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come and convince me that bright but quiet children don't get lost in large comprehensives

(36 Posts)
sunshinecity Tue 06-Oct-09 17:14:41

Assuming that in the largest schools they are worried about the trouble makers and disruptive pupils...and that teachers are grateful for quiet pupils who just get on with things...
Then how do you ensure that a bright but relatively quiet child gets pushed to achieve rather than just swimming along doing ok but not necessarily their best?

cornsilk Tue 06-Oct-09 17:15:52

The teachers will push them - it's in their interests.

Lilymaid Tue 06-Oct-09 17:22:52

If the school is reasonably good and the child is in the top sets, there shouldn't be too many problems as the students will be expected to achieve good results.
If the child is in a middle set, it can be more difficult.

sunshinecity Tue 06-Oct-09 17:42:33

but if its a really large school how do the teachers get to know the children well enough to know how much to push them?

lilymaid - sounds like getting in the top set at the start might be a key thing as well then.

cocolepew Tue 06-Oct-09 17:44:50

MMy DD is qite, small but bright. She has been streamed into the highest set already, and she's doing great. Some schools don't stream in the first year, as far as I know.

sunshinecity Tue 06-Oct-09 17:46:43

hi coco - how many classes per year are there in your dd's school? is she streamed in all subjects or just a few?

Milliways Tue 06-Oct-09 17:47:54

A lot don't set in Yr 7, but the school needs to get results and WILL push those they can.

DDs school was totally comprehensive. Her classmates included one featured on ITV's "Neighbours fom hell", Asbo's and she knew where she could go if she wanted drugs shock

BUT - there were also those who just wanted to be normal teens, enjoy school and get on with life. They found each other and became stronger groups together.

True - she would have preferred NOT to have shared parts of her life with some of her classmates, but the good teachers ensured that those who wanted to do well - did!

cocolepew Tue 06-Oct-09 17:52:22

A,B,C and D and E are the Special Educational Needs classes. I think next year there are 2 top classes. We're in N.I and they did a test for the school they'd gotten into last Jan. So the school was able to try to keep the same ability together. She did her 11+ and got an A, that gained her automatic entrance to our Grammer school but she's too quite and nervous. I was speaking to the SENCO last week (she has a medical condition) and she was saying DD was the only A to go to the school but was showing me the scores of others in her class and all were very close. She is thriving at it TBH.

cocolepew Tue 06-Oct-09 17:53:23

Oh shes not streamed in games, music IT skills . That's still more of a mix.

sunshinecity Tue 06-Oct-09 17:53:27

Thanks milliways - any chance your school was in an urban inner london location?!
Finding like minded friends sounds key, were they a very small minority or were there reasonable numbers of them in different years in the school.

sunshinecity Tue 06-Oct-09 17:55:36

oooh cocolepew, grammar school sounds like a whole different bag to the inner city comps I am thinking of. You lucky thing wink

cocolepew Tue 06-Oct-09 17:59:47

She didn't go to grammer, I send her to the very rough local high school.

Milliways Tue 06-Oct-09 18:05:42

Not London, we are in Reading - which has it's own issues grin

I think in her actual form, the split was about 50/50 - maybe weighted more towards the less desirable elements, but they had a 10 form intake, so across the year there were plenty of others to meet, and she soon got a crowd of really good friends (that she will now miss terribly as they go to different Uni's , jobs etc).

mussyhillmum Tue 06-Oct-09 18:37:01

Milliways - did your DD's school set for subjects? Our nearest secondary school is a large comprehensive with a VERY mixed intake. It sets in very few subjects, maths from year 7 and science from year 9. There is no setting at all in English. DH and I went along to the open evening, but the HM failed to explain how mixed ability teaching stretches the more able - merely mocked the poor woman who asked the question! Like the OP I fear my bright DS will "drift". Please give me hope!

southeastastra Tue 06-Oct-09 18:38:49

ds(16) didn't - on line to get a few As!

i worry about my other son when he goes there though!

Northernlurker Tue 06-Oct-09 18:58:23

dd1 is bright and not exactly quiet but not a huge extrovert either. So far (1 month in grin) I've been very happy with her school. She's getting lots of encouragement and recognition of her hard work. I'm not sure about the streaming but I suspect they have been because she was doing some maths homework today that involved some serious logic!

TheFallenMadonna Tue 06-Oct-09 19:05:20

Quite apart from any other issues, and I am certainly more than merely "grateful for quiet pupils who just get on with things", our performance as teachers is judged against the performance of every one of our pupils against their target grades. We need to put as much effort into the quiet and bright ones as we do the challenging or less able ones.

And regarding getting to know them - in large school there are more teachers. It doesn't mean we spend less time with each individual pupil that we teach, it means that in one year we teach a smaller proportion of the pupil body.

pointyhat Tue 06-Oct-09 19:18:13

Does your school set straight away for maths and English? Check. Do they set for science and when? Check.

It doesn't take teachers long to work out the personality and ability of every child they teach. DON't worry about that.

If your child ends up in a class full of real bammers who disrupt certain classes, get in touch with the school. Talk through options. Most teachers should still be able to teach well enough, and your child will still be able to learn. Don;t hesitate to complain if that isn't happening.

Milliways Tue 06-Oct-09 19:47:35

Mussyhillmum: No - nothing was set for the first term, then Maths & English (maybe another - long time ago!), but they were put into general "sets" in Yr 8 (only top 2 sets did a second language) and then set within those by subject.

TBH- DD was a LOT happier when things were set and she could loose the undesirables! She then just had to contend with the bright boys who just liked to clown around in her sets grin

Still - she survived, and is now clowning herself (probably) at Freshers week!

iamdisappointedinyou Tue 06-Oct-09 20:09:13

What a load of crappola.
Teachers love to trot out stuff like "our performance as teachers is judged against the performance of every one of our pupils against their target grades". But at other times they will tell you that there is only so much individual attention they can give kids when there are 29 others in the class!hmm
DD entered the school being predicted 'straight As' at GCSE. She therefore got no extra input as she was a cert to get them the magic '5 GCSE at C or above'. She got the magic 5 but not the string of A.

pointyhat Tue 06-Oct-09 20:16:56

Did you feel extra input was needed, iam? Had you requested some?

preciouslillywhite Tue 06-Oct-09 20:17:46

My ds is in a huuuge south London comprehensive, in Y8. He's bright- but ve-e-e-ry shy.

We have found that the teachers have bent over backwards not only to accommodate him- and the likes of him- but to push him to do stuff he wouldn't've considered doing in his primary school.

I reckon you can spot a school like this within about 10 minutes of first visiting it. Honest.

sunshinecity Tue 06-Oct-09 20:20:32

disappointedinyou - your dd's scenario is just the one I am thinking about...and hoping to be convinced out of.

The sort of inner city london schools I am thinking about have up to 50% of disruptive and maybe less than 10% of the quiet achievers. What I've heard is that the ones getting the sting of As are the ones whose parents have tutored them outside of school AND who are the sort of children who listen to their parents and diligently get on with the tutors work.

sunshinecity Tue 06-Oct-09 20:21:49

string not sting!

Milliways Tue 06-Oct-09 20:37:11

Sunshine - believe me, we did NO extra stuff with our DD apart from take an interest, read through her homework if she asked etc. She went waaay beyond what we ever achieved anyway.

The school, whilst huge, was a good school with very motivated staff who have a lot to contend with trying to get the results that they somehow manage.

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