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Displaying childrens position in tables on school walls

(77 Posts)
ScousyFogarty Wed 25-May-11 16:48:22

I heard an item on radio. London school. Headmistress displayed list on the walls of all childrens placement top to bottom. Presenter said that would be hard on children at bottom...Any views? Another teacher said she would not do it.

CarrotsAreNotTheOnlyVegetables Wed 25-May-11 17:02:48

if a teacher did this to my DCs I would be tempted towards violence!

ScousyFogarty Wed 25-May-11 17:16:28

Thats an interesting statement , Carrots. But please calm down

The presenter of the programme on Radio 5Live opposed the practice.

But it was not gone into in great depth

scurryfunge Wed 25-May-11 17:19:53

I would not object to tables representing effort made but I would not like attainment displayed. There are so many variables as to why a child may not achieve. What about children who have special needs?

FlorenceDaphne Wed 25-May-11 17:27:03

Oh, yes, this is definitely done in our school. All the offices have a massive board with rows labelled with grades (A* at the top, natch). All the kids have a mugshot pinned to the row they're currently at. And the rows are different colours and the mugshots are printed the colour that the child should be on according to FFT.

The boards aren't in the classrooms, but are visible from all the doorways and the children are always in and out of the office. No-one seems to care. The kids all know their FFT and their current level anyway.

FlorenceDaphne Wed 25-May-11 17:28:11

Forgot to mention- it's a N. Challenge comp.

ScousyFogarty Wed 25-May-11 17:37:58

Scurry Point taken and well made, I wonder how the system I described effects the children who are not academic and always likely to be at or near the bottom? (This seemed to be recognised as a controversdial system)
And even in discussion linked to one london school

Perhaps Gabby Logan has views on this

diabolo Wed 25-May-11 17:38:39

We've got one on the wall in our staff-room - not visible to kids. As Florence says above, all the children know what they are expected to achieve and their current level is given to them every 1/2 term

DS's report (private) gives his % and the class average % every time they have a test, which I find useful as a parent.

ScousyFogarty Wed 25-May-11 17:44:20

seems different to one I heard discussed diablo

fifi25 Wed 25-May-11 17:44:46

It would be great for my dd1. She could swan about remarking on how clever she is. Not so good for dd2 who would most definately be somewhere in the bottom and end up looking very deflated.

campion Wed 25-May-11 18:50:56

My class teacher in 2nd year juniors had the brilliant idea of seating us according to weekly tests ( dimwits at the front, natch).

How well I remember the Friday morning when he announced ' ... and the person with the most disappointing results, dropping from 8th to 21st is campion' sad

Yes, I was really motivated after that hmm

claricebeansmum Wed 25-May-11 18:56:29

Why not?
Schools are happy to pin up the sports teams so the sports jocks can swan around like masters of the universe, so why not give the swotty kids a chance too?
Why do we insist on everyone being a winner? Life is not like that. It is an essential life lesson.

5318008 Wed 25-May-11 19:03:12

um at primary age?

5318008 Wed 25-May-11 19:04:13

sports jocks in reception hah

bidibidi Wed 25-May-11 19:04:36

I think it's okay to post in a cloud (circular-ish format) targets with names next to them, and if you read the target lists, you can figure out who is in top and who is in bottom groups. But listing achievements or targets in a very obvious hierarchal way makes the hierarchy important -- it shouldn't be, not in primary school, anyway.

ivykaty44 Wed 25-May-11 19:07:48

It happens in other areas - so why not school.

My dd works hard in the other areas to improve and move herself up the lists - so for some dc It may work. I do think for some dc it may have the opposite effect and they may not bother to try - but would they have tryed any way with out the lists displayed

fifi25 Wed 25-May-11 19:18:29

Because some people have children who even if they worked hard could never reach anywhere near the top of the table.

activate Wed 25-May-11 19:22:43

I think it should happen more at secondary level

And I think that academic competition is as valid as sports and music competition

All children know exactly where they are in a class from reception anyway even with the liberal hiding true competition that is the current, but fading, vibe

it is different from the past - it used to be the top percentages could get As, the next Bs and so on - there was a finite number - now it is personal - if the best you can get is a B then you will get a B even if 88% of other students get the same grade - I think this is wrong too

YesterdaysPants Wed 25-May-11 19:28:08

"listing achievements or targets in a very obvious hierarchal way makes the hierarchy important -- it shouldn't be, not in primary school, anyway."

This.

All students should know where they are at and what their targets are in order to reach the next rung, but not encouraged to compare against others. One rare bit of current educational fashion which I totally agree with.

jackstarb Wed 25-May-11 19:32:44

"Schools are happy to pin up the sports teams so the sports jocks can swan around like masters of the universe"

Good point CBmum. Talent in music, drama and sport is often readily celebrated, but there is a reluctance to highlight academic talent.

Maybe more appropriate for a secondary than a primary school though.

pozzled Wed 25-May-11 19:38:01

I think it's useful to post lists of the groups on the walls, and the kids are pretty good are knowing which group is 'top' and which is 'bottom' even if you never refer to them in this way. But I would object to the children being ordered within the groups, or from 1-30 in a class. Apart from anything else, it's ridiculous to think they can be ordered in this way.

spanieleyes Wed 25-May-11 19:45:43

Even primary age children could give you a run down, in order, of "brightest" to "strugglers" for each different subject whether that be English, Maths, Sport or Art,

jackstarb Wed 25-May-11 19:52:29

"All students should know where they are at and what their targets are in order to reach the next rung, but not encouraged to compare against others. One rare bit of current educational fashion which I totally agree with."

That's interesting Yesterdayspants - how is the "next rung" defined and set? Say, eg, for a bright pupil with the potential to go to a RG Uni?

It also seems to ignore the 'peer group' effect - where pupils 'raise their game' when they see their peers achievements & ambitions.

overmydeadbody Wed 25-May-11 19:57:51

All the kids know where they are anyway, or at least all but the disilusioned ones like my DS... it would probably give him the kick up the bum he needs to actually put more than the bare minimum into his school work.

I don't tihnk a list necessarily means all kids will strive to be at the top, so it won't necessarily deflate them. The ones that struggle academically will already know that they are not at or near the top of the class, even without a ranking table.

In my school, all kids were ranked at the end of the year, with the top three in each class being awarded prizes (of gold!!!). I knew I'd never be in the top three but it helped me to do my best and put in extra effort.

Having said all that, as a teacher, I would never publically rank all the kids in my class. I have more important things to display.

YesterdaysPants Wed 25-May-11 19:59:19

Well that's the thing - schools should always highlight that students who are strong in some areas may not be in others and vice versa. That's the first thing I thought about the poster - how are the students judged exactly?

I'm a Music teacher and I praise and encourage progress, not talent, in front of the classes I teach. Hard work, effort and enjoyment are factors to be praised. Talent I deal with quietly and individually - it's obvious to everyone who's talented and the best, they don't need the teacher rubbing it in!

And don't even get me started on competitive Music performance angry

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