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 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.

lljkk Sun 03-Mar-13 18:23:18

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

Not true, your child is not a machine, she's still developing.
DS was all 2s in y2 & all 5s in y6.

You do sound like a really lovely Mum. You DD is still only 7- with two teens now I can say that they both progressed at different rates and really hit their stride in a school where the focus was on effort rather than attainment. I think being happy at school is the most important thing in primary.

I would also say that from what I have seen with my kids peers- "supporting " your kids is a more successful strategy than "pushing". So I think you are doing all the right stuff with your DD- ensuring home work is done, being there to answer questions, listening to reading And reading to them- I read to my DS until he was nearly 12- By bedtime he was really really tired and we got through nearly all Harry Potter this way as he finds reading hard work but liked to hear the stories. All the board games, craft stuff, cards etc and making sure as they got older that the evening routine encourages and supports them to get homework done early and then have time to relax and enjoy family time.

Both of mine struggled with some subjects at different stages and any attempts we had to do "extra workbooks" etc were a failure etc unless they initiated it. So we have always had the get all homework done early in weekend or holiday and then let the remainder of the time be for resting, chilling and having fun.

Paddlinglikehell Sun 03-Mar-13 22:27:12

I would love to know the answer to this too.

However, I personally think that you can improve a child's results.

For example, DD who is 8 Yr3, was below average at her other school, distracted and basically 'under the radar', beacuse was doing OKish. Moved her at start of Yr2, to another school and see a big difference in a year and a half.

I think she is average, but with the right input and homework every night, she is working at least a year above her classmates at her old school and inline with the kids at her new school. In Yr 3, I am just starting to see a big improvement. Whether that is age of course and it would have happened anyway, who knows, but I do know that without this extra encouragement, pushing, motivation,.

I sincerely hope that with the support at home and the motivatation at school, which is very empowering and positive, she will achieve more that she would have without the change.

As to her strengths, we still have no idea! She isn't particularly sporty, although loves doing sport, she enjoys English, not so much writing!, loves Science, but doesn't always take it all in! and hates maths. We do tennis, which she gets by at and horseriding, which she is good at, but takes for granted.

I just encourage her and keep it positive - whatever will be will be!

I think you can do no more that give them opportunities, ecouragement and support, the rest will happen in time.

Bit of a lottery really!

mam29 Sun 03-Mar-13 23:55:24

Thank you so much guys for kind words and advice. you been really lovely and helpful,

I must admit when her year 1 report cae back so bad I was upset I knew she found year 1 hard but school ket telling me everythings fine.

At that point the primary board was helpful.
When she wet back into year 2 and combined with youngest in year it was clear she was near bottom of class but middle year birthday as feb, older 15 went in 2/3class.

I tried to work it out with old school but they couldent seperate phonics test which she passed flying colours 38/40 with extra help with reading.

They dident seem concerened about maths at all.
They had low expectations and year 2teacher talked down to her and the obvious ability group tables and low level bullying from others about reading levels were just last straw.

she started at new school 5th november after october half term
1st trem all aboit settling in. They couldent grade her as dident really see enough ie writing they needed more, reading they said she needed extra help and would be in bottom guided reading group, maths and science ok.

she scored 1 b everything end of year 1 expectation is 1a so needs to climb 3sublevels just to get to average expectation of 2b dont want her playing catchup every year..

premove was very stressed out but new school very laid back she doesnt feel the pressure and although shes 2nd eldest in mixed yera 1 class and some year 1s are hitting highre than her hasent made her feel bad but goes to show that old school standards were lower.

Paddlinglike hell we sound very similar.

reasuring to know yours improved.
mines only just turned 7 and is trying very hard.
I think the school valuing other things no just academic and teaching in fun informal way is helping.

shes been getting 1 to 1 since xmas so week 7now 1to one with rapid read and snappy sounds.

