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Can an average child in year 7 suddenly start to achieve more than his naturally gifted friends later on in school

(14 Posts)
missile5 Mon 20-Jul-09 23:36:00


cat64 Mon 20-Jul-09 23:45:05

Message withdrawn

Ponders Mon 20-Jul-09 23:49:33

Definitely. smile

We have selective grammar school here. I know kids who just barely scraped in at 11 but did brilliantly later; also kids who didn't scrape in at all at 11, but later did as well as or better than those that did; & I know kids who sailed in & then tailed off miserably.

Spurts, plateaus & late developers. You can never tell.

snorkle Tue 21-Jul-09 00:15:30

Yes, I do think that as they get older the amount of work they put in counts for a lot. Sometimes very bright children get a bit jaded & don't put in the effort needed to achieve the top results and their less gifted peers can sometimes achieve more (though I suspect that children managing this feat may well be slightly above average to start with). Another factor, is that when children start to choose options they can often cut out the subjects they don't like/aren't so good at and this can have quite a marked impact on their overall performance.

snorkle Tue 21-Jul-09 00:17:45

and agree with ponders that some kids are late developers too. They can take time to find their niche either because that's the way they are or because they were underachieving when younger for a good reason (unhappiness/bullying spring to mind).

margotfonteyn Tue 21-Jul-09 07:58:44

Yes definitely (esp in terms of exam results).

I have older DCs and have seen some of their contemporaries who were v bright at the end of primary school, not end up as 'bright' by the end of secondary school. Conversely, there have been some who were considered positively average at that stage who have achieved exceptionally well at secondary school.

It depends also on the secondary schools they attend too and how self motivated they are.

bruffin Tue 21-Jul-09 08:42:27

DS has started to spurt at secondary. One of the reasons I think is he is a bit of a deep and abstract thinker (so his teachers tell me) and good at comprehension and analisys, which are not qualities that are really measured in primary, but are ideal qualities for humanities and science.

snorkle Tue 21-Jul-09 09:47:23

Yes - some skills aren't tested at primary when if you aren't good at remembering maths facts or spellings etc, you probably won't achieve well. I think I might be a case in point here thinking about it...
I was never considered to be much good at maths at primary age as I never learnt my tables & so was rather slow at exercises & generally got a few sums wrong & so was never on the 'top table' (in a single class/year unstreamed state school), but later came into my own at a selective secondary. In short, I could do abstract maths, but not arithmetic (and arithmetic isn't really needed once you get to a certain level). I was also a poor speller & not much inclined to learn grammer rules either, so very mediocre/poor at english (and stayed that way, but worked hard enough to get passing grades). Thus I only really flourished at school post O-levels when I gave up all subjects that required an ability to write; excelled at maths/science A levels; & went on to Oxbridge - this was having failed an entrance test to one selective school at 11 (that had maths/english papers), though I did pass another that had NVR papers (which is about the only thing I was good at at that age).

katiestar Tue 21-Jul-09 13:35:11

I think boys particularly are often late developers ,often not shining til well into secondary school or later.
I am sure I read something about A level results being irrelevant to class of degree.

Fennel Tue 21-Jul-09 14:30:26

It used to be the case that O levels were more closely related to degree results than A levels were. but that was ages ago, in those distant pre-gcse days. I don't know about more recent research.

I do know lots of adults who were slow to learn things in primary school and extremely good academically at later stages. And I had one friend who wasn't very good academically right through school and started excelling at university level.

Am rather hoping my children are the sort to Spurt at secondary grin there's certainly plenty of room for improvement.

Lilymaid Tue 21-Jul-09 14:36:45

I think my very average (KS2 4,4,5) DS2 may be a good example of a late developer. I'll let you all know on August 20th (A Level Results day) if he is!

kritur Tue 21-Jul-09 16:30:41

As a teacher I would say that anything is possible. A couple of years ago I taught a boy who was pretty 'average' all the way through school, L4 in primary, level 5 KS3, Bs, Cs, Ds at GCSE, nothing to set him apart really. Absolutely flew at A-level , got ABB and went on to do a chemistry degree. Something just clicked at the age of 17. It was very lucky I'd actually taken him onto my A-level course (chemistry) as he didn't actually meet the entry requirements, glad I took the risk!

scaryteacher Tue 21-Jul-09 23:38:02

I taught a lad who has low SATS at KS2; felt he was labelled as dim, and lost all his confidence. KS3 SATS were average as well. I worked with him and encouraged him, and he got A* in one unit of RE at the end of year 10 and another at the end of year 11 to make it a full GCSE. He did the same with other subjects as well.

This is why I loathe SATS; the students feel labelled so early, and however much you tell them it's just a snapshot, they carry that label with them to secondary.

cory Wed 22-Jul-09 08:14:12

I see students who really come into their own at university level. And others who have excelled all their lives and suddenly find they can't do it any more- either because they are burned out or because they simply haven't got what it takes to take it onto this new, more independent level. There are lots of surprises in life.

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