Can a average child get top grades?

(77 Posts)
mam29 Sun 03-Mar-13 08:49:41

Just intrigued is all the good grades purly down to grade inflation?

Also on mumsnet here see huge amount of parents talk about

level 5 ad 6 sats like its the norm

The amount that do 11+ and have tutors.

does the tutoring turn everage student into a clever one therefore getting child into selective school?

At primary will the kids in bottom/middle sets ever reach to the top?

Is it involved parents, good school or effort that raises kids i suspect all 3.

whistleahappytune Sun 03-Mar-13 09:08:28

Interesting discussion to open. As you suggest, I think all three play a part. But the idea of effort is, I believe, given very little weight in the UK, or even treated with suspicion/derision (taking away gs places from ^bright children^). I think that's very wrong.

whistleahappytune Sun 03-Mar-13 09:09:00

Sorry bright children

mam29 Sun 03-Mar-13 09:18:09

Me and husband were workers we really had to put effort in.Husband says without his mum he wouldent have done as well she pushed him.

you get the camp that say its wrong to tutor as when they get place they cant keep up with their peers.

Always thourght grammer and hgher level sats were for the very academic but such a large amount on mumsnet world.

My daughters 7 and have no idea right now where her strength lies so far terms of grades academically shes lower average and needs lots effort, shes not starting music until juniors and is quite enjoys sport and arts.

richmal Sun 03-Mar-13 09:22:36

Educating a child will increase their ability in which ever subject they are taught. The more they are taught, the more they will be able to learn.

There is evidence that a child's accademic sucess has a correlation with the mother's education.

I think a child's cleverness is partly nature and partly nurture, but without knowing how much, I see no problem in increasing the nurture side.

On MN you are probably looking at a group who are not a typical cross section of partenting.

richmal Sun 03-Mar-13 09:23:37

Cross section of parenting. Oops

I think you need ability, hard work and opportunity. Having only one of those will only get you so far. Having two will get you quite a bit further.

OneLittleToddleTerror Sun 03-Mar-13 09:36:30

I believe you can get top grades with hard work. You can't be Einstein unless you have talent, but everyone is capable of getting good grades at school with the right support and help. But then I come from the culture of tiger mums. Why do you think the Far East countries do so well in maths and science? (I saw some studies on the bbc recently which says english kids are 2 year behind). if you are 2 years ahead o your peers, then you are by definition got top grades. We aren't brighter on average genetically. It's just hard work.

mam29 Sun 03-Mar-13 10:06:26

thanks for feedback.

With my kids just happy for the to achieve their potential and not be playing catch up as they below the expected level.

I only have 1 child school age at moment to worry about.

Found key stage 1 odd.

Thought reception was all about learning through play yet she had loads of home works and some ended reception ahead on reading.

Was bit shocked year 1 how they were set by ability so early on was bit naive , realised at end of year 1 report until then was blissfully unaware of levels.

It was then and start year 2 realised roughly how wide ability groups were and the whole younger kids do worse dident seem to be true many of them were top of year group.

I dont think im tiger mum. we read and help with homework set thats about it.

Daughter has done gym from age 3 and now working towards

level 3 goes from 8-1 then bronze,silver, gold.

school say ahh shes quite good at gym and very sporty to which I think she probably should be .

Her gym is non pushy and competative as think when they young should be enjoyable hobby.

Shes very keen to do instrument so with music its mostly about repetition and practice have no idea if she be any good at it.

Have been letting her try different clubs find a hobby or niche she enjoys.

school work-well shes scatty dreamer probably will need some direction and encouragement keep her on track but dont want to overly push her.

languages im hopeless at and studies show better if start younger hes done basic french in school.

musicalfamily Sun 03-Mar-13 10:26:51

Also agree with all the sentiments above - an average child with support at home should be able to do well at school, unless they have special needs and need targeted support.

I would say that there is definitely a culture of "mine doesn't need studying as they are ever so bright" and studying hard seeing as bad/ridiculous/unnecessary/geeky/embarassing.