I think she will find her feet in year 3 and year 2 could be very mixed year as on 3rd teacher but shes settled well and loves new school.
I really want her to be happy and achieve her best.
Being behind in old school was upsetting her and knocked her confidence with her telling me shes rubbish at maths.reading.

New teacher said she update me end of this term as im keen to see shes moved on from 1b.

God this parenting malarkeys stressful never stop worrying last year all done is worry about her education and beat myself up for making wrong choice.

her sister due to start next sept 2014 and baby boy 2015 hopefully at same school as eldest now attends even now their personalities so different god knows what worries they will bring.

FillyPutty Mon 04-Mar-13 01:17:59

Very bright children can get A*s with no effort. Above average, but not super-bright, can also get A*s, but it will take more work from school, parent or child (or some combination of the three)

KathleenWinsor Mon 04-Mar-13 06:19:48

PP you think intelligence is largely fixed rather than something that can develop then?

wordfactory Mon 04-Mar-13 08:53:49

Ability is most definitely not fixed.

However, a parent needs to be ever vigilent. Schools can be too keen to assess early abilty and assume a DC will progress in line with it.
Thus a level 3 will be expected to get a level 5 and will be expected to go on and get A*s.
A level 2 will not have such expectations upon him.

It can become a self fullfilling prophesy.

And in the long run, hard work, and more specifically application, are far more important than raw intelligence.

KathleenWinsor Mon 04-Mar-13 09:17:09

I wish I could like your post Wordfactory as I wholeheartedly agree & it's the biggest flaw in the current system as I see it. Those in the know at my school gamed the system to push the 2bs and 2as to 3c in Y2 & I had absolutely no idea about it. Those on the borderline can lose out...

PolkadotCircus Mon 04-Mar-13 10:45:50

I agree Word.I have twin boys.1 got 3s and the other 2s-the difference on expectations since are staggering.

The sad thing is the one that got 2s matured later,as many do,and is in many ways brighter.

I have looked at the tracking system and Bingo they're aiming for 5s for one and 4s for the other.

Vietnammark Mon 04-Mar-13 10:46:37

Slightly off subject, and I am sure there has already been various nature v nature arguments on this board before, but I believe it does have some relevance so here goes.....

There is loads of research on this kind of stuff, which reach varying different conclusions. When it comes to IQ I think of the nature v nature argument like this (my personal opinion, based on what I have read, my experience and gut feeling), remembering that the average IQ is 100.

The average kid inherits between 50 and 70 points from their parents - I am not saying kids can't fall outside of his range. Let's call the average 60. Then somewhere between another 20 and 80 points can be gained from nurture/life experiences. To get to an IQ of 100 it obviously means that the average kid receives a further 40 points through nurture, which is at the low end of my suggested range. Therefore I am saying, that with the right environment the average kid, who started with 60 inherited points may be able to achieve an IQ of 140 - above 99th percentile.

If the above were correct then it would mean a kid who was born with average intelligence could end up with an IQ of anywhere between 80 and 140. There is obviously a huge difference between these two IQ scores and the potential academic successes that these scores allow.

The question was whether average kids could academically out perform. I believe, if caught early enough then the average kid has every chance to move substantially above the range of an average child, in terms of IQ. If not caught until later then the child still has the ability to move up, but to a lesser extent. If a child achieves A+ in most exams then no matter how they got there, by natural smarts, by being in a positive educational environment, by lots of hard work or a combination of these, they are by definition not/no longer an average child.

Agree that hard work is often more important than IQ.

PolkadotCircus Mon 04-Mar-13 10:48:38

Kathleen I was a teacher previously so was aware but reused to make my level 2 son's life a misery in year 2.Slightly regretting it now as you seem to need to fight for any level of high expectation but really he was more interested in Lego and playing back in year 2.

It's a shite system.

PolkadotCircus Mon 04-Mar-13 10:49:43


slipshodsibyl Mon 04-Mar-13 10:53:47

Are we conflating exam results and ability?

wordfactory Mon 04-Mar-13 11:06:50

slip I think ability can pertain to anyhting, really.

