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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

duchesse Tue 11-Dec-12 22:14:36

D Nephew missed the pass mark for his local grammars by 3 points (% points?) despite NO COACHING and no support from his primary that does not view him as grammar school material. Passing would have meant commuting to a school some way away, so we view the fact that the comprehensive 100 m up the road will have a grammar stream from September that for which he WILL qualify as a gift from the fates.

He has 0 commute and gets nearly the same thing as he would have had he passed, and he had no coaching. Win win win.

APMF Tue 11-Dec-12 22:33:20

If you 'mine' the data from my DCs primary you will see that most, if not all, left with at least KS Level 4 and that significant progress was made by those with special needs and so on and so on. But my son still spent year 6 coasting.

You can 'mine' the data from DS's allocated comp and you can analyse the number of FSM kids, look at their KS levels on entry and their levels 2 years later and do your calculations and derive an added value index and conclude that it's doing an excellent job raising the standards of previously under performing kids but that doesn't stop my neighbor's kid from coasting Year 7 and 8 because he was smarter than the other kids so the teachers left him alone while they focused on the other kids.

EvilTwins Tue 11-Dec-12 22:38:26

I don't buy it, APMF - OFSTED is really hot on "groups" in schools (by which I mean FSM/SEND/G&T/BME/EAL etc etc) As a teacher, I would be hauled over the coals if I was allowing ANY child in my class to "coast". It makes it hard - I teach Performing Arts, so not a core subject, and therefore taught in mixed ability classes at my school. I've just filled in this term's review grades, and in one Year 9 class I have kids ranging from Level 5a up to Level 8b. However, if any child, at either end of the scale, or at some point in between isn't making the right amount of progress, I have to answer for it.

APMF Tue 11-Dec-12 22:45:31

duchesse - Strange post. With coaching your DC would probably have passed. If my DC had missed by 3% because I didn't bother to coach him I be kicking myself as opposed to posting how happy I am that DC has failed because now he can walk to school.

duchesse Tue 11-Dec-12 22:50:32

My sister is a single mother and does not have the money to afford coaching when she only just manages to keep her family fed and clothed on her salary. How bizarre that you do not appear to understand that children are excluded by their financial means from accessing the best education.

APMF Tue 11-Dec-12 22:51:51

I recounted my experience at DCs primary school and what my neighbor told me about his experiences at his secondary school. Whether you choose to 'buy it' or not has no impact on me. I mean, I don't get a prize if I win this discussion smile

APMF Tue 11-Dec-12 22:53:39

We 'coached' our DCs with free past papers that we downloaded from the Internet.

EvilTwins Tue 11-Dec-12 22:58:49

It's a discussion. There is no "winner". FFS.

EvilTwins Tue 11-Dec-12 22:59:20

And I'm telling you how IT IS. I work in a school now. I can tell you that OFSTED does not allow schools to have children "coast".

Brycie Tue 11-Dec-12 23:14:58

Exotic thanks, I have lots to say to you but just got back from work so I have a quick response to Amber

"If a child does not know his times tables by secondary school, you really have to blame the parents more than his primary school"

Ok let's blame the parents. Then what? They still don't know their times tables. That was helpful wasn't it? I suppose it makes some people feel better to blame feckless or busy or ill-educated parents but there's something more than a little "fuck social mobility" about it. What do you think a state education is for?

In other words I think this is pretty much complacent tosh. I think you might have written other things which are more sensible but I haven't read them yet. But this sort of rubbish makes me really fed up.

Exotic I even have a massive tranche of copy which I emailed to myself today to represent here for you abut I'd rather give you a more considered response than I'm capable of at the moment. I just had to get that other stuff off my chest.

APMF Tue 11-Dec-12 23:27:03

When I complained to DS' year 6 teacher that DS was finding the maths too easy she told me that setting separate work for DS was not feasible. Her 'solution' was to get DS to continue to do the same work as the others but in half the time. Towards the end of Yr 6 she got DS to help the kids on the lower tables.

But I must have misunderstood what she and DC said. I mean teachers don't let children coast because teachers are too professional for that plus Ofsted wouldn't let her get away with it right? [inserts sarcasm emoticon]

breadandbutterfly Tue 11-Dec-12 23:46:29

EvilTwins - bollocks that Ofsted won't 'let' pupils coast. Another one here with a bright pupil who coasted at primary - because the Lebel 5s were all in the bag, so the school didn't need to 'do' anything.