Kirk1 Sun 03-Mar-13 10:28:57

My children are naturally bright, but lazy. We try very hard to emphasise that they may at primary school be able to get top level marks without effort, but that less naturally able peers are getting better marks because they work. We reward for effort, not achievement.

I know it is possible for average students who put in effort to get top grades. Personally I think those children who are prepared to work hard are more deserving of places at selective schools as they're the ones who will make the most of their opportunities.

HelpOneAnother Sun 03-Mar-13 11:11:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

muminlondon Sun 03-Mar-13 11:15:54

Well, the statistics (e.g. Table 1d) here say:

Of the children who attained Level 4 SATs (by far the average, about 50% of the cohort), 4% went on to gain an A or A* in GCSE English and 8% in Maths. About 24% of gained a B or above.

Of the children who attained Level 5 in the SATs (about one-third of the cohort), 41% achieved A or A* in English and 51% in Maths. The proportion achieving B or above was 77% and 80% respectively.

Chances of progress are affected by different characteristics - almost half as many pupils in the most deprived areas gained at least a C in 5 GCSEs including English and Maths compared to those in the least deprived areas.

mam29 Sun 03-Mar-13 11:38:21

Blimey educations so complex.

Our primarys in affluent area near hospital so lots people come and go , wide range of abilities.

We moved her last year from rc primary school as wasent doing well and no extra help.

Im trying to be chilled out mum and trust the new school to do their job.

They giving extra help in school.
getting specific homework and unlimited reading.
old school has limited reading and loads of homework.

The extra homework and spellings at old school dident help dd.

Shes behind some year 1s in mixed class moved from pure year 2class-feel really bad.

We try and do stuff at home go libary, bake, play scrabble and monopoly. write stories, do work booklets, maths factor.

She loves learning and hope year 1 was just a blip now spending year 2catching up and hope be more level by start of juniors,

For me its about striking balance.

would quite like her to be good all rounder not sure what strength is right now other than gym.

Wonder if doing enough and how to tackle next 4years?

Those statistics pretty scary. This year its year 2 sats and wondering if she will hit the magic 2b. Its all so target driven.

Im guessing will take quite lot effort on daughter, ours and schools part to hit level 5 in year 6.

doesnt help all local secondrys look for different things they all seem to be specialised academys splitting by

academic, science, languages, sport and music.

Not convinced socio demographic always accurate we afflluent area yet local comp gets 43%a-c gcse pass rate although the kids from the high performing primaries tend not to send their kids there, they send to one that gets 73%.

I dont think my eldests is academically gifted but see un tapped potential was above average in reception on numeracy.

Considered explore learning but wasent convinced was computer based learning stuff we could do at home and kumons so different to what they do at school and learning by rote but guess the regular repetition of doing it every day 7days week does work.

Will focus on mental maths and times tables.

muminlondon Sun 03-Mar-13 11:54:00

Sorry to stress you. The numbers getting 5 GCSE passes in an individual school don't mean much on its own. First of all, the school with the lower number of passes may be getting more out of their pupils than the more middle class pupils. And it may be a happier place. Secondly, striking a balance is exactly right. There are many talents that children might develop other than just getting a grade A in a GCSE.

lljkk Netherlands Sun 03-Mar-13 11:55:19

We are very ordinary around here. Most the children we know got Level 4a and below marks.
I don't think it's helpful to typecast as average across the board; Most of us excel at some things and not others.
I think native talent is about 25% of achievement, parental support and work ethic as about 50%. Very clever kids can easily bomb out if they have emotional problems going on.

nkf Sun 03-Mar-13 11:57:47

I am pretty firmly in the effort is everything camp. Of course not everything but that it is usually the thing that makes the difference. It is also hugely undervalued in favour of "cleverness."

mam29 Sun 03-Mar-13 12:12:17

Thanks mum in london.

keen to strike a balance.
Have much more confidence in new school so much more chilled out and less competetive just wonder if should maybe do more at home build up confidence say 20mins a day.