I am an able cook, but lack any ability as a tennis player grin.

In the context of this thread, I suppose we are talking about exam results as that is the measuring stick wihtin formal education.

Yellowtip Mon 04-Mar-13 11:11:49

FillyPutty that's a magnificently sweeping statement: that very bright children can get A*s with no effort. Really? None. What is your perspective on this? Are you a teacher? In what sort of school? I'm interested in the idea that no effort is required!

wordfactory Mon 04-Mar-13 11:15:23

polka I too have twins.
They wrere prem and summer born.
Both went to school unable to read or write etc.

However, I absolutely refused to allow any teacher to peg them at any particular ability level. I figured that before 11 is just too early to say.

And I was proved right!

Abra1d Mon 04-Mar-13 11:29:05

I don't think an average child would get A* in Maths or Physics IGCSE unless they were tutored to within an inch of their life. Or get A* in Latin GCSE.

Some exams are just more intellectually rigorous.

PolkadotCircus Mon 04-Mar-13 11:52:40

Word I too am refusing to allow my dc's entire future to be decided at 7 however it is hard work.

PolkadotCircus Mon 04-Mar-13 12:04:07

Agree with the application thing.The other twin is an utter swot.Has never played with toys and loves playing the piano,reading and doing workbooks(however dry and boring) in his free time.hmm

He really is no cleverer,he just applies himself and has a lot of drive.

The lack of expectations re the other twin hasn't helped his drive but we're getting there,hasn't helped my popularity at school but hey

wordfactory Mon 04-Mar-13 12:06:34

polka I was lucky in that my DC's school didn't bother with SATs.

And the teachers were very ammenable. At least to my face grin. Perhaps behind my back they rolled their eyes about Mrs Wordfactory.

I do recall one parent, whose child was one of the oldest in the year, asking me why I assumed my DC had high ability in the face of no evidence and I pointed out that I didn't! The point was, I didn't yet know, so why on earth would I assume they had low or average ability???

All I was asking was for everyone to keep an open mind...

crazymum53 Mon 04-Mar-13 12:06:40

Abra1d I think the OP is really referring to achievement at primary school rather than GCSE grades. However you could be incorrect in some cases, my Physics teacher often quoted that Einstein was not considered very highly by his Science teachers.
There is some evidence that the levels at the end of KS1 are very much linked to a child's maturity (which is not always the same as their chronological age). am very aware of many children in dds year group who were considered average (or slightly below average) in Y2 but did manage to obtain level 5s at the end of KS2 so yes it is possible.
It is also a matter for debate whether the sub-levels have much meaning so your child being labelled as below average because she is 1b rather than 1a could be overdoing it. 1b means that the child is a secure level 1 and used to be the expected level for the end of Y1 a few years ago.
Although most secondary schools do take note of the SATs levels children reach at the end of KS2, they do also use other tests to assess children and a good school should be able to identify children that are not reaching their full potential. It is possible that some children who reach level 5c in their SATs aren't really working at this level consistently and a "dip" on starting secondary school is not unusual.
A child who is average at the beginning of secondary school is usually expected to obtain C grades at GCSE. But this assumes equal ability across all subjects. They may obtain better grades in subjects that they are more interested or talented in.

PolkadotCircus Mon 04-Mar-13 12:09:22

Aren't they getting rid of levels,wonder what there will be instead.

Yellowtip Mon 04-Mar-13 12:52:33

word I think exactly the same open mindedness should prevail in the opposite direction. Just because a child is ahead of the game in Reception shouldn't mean that they're necessarily on track for Harvard or Yale.

One of my DDs appeared pretty hopeless in the early stages, perhaps up to Y4 or 5, I can't really remember. And she's doing absolutely fine on the grade front, no worries at all.