Just because you are a good teacher who can differentiate so successfully don't assume all other teachers are as good as you, because they just aren't.

Amber2 Wed 12-Dec-12 07:07:03


I won't answer in the same tone, yes I do believe as parents you have a parental responsibility too to help educate their children....sorry you find that soooooo controversial..and we are talking times table not the theory of relativity...that said, if someone is truly illiterate that may be an excuse ...but too busy to help one's child learn times tables? Please....that borders on negligence ..

exoticfruits Wed 12-Dec-12 07:16:00

I recognise everything you say from pre NC, Brycie. I have been teaching a long time and when I started it was 'topic' work and as the teacher you were free to do any topic of your choice. Tables were frowned upon and I used to chant them in class and have old fashioned type games, but I wouldn't have done it in front of advisors, inspectors etc. There was the phase of learning to read through 'real books' as a sort of 'apprentice' rather than being taught.

The NC was to stop all that and make sure that all DCs got the same framework. It is a bit of a straight jacket but I think that the faults that you are putting forward are all to do with interpretation and delivery, rather than the framework. Unfortunately with it came all the bureaucracy and getting bogged down with writing pages and pages of plans etc which no one ever has time to read.
The government comes up with ideas that won't work like the Literacy Hour and then when it doesn't work they change it, and then change it again. There was nothing wrong with what was taught- just the way it was taught. The NC says what should be taught- it doesn't tell teachers how to teach it and that is what is at fault- if schools were left free to teach it in a way that suited them and their classes it would be an improvement. Teaching always goes better if you believe in it and think it will work!

exoticfruits Wed 12-Dec-12 07:17:36

Education is a partnership- parents need to practise tables, spellings, reading etc- always have and always will.

exoticfruits Wed 12-Dec-12 07:18:58

Life isn't in compartments and education doesn't start at 9am and finish as they walk out of school in the afternoon!

Bonsoir Wed 12-Dec-12 07:24:20

One of the better arguments for full comprehensives for all is the reduction in commuting time, IME.

Brycie Wed 12-Dec-12 07:41:07

Exceptionally intereting Exotic: as I say, this is all post NC in a variety of schools with good teachers, bad teachers, good demographic, pmuch EAL, a whole variety, with the only consistent feature being the NC. Those are my initial thoughts.

Amber: there is still the problem of what you do with the children. Schools are supposed to level out disadvantage. it may be an ideal that the parents are involved but if a school has a child for thirty hours a week for six years and they still don't know their tables there is a problem with the school. Those children should not be shrugged off because of their parents (well I think so - you may disagree).

Bonsoir Wed 12-Dec-12 07:43:22

Last year, when DD was in Y3 (French school), her teacher was totally useless and her method of getting the DCs to learn times tables was to send them home to be learned by rote, night after night.

This year, in Y4, her teacher is brilliant. We never see a times table to be learned at home by rote but DD knows them all, perfectly, and can use them quickly and well.

Brycie Wed 12-Dec-12 07:48:52

Exocitc: re education is a partnership: then this is the guiding philosophy which has overrun schools and is creating the problem. A state education is meant to level out disadvantage. As soon as you depend on the parents that levelling out disappears and so does social mobility. Social mobility is and has been very poor for a decade and more. This flawed philosophy is central to that.

EvilTwins Wed 12-Dec-12 07:50:49

blush - am naive.

No one (and I mean no one) would get away with allowing kids to coast in the school I work. It would be picked up by SLT well before OFSTED came through the door. The new OFSTED framework does specifically address the performance of groups (by which I mean G&T, SEND, EAL etc) so perhaps it's been noticed that this does happen.

Not in my school though. And, as I said upthread, we're considered by many to be "crap". angry

EvilTwins Wed 12-Dec-12 07:52:04

Brycie do you mean to say that "education is a partnership" is a flawed philosophy? It's not exactly new. I remember my parents signing a home-school partnership agreement when I started secondary in 1986!

Bonsoir Wed 12-Dec-12 07:56:40

"A state education is meant to level out disadvantage."

That is the flawed philosophy, IMO. "Education" should not have social engineering as its primary function. Education should be about the best possible development of all young people.

Brycie Wed 12-Dec-12 08:10:19

It's not social engineering: it's education. Educating people. Educating children. Social improvement and development derives from that. Abandoning an entire section of society because of their unfortunate backgrounds - now that IS social engineering - keep them down. After all, who will clean our toilets if we don't?

Bonsoir Wed 12-Dec-12 08:11:42

Think about it, Brycie smile

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