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Academically average child better off at academically average school?

(5 Posts)
alexddr Thu 09-Mar-17 14:58:17

Do you think an academically average child will do better at an academically average school than at a more selective one or does “a rising tide lift all boats”?
Trying to decide whether to send my Year 7 DS, who is average academically (although he may not be at the top of his potential yet as only joined the English school system 2.5 years ago/ was in France before), to the most academic of the schools he has got into for Year 9 or not...
Thank you.

Pallisers Thu 09-Mar-17 15:02:10

I think it depends on the child. If you have a very hardworking child who puts in the effort but will never get top results from those efforts, then it could be counterproductive to put them in an academic hothouse where they will never feel they can do very well compared to others even occasionally.

But we noticed with my son that he tended to end up in the middle of the pack academically. When he was in a fairly average/poor school that middle wasn't great. When he was in a more competitive school with greater expectations of him (and everyone), he naturally did better, worked harder etc.

Seeline Thu 09-Mar-17 15:16:43

If he is a 'less able' student amongst some very able ones, he may benefit - eg at my DCs school the lower sets for maths and science have smaller classes so that the children are better supported. Do you know if any of the school offer such a system?
However, if he is going to be constantly struggling, that will not be very good for his confidence or self esteem.
Some children respond well to being at the middle/bottom. For others it destroys them. Try and work out how your DS will respond.
Presumably of he has been offered places at more academic schools, he is capable of the academic work.

alexddr Thu 09-Mar-17 16:16:34

My DS is actually on the Waiting List for one of the more academic schools and I'm not sure whether to do everything to get him in or whether to just let it go... thank you for your good advice, in any case.

Bensyster Thu 09-Mar-17 17:03:12

I think if you have encouraged your ds to apply himself and fed the message that hard work is the key to success and he really believes that then he can achieve much more than you ever thought possible.
My dcs are hard workers and each year they exceed expectations, they have fought their way from the bottom sets in primary to top sets in a very academic comp. I never tell them they are smart, I encourage them to work hard, put the effort and feel proud of their achievements. They are self motivated and determined to succeed. They know that there are smart kids in the class who don't have to work - they just figure stuff out but that does not demotivate them instead it fuels them to work harder.

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