Mondrian Mon 04-Mar-13 12:55:03

I think Erikson hits the nail on the head in his 4th stage of theory of psychosocial development. Children who are encouraged and commended by parents and teachers develop a feeling of competence and belief in their skills. Those who receive little or no encouragement from parents, teachers, or peers will doubt their ability to be successful. 4th stage relates to 6 - 11 age group so at primary school they are still learning how to cope with new social and academic demands, same goes for us the parents. So one can't really pass judgement on their future ability during the early stages of this phase.

wordfactory Mon 04-Mar-13 13:08:32

Absolutely yellow.

I've seen many an early starter, particularly a PFB, fail to live up to their illustrous beginnings.

It makes perfect sense to me tat people will speed up, slow down, suddenly find an aptitude for somehting...

It also makes sense to me that application is hugely important. Very few of us are so clever/talented that we can succeed without effort and application.

musicalfamily Mon 04-Mar-13 13:34:22

Dh and I came from very poor families but were always seen as the "bright ones". We both went to grammar schools and universities, (first people in our families to go) and DH did exceptionally well with a First in Maths, I even went onto to do an MA. We are both in middle/senior management posts etc

Last year we both had the opportunity to sit and IQ test for the first time in our lives. We were shocked to find out that my IQ was below 100 and his just 100.

To me this shows what I have always believed, ie that with hard work you can achieve a lot, ok we are not Einsteins or Richard Bransons, but we have gone all the way through the academic and professional routes with no problems. Maybe if we had known our IQs as children we would have used them as excuses not to knuckle down when the going got hard...

Abra1d Mon 04-Mar-13 13:40:52

'Last year we both had the opportunity to sit and IQ test for the first time in our lives. We were shocked to find out that my IQ was below 100 and his just 100.'

This sounds very odd. Who ran these IQ tests for you?

Yellowtip Mon 04-Mar-13 13:43:58

When the LNAT test was first introduced in 2006 or so I took a test paper for 'fun' and failed (quite badly I think). I'm hoping it was down to the couple of glasses of wine that I'd had and the lateness of the hour sad

musicalfamily Mon 04-Mar-13 14:09:30

It was done as part of a training course and the results were sent to us confidentially at our home address. Not sure who run it tbh, could find out I guess....I am not sure how "official" it was.....

musicalfamily Mon 04-Mar-13 14:14:28

PS as an aside, I did think about retaking it just to be sure as it was such a shock it was so low!! But not quite sure how I'd go about it!!! Any recommendations?

wordfactory Mon 04-Mar-13 14:15:47

yellow I'm certain I would fail the LNAT grin.

I'm not very confident I could get decent GCSEs in certain subjects now, either...DS' physics looks horrible.

Paddlinglikehell Mon 04-Mar-13 18:18:12

Word, it is interesting that you feel children who achieve we'll in their early school years may not continue to do so.

Tis seems to be happening in DD's class now. The bus have gone to the bus junior and one of them, the brightest at maths is actually struggling and his mum is worried - having been top consistently through yr 1/2. There is the added issue that the teacher is not so keen on his cheeky choppy persona that has always got him by previously, so this may have a bearing,.

Another child in dd's class has always been top of the girls (and she knows it) she has a Tiger mum, but seems to be struggling too, not only with the work, but also the behaviour side of things. Dd who was very middling is forging ahead.

It goes to show that it is all very fluid through primary and children shouldn't be labeled too soon.

Paddlinglikehell Mon 04-Mar-13 18:21:28

I think I need to learn to spellcheck!

The boys have gone to the boys school....

Cheeky chappy persona

Paddlinglikehell Mon 04-Mar-13 18:23:39

*vietnammark*. Can I ask where this info. Is from, it all sounds very interesting.

Also, when you say 'if caught early enough' what sort of age would this be? Infants, primary, secondary? Or before?

wordfactory Mon 04-Mar-13 18:28:07

paddington don't get me wrong, I've seen some DC who were bright buttons from day one, and are still ahead of their peers.

However, as you say there is much fluidity before puberty, if people will only allow it. DC blossom at different points.