I honest;y dont know where her strengths lie.
Shes very active and would do every club going if had chance.
shes so exited about juniors and next year whole year group combined as split classes, 1 older very expereinced teacher shes on teacher no 3 this year as we moved schools and then new teacher left.

I like to think poor year 1 teacher and fact the old primary wasent doing to well doesnt mean shes lacks ability.

Main thing is shes happy settled and trying her best.

Im quietly hopeful will get better seen progress.

just reading other posts about expected progress

ie not hitting level 3 no chance hitting 5/6 at year 6

or where wider gap as bottom/top group becomes self fulfilling prophecy.

One of concerns about old school was being labeled as the kids whos behind so expectation they had for her was low.

Schmedz Sun 03-Mar-13 12:20:52

Intelligence is not 'fixed' but fluid. Read Carole Dweck's Theory of Mind and instill the principles in your children. Learning is lifelong and it is effort, interest and investigation that will reap rewards, alongside evaluating mistakes and failures along the way.
Commend children for effort and working hard and not 'being clever' - this will teach them resilience when they fail and help them learn from it. If they think it is only to do with their 'intelligence', when they fail they will attribute it to not being 'clever enough' rather than feeling they can do anything about improving!

basildonbond Sun 03-Mar-13 13:12:56

Yes average children can get top grades, certainly at GCSE level, but it's going to take them a lot of hard work

One of my dc is very bright and very hard-working and frankly I will be amazed if this dc doesn't get straight A*s across the board, however another one of my dc is probably even brighter but very lazy - he gets ludicrously high marks in cognitive ability tests but is currently on course to get a mix of As and Bs at GCSE although his school says that if he worked a bit he should be getting all A*s. My friend's dd is also on course to get a mix of As and Bs, but in her case as she's not naturally academic her results will be down to hard work and determination, however I find it hard to believe that however hard she works she'll be able to get all A*s, which is unfair but unfortunately how the system works ...

auntevil Sun 03-Mar-13 13:41:27

I was reading an article about SENs recently which referred to latent intelligence. It inferred that if you find an effective way to teach so that a SN child can learn, then it is all down to latent intelligence as to how academic they can be.
So perhaps we are all born with a degree of ability varying in size, but it is how that size is nurtured that will depend on what is achieved. Likewise, you cannot turn an individual with a low degree of ability into a genius regardless of how much input.
As others have said, surely it is better to nurture aspects of your child that will benefit their self esteem and practical abilities such as hard work and determination along with developing their academic potential.

OneLittleToddleTerror Sun 03-Mar-13 14:00:30

I think it also depends on what you think is a good grade. basildonbond in my mind a mix of As and Bs is very good, as it will get you into a decent university. It's important to encourage them to work hard, and to believe they can achieve it.

whistleahappytune Sun 03-Mar-13 14:25:55

nkf exactly! I hate the way effort is disparaged and undermined, especially on any thread about selective schools.

mam29 Sun 03-Mar-13 15:15:38

im trying to be quite laid back about whole thing.

Im forever praising her as is the school.

Her confidence has grown since moving.
shes improving and trying her best,

They have an ethos of trying their best.

Im sure shes the right place.

doesnt stop me from feeling anxious.

will keep doing what we been doing and maybe little each day rather than weekends and holidays.

Im just annoyed she fell behind and school told me everything was fine,Im just glad shes out of there and may have to admit the year 2sats may not be great but shes another 4years yet we have time.

In mean tie will give her as many opportunities as she wants to find her niche.

have 2half years before we look round seniors and hopefully find the school that best suits her.

i cant expect new school to sort out last years mess in super quick time wil do what I can to support the as they have a plan in place,

I think theres culture of being seen as pushy.
but some need to be pushy.

I was laid back and trusted school reception and year 1.

getting balance and forseeing their strength, weaknesses and grades is very tricky.

HelpOneAnother Sun 03-Mar-13 15:55:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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