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Swindon Academy Grammar Stream

(15 Posts)
Kippy20 Mon 25-Nov-19 20:49:47

Does anyone have any experience of Swindon Academy's Grammar Stream....seems like a good idea? Is it true that Marlborough College guarantees 2 free places to Grammar School stream in sixth form?

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Kippy20 Wed 27-Nov-19 09:54:32


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TeenPlusTwenties Wed 27-Nov-19 14:01:37

What is a 'grammar stream'? Is it just marketing?

Our comp doesn't have a grammar stream but top set kids can do triple science, 2 languages plus 2 other.

Kippy20 Wed 27-Nov-19 14:43:27

From what I can gather, their grammar stream is taught the same curriculum as the grammar schools, and they have to pass a test to get into the stream....and they're marketing it as an equal substitute for getting into a grammar school...without all the travel...cause I guess closest grammar schools are in Stroud or Gloucester. Had never heard of it before and thought it was interesting.

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TeenPlusTwenties Wed 27-Nov-19 15:22:43

Just had a look. It looks partly smoke and mirrors to me.

Main: Maths 5 English 5 Science 4 (total 14)
Grammar: maths 4 English 4 Science 6 (total 14)

Main: Humanities 5 (total 5)
Grammar: History 2 Geog 2 RE 1 (total 5)

Main: Sport & Art & Music & DT & PSHE (total 7)
Grammar: Sport, Art & Music & DT & PSHE (total 7)

So far not much difference.

Main: Languages 3, Performing arts 1
Grammar: Spanish 2, Latin/Classical civilisation 2

So there you have it.
Grammar gets slightly less maths/English and slightly more science.
Grammar doesn't get to do any performing arts but gets to do some Latin.

Most of the way they have laid it out on the web page is advertising in my view. For grammar they have listed the science subjects separately, but the mainstream kids will still do them, even if called 'science'. Similarly for the 'humanities'.

But I'm only judging from the outside so it's not really fair.
I really don't like the idea of a test though.
And I strongly prefer setting to early streaming too.

TeenPlusTwenties Wed 27-Nov-19 15:40:07

Further looking, this school seems quite 'Michaela'-like (regimented).
I feel exhausted having just browsed their website! grin

TeenPlusTwenties Wed 27-Nov-19 15:48:06

If you wish to be considered for the Grammar Stream then Swindon Academy will need to be your first school preference.

I am going to tag @admission on this. I presume it is legal but it seems a bit dubious to me.

So a kid who had the school as second choice but gets this school can't then do the grammar stream test. (Despite the test only occurring after acceptance to the school).
Pupils who had it as second choice or with skewed profiles potentially miss out on relevant enrichment because they aren't in the grammar stream?

TeenPlusTwenties Wed 27-Nov-19 16:05:39

The links to Marlborough College look quite enticing though.

dontletmedowngently Wed 27-Nov-19 16:46:51

DS’s school has a ‘Gifted & talented stem stream’, having googled Swindon Academy they are part of the same MAT - what a coincidence!

For his school children apply to it, sit a test & have an interview once school places are allocated in March. I’m not a fan, especially since they aren’t interested in the genuinely G&T children but take the top 30 from those that apply. DS didn’t want to despite being very capable, mainly because they have to stay until 4.30 every day for ‘extra enrichment’.

I have to laugh though as last year they introduced rank order - after the end of year exams each child was given their position out of the whole year. He came 4th for science and 10th for maths, beating a large number of the G&T stem stream!

BelleSausage Wed 27-Nov-19 16:52:47

Hmmmm, I taught at a school a few years ago that had a ‘gifted and talented’ stream. They had to pull to eventually because the extra enrichment was seen as discrimination.

They would have to be providing the same opportunities (perhaps in different was) to all other students. I can’t see Ofsted liking this.

Kippy20 Thu 28-Nov-19 05:27:26

Very interesting - many thanks for the analysis TeenPlus Twenties. On the face of it, looks like clever marketing rather than a true "grammar school within a school". But I guess Marlborough's close involvement - particularly the carrot of the 2 free sixth form places - make it more compelling (though I don't see Marlborough advertising this on their website). Saw they posted a House of Commons testimonial on the Grammar Stream web page, praising the Academy for this initiative and doubling am guessing Ofsted wouldn't object. This school leadership is obviously super ambitious. Am interested in your comment about discrimination BelleSausage - do you think initiatives that focus on the most able, more often than not fail? Also, what is MAT? Thank you all for posting.....

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Kippy20 Thu 28-Nov-19 05:28:49

Oh....forgot to ask, what's the difference between setting and streaming?

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TeenPlusTwenties Thu 28-Nov-19 06:16:00

MAT is Multi-Academy-Trust, ie a group of schools all owned/run by the same people.

Streaming v Setting
Streaming: A school decides whether a child is clever, mid or not so much and then they only have lessons with children in the same stream for at least the core subjects, quite probably all the academic subjects, worst case everything. by its very nature it is quite hard to move streams.

Setting: A school separates children by academic ability for individual or closely linked subjects. So you can be top set for maths&science but bottom for English. If you need to move classes it can be done just for that subject group so it is easier to do.

Generally setting is more flexible but more of a pain to timetable.

Kippy20 Thu 28-Nov-19 06:33:43

Thank you for clearing that up for me, much appreciated.

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HPFA Fri 29-Nov-19 15:31:18

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