I think also that many DC who flourished in the very early years, learned that they found school easy. That they were top without too much effort. But of course witghout that effort it's simply not sustainable.

mam29 Mon 04-Mar-13 22:05:13

Thanks for interesting discussion.

Polka dot in what way were expectations of twins different?

I take it they same state school and same class?

I have been very honest with new school and when looked around and spoke to head I said my daughters struggling I want to move her.
The head said will asses and if after trem 1 they agree action plan be in place in new year true to their word,

I hoping that just because shes getting extra help they wont consider her slow lane forver as in some ways think shes very bright andsharp just been failed by last schools por disrganised system and teaching.

bit nervous about end of terrm grade I think shes heading right direction. I not convinced she be borderline 2/3though its big leap in small time be happy with 2b as thats expectation and estatic with 2a, would even feel better if got 1 higher than other last years 1b for everything made me think oh god what to help with first.
I do feel scince and maths may come out stronger than reading or writing.

Weird how uk educational system so rigid they must be at this level at this moment intime.
spoke to few parents at old school who told childs year behind or same level in year 4 as at end of year 2.

I hoping if she gets high level 2 then juniors be uch easier and year 3 she be on level playfeild and shes trying to play catchup right now with new peers.

Its also fair to note the school makes a difference.
spoke to 1lady whos son did kumon she said in any other school he might be seen as bright but hos school sats driven, pushy, affluent area and hes had to raise his game to keep up sounded very stressful thats why im not sure the schools with the very high sats results are always the good ones.

Old school sats not so great and ofsted focussed on attaintment worried if she stayed she be under more pressure whereas new village school so chilled out about it all.

My freind who has just 1 child still convinced her daughters gifted and talented as shes on higher reading levels than mine got level 2s end year 1 and predicted level 3s this year yet personality shes a strange emotional child always in tears, arguing, whining and slightly smug and mean as shes been told shes bright and top of class thankfully daughters no longer in that class/school.

Paddlinglikehell Mon 04-Mar-13 22:24:56

Mam. We do sound like we have similar experiences.

Dd spent her first year, year 2 at her new school catching up. She had to work hard at her maths, handwriting and just the intensity of the school day , having been used to flitting from one thing to another every half hour!

It was hard for her and for us to watch, though she loved being there.

However, we are starting to see the results of that now in Year 3, so hold on in there!

rabbitstew Mon 04-Mar-13 22:46:51

musicalfamily - I'm 100% certain the IQ score you were given was an unhelpful load of old rubbish. If it had been a proper test, you wouldn't just have been given a number like that, but would have had a lengthy report summarising the findings in quite a lot of detail.
Besides which, in any event, a global IQ score is meaningless in people who have a very spiky IQ profile - eg very high verbal IQ versus far lower performance IQ, or vice versa. Then there's the issue of memory and processing speeds, which are generally extremely important in terms of academic performance in a school environment, despite the fact you can have problems with these but still have a high IQ, or get quite good scores in these, but overal not have a brilliantly high IQ. Your memory and processing speeds are, of course, tested in a proper IQ test done by a psychologist. An overall IQ score is of no genuine use to anyone, even if it is "accurate." The devil is in the detail. Also, entrance exams for grammar schools include intelligence-type tests. It may be possible to practice them to get better at them, but then you wouldn't come out as appearing to have an IQ of below 100, would you? So the fact you managed to get into a grammar school however many years ago indicates that you don't have an IQ of below 100.

mam29 Mon 04-Mar-13 22:49:04

Thanks paddling like hell. thankfully she enjoys it just seems she has steep hill to climb and im standing on sidelines cheering her on but at times can be tiring.

Ideally like to chill eater hols but think need to do a bit with her as want to improve her confidence.

As its such small school theres only 2groups in year 2cohort.

I keep telling myself trust them they agree with me trying to help and theres no shame being at the bottom.
Thankfully shes no longer in tears comparing herself to others like old school and seems bit more mature since xmas.

