

Arisbottle Thu 06-Dec-12 18:31:41

Sorry that should read all but one .

Sorry my head is not in the right place to discuss this. Am going back to bed I thinkshock

Bonsoir Thu 06-Dec-12 18:31:42

I went to grammar school (briefly) in dim distant past and we were definitely set for both maths and French from Y8, and for all languages thereafter.

LaQueen Thu 06-Dec-12 18:32:16

"I don't actually see why it's important to separate the exceptional from the very good- in a subject like maths, the exceptional will be streaking ahead anyway wherever they are"

seeker - we do need to separate and encourage the exceptional from just the merely good - because the rest of the developing world are in particular Asia, and the UK is already dropping far behind in terms of academic results, per capita.

And, whilst the exceptional will still excel if placed in a top maths set in a comprehensive, they will still also be working next to pupils who are merely very good. They will be sharing the same teacher...it stands to reason, that even with differentiation in the top set, the lesson isn't going to move as fast or as furious, if the teacher only has the best of the best pupils to teach.

We don't live an an actual GS area, there are 2 selectives within the borough. These schools get, year after year the top results, 99% a*-c compared to the best comp at 79%
So how can you say the top set at these comps are the same as top set grammar classes when it's clear that's not the case?

Bonsoir Thu 06-Dec-12 18:33:25

I'm competitive and a high-achiever and I work very hard and get results, ergo I expect my DC to be the same and we therefore like selective education. is that a crime?

piggywigwig Thu 06-Dec-12 18:33:55

gelo
"In any case, all the GSs I've ever encountered don't set..."

Stinky pedant that I am, I have to say that my GS did set in Maths, Chemistry, Physics and French. Whilst it may be irrelevant that my experience was some years ago, they did set, none-the-less. I would find it hard to believe that no GS sets today...but I'll happily stand corrected wink

LaQueen Thu 06-Dec-12 18:34:18

seeker my DH's GS setted for maths, English, French and Greman and the three sciences (30 years ago).

It's exactly the same at our local GS today.

Phineyj Thu 06-Dec-12 18:34:36

"The bottom line for menus that in grammar school areas ( not in suprselective only areas, obviously) 75ish% of children AF publicly told they are failures at the age of 10. Nothing is worth doing that to a cohort of children."

That might be true if 100% of the eligible age range took the 11+. I'm not sure that's correct. As other posters have pointed out, as this is particularly a London/SE issue, I imagine a lot of parents have hedged their bets already by applying for every vaguely suitable school whether that be grammar, good comp or bursaries/scholarships for independent (plus maybe considered moving). It's not compulsory to put your kids in for the 11+...

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 06-Dec-12 18:37:17

So what should the top set in maths in a grammar school be looking to achieve for each child?

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 06-Dec-12 18:40:19

And have we changed the argument against comprehensives from 'clever children get their heads kicked in' to 'some only rather clever children hold back the very very clever children in maths'?

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