Im hoping that shes not pigeon holed in year 3 as dident get the level 3. Im not sure she will get as much help in year 3 i guess when they feel jobs done they will phase out assistance.

I havent wanted to bombard the school with too many questions.
new teacher only been there since jan so shes still getting to know them. she says shes very sensible,kind, helpful and tried he best and shows no lack of confidence in class.

I dont think I will know really until next year.

shes exited about all the extra curricular stuff she can do in juniors.

makes gym/brownies seem so much simpler just working way through the badges in own time.

Dromedary Mon 04-Mar-13 23:00:36

You can get quite a long way through effort, but I think there comes a stage where you also need natural ability. You probably won't get a first class degree from a good university (by which I mean you are doing a seriously challenging course) unless you have ability and a real interest in the subject, rather than just being prepared to put the hours in.
If you want to do well at music, but don't have natural musical flair, you will probably reach grade 8, but you will never have people queuing to get into your concerts.
And so on.

Amphitrite Mon 04-Mar-13 23:12:02

Mam, my DD1 is Y11, doing GCSEs this summer. She is in the top 5% of her year, expected to get A* in nearly all subjects including maths. She got L2 for maths in KS1 SATs and was never in the top maths group through primary. She is bright, but also she works hard and consistently and she cares about doing her best. Personally, what I have always lived by as a parenting rule and it seems to be paying off with my DC is that I always praise effort, not achievement. So I will never tell them how clever they are to have got a good mark, but how hardworking they are. Natural ability shows itself at different stages, not always as early as people think, but habits of perseverance and resilience are there for life.

MerryCouthyMows Mon 04-Mar-13 23:17:08

I think that in some cases, an 'average' child can have their marks brought up by intensive tutoring, this learning things outside of school that a genuinely CLEVER child may not have yet had the opportunity to learn.

A naturally clever child can get good marks in a test, not necessarily perfect marks, but good marks, without any extra tutoring. For an 'average' child to gain the same marks, they may have had to have 2 hours or more a week tuition for 3/4 years to do so.

In my case, I have a 'clever' child that is working on lvl 8 maths in Y6, without any tuition, just extension worksheets given to him in school. My 'average' child is at level 3a in Maths in Y4.

As I can't afford tuition for either of them, it becomes apparent that DS1's lvl 8 work is purely on natural talent and DS2's lvl 3a work is the limit of his current natural talent.

If DS2 was intensively tutored, I'm sure he could maybe reach a lvl 5 in Y6 - but that would be WITH tuition, whereas DS1's lvl 8 is without IYSWIM.

I'm sure that with both of them it has helped to have a lot of parental involvement - but it cannot change their innate natural level of ability.

MerryCouthyMows Mon 04-Mar-13 23:27:29

Aunt evil - my 'average' DS2 was distinctly NOT average when he started Reception. He has multiple disabilities, SN's and Global Development Delay.

18 months ago, he was still around 3 years behind his peers. Yet now he is 'average' academically. It has taken me finding a way that he actually learns (which was far more 'hands on' than his school had been doing), and then he slowly but surely began to catch up with the bottom of his year group on Maths, and then begin to overtake some of them. He now sits slap bang in the middle of the ability range for his class and year group in Maths.

My DS1, on the other hand, has always been advanced with his Maths skills. By his 2nd birthday, he could count to 100+, do simple addition and subtraction, and was beginning to grasp the basic concept of multiplication by knowing that 'two groups of two' meant that there were four of something.

So while I have been able to try to overcome DS2's difficulties with a different teaching method, he has been in the middle of his year group since September. So that is where I feel his 'natural ability level' is.

DS1 on the other hand, has always been almost abnormal when it comes to his abilities in Maths, and I am loath to try to push him any further, because he has already finished most if the curriculum for up to GCSE level by the end of Primary, just through working through worksheets in class. I'm concerned at how bored he will be by Y9! So if anything, I am pushing him far less than my 'average' child, out of necessity!

MerryCouthyMows Mon 04-Mar-13 23:31:01

Aunt evil - that is also true about DC's with low abilities. My DD has severe issues with Maths. She has had hours of help every week since starting Y7. She is working her socks off trying to understand Maths, and to do the work set.

She works FAR FAR harder than DS1, and FAR harder than DS2 - yet she is working her socks off in the hope of achieving a G grade at GCSE (she's in Y10). It isn't even definite that she WILL achieve a G.

It really seems unfair that she puts in double the effort DS2 does, and probably triple the effort DS1 does, yet she might not achieve a grade at all. But that is the limit of her natural ability in Maths.

MerryCouthyMows Mon 04-Mar-13 23:31:56

Effort isn't undermined on any thread about selective schools that I've been on - and if it was, I would challenge that.

BrigitBigKnickers Tue 05-Mar-13 00:18:00

My DD was fairly average at primary school. Mainly 4as and one 5c in SATs.

She coasted through year 7 and 8 and didn't really set the world on fire and the school she was at didn't really push her.

Found the work ethic in year 9 but still struggled to catch up with her previous attitude. She then moved schools

Year 10 and 11 she worked like a Trojan and was predicted mostly Bs for GCSEs.

Attained 8 As, a B and a C. grin

Now almost half way through her A levels she is predicted a minimum of 3 As and a B.

I agree with the poster above who said that effort is just as important if not more so than cleverness.

In moments of despair DD used to moan about so called "Clever" children who didn't have to do any work for high grades and quite a few of them got lower grades than she did.

Vietnammark Tue 05-Mar-13 05:06:28

Paddlinglikehell: as my post was slightly off topic, my response is quite long and as you are the only one that seems interested I will pm you rather that posting on this thread.

wheresthebeach Tue 05-Mar-13 09:42:29

I think kids develop at different stages - and all these stats about how kids all develop at the same rate and their grades can be predicted is a bit absurd.

My DSD school overrode the system because it had her predicted at C's and B's. They put in A's. She got 2 A's and a B.

My DSS was level 3 in year 6 for maths and science. Just got a B in Maths GCSE's, doing triple science - currently all A's predicted but we'll see how the exams go. He's planning to do Physics as one of his A levels 'cos its easy...

Glad I didn't understand the education system when he was in year 6 or I would have been worried sick!

slipshodsibyl Tue 05-Mar-13 09:43:38

Vietnammark,I am interested to read your response to Paddlinglikehell, please.

fourseasonsinaday Tue 05-Mar-13 12:34:37

I don’t come from the UK. In our culture we believe that children are like gemstones. Regardless of the nature quality of a piece of gemstone it needs good caring polish to shine. A good quality gemstones will not shine without good polish but an average gemstone can shine brilliantly with skilful polish.
I also agree in the UK effort and hard work are not most valued even it comes children. If an average child prepared to work hard consistently as a result s/he won a gs place then why s/he doesn’t deserve it more than the nature bright lazy child. Who are not keeping up with gs standard the lazy one got in by nature talent or the average one got in because of consistent hard work?

Yellowtip Tue 05-Mar-13 13:57:29

fourseasons there's no reason why a bright but lazy child deserves a grammar school place less than an industrious less bright one. Innate ability should be valued too and there's every chance that the lazy 11 year old might become more engaged and less lazy in a grammar school environment.

fourseasonsinaday Wed 06-Mar-13 10:41:41

Yellowtip - I totally agree with you. That's why I feel the comment comes from the media is unfair to say that bright children don’t get into grammar schools because the less bright ones are being prepared too much. It very much devalues and demoralises those who gained places through hard work and dedication at that point of their life. Besides children (and even we adults) in general develop at different rate and according to life experiences and opportunities available. A child won a GS place will be praised as being BRIGHT, BRAINY, CLEVER and so on. How often do people honour a GS child for being diligent, dedicated, focus or ambitious imo these are innate ability too. From what I see in my dc’s school in general the children who got into GS seemed to be the diligent ones whether they are naturally more brainier or not.

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