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King_Ghidra
02-09-2005, 09:02:00
http://education.guardian.co.uk/schools/story/0,5500,1561321,00.html

A specialist state secondary school yesterday became the first in England to teach all its pupils according to ability rather than age as part of a scheme designed to raise low levels of achievement.
The 1,100 pupils starting the new academic year at Bridgemary community school in Gosport, Hampshire - still regarded by some as the local sink school - were for the first time being taught in mixed-age classes for every subject.

Pupils have been assessed through a series of internal and externally validated tests to determine their entry to one of five levels of ability which match a government-agreed framework, and will be subjected to monitoring.

In some cases extremely able 12-year-olds are beginning GCSE courses alongside pupils two years older - at level two. Each child has been given an individual learning programme attached to a timetable, with the new arrangements designed to cater for different abilities.



Interesting idea. I find my heart says this is the right way to go about things, but i can see some potential downsides.

Gary
02-09-2005, 09:06:38
In some cases extremely able 12-year-olds are beginning GCSE courses alongside pupils two years older - at level two.

And on the other hand presumably some less able pupils are being humiliated and giving up on education (and authority) having been put among the much younger pupils ?

Hmm ... I think I'd prefer grading within an age group, where there are enough pupils, and an alert teacher offering extra help where needed.

Beta1
02-09-2005, 09:33:23
yup,

I can see the problems thats going to generate with parents disagreeing with the schools assessment of their kids.

Kitsuki
02-09-2005, 10:05:42
Originally posted by Beta1
yup,

I can see the problems thats going to generate with parents disagreeing with the schools assessment of their kids.

This is the real sink school of the area; unfortunately kids at those kinds of schools often don't have parents who take enough interest in their education to care.

I don't like the idea as it breaks up natural social groups; and I think that those are very important things for kids - social development is just as important as educational.

Funko
02-09-2005, 10:08:00
I think 'social groups' at school can be very negative as well as sometimes positive

protein
02-09-2005, 10:10:12
School is a horrible enough ordeal as it is. I can imagine less academic kids ending up with younger kids and ending up commiting suicide because of the shame.

Kitsuki
02-09-2005, 10:13:50
Originally posted by Funko
I think 'social groups' at school can be very negative as well as sometimes positive

I agree; but the kind of risks Protein mentions are bad.

On a less serious level; even being jumped up and down year groups (and possibly on a subject by subject basis!) is probably not what kids want...!

Sir Penguin
02-09-2005, 15:33:16
I don't think "social groups" is the right phrase, I'd go with "peer groups." It's more a function of age than association. Young kids in the high-level class will be harassed for being nerds and overachievers, old kids in the low-level class will be harassed for being stupid. A year's difference in age is much more striking in high school than it is for the rest of us.

SP

Kitsuki
02-09-2005, 15:44:47
Probably right saying "peer groups" and agree with everything you say.

Qaj the Fuzzy Love Worm
02-09-2005, 22:29:16
I went through my entire primary and secondary school enrollmets one year out of my age range - I was skipped to second grade near the end of first (I had enrolled in the middle of 1st grade year, spent two months there, was skipped up to 2nd, spent two months there, then the school year ended and I was off to third grade in Feb the following year).

As a result, I was shorter than everyone else, and also at a slightly trailing emotional developmental age. The schoolwork was fine - I think a lot of kids could easily have some of the first few years' bullshit compressed into a few months and get school over with earlier. But stuff like when your peers start getting interested in the opposite sex but you're not, but you try anyway because they're your peers and fail spectacularly to even figure out how to pretend to be interested which then leads to an aversion to dating... you possibly get the picture :D

On the other side of the coin, one of my friends from 3rd grade was help back to repeat a year. He was last seen being hideously drunk in a bar complaining about how his life as a hitman wasn't working out.

Perhaps, if everyone in a school is mismatched age-wise, you'll get non-traditional peer groups appearing without the pressure to "conform" to any one view. *shrug* I don't know. But I do like the idea of teaching kids according to ability. You could theoretically do that while keeping kids in classes based on age, but that means the teacher would have more work to do and I don't see that happening any time soon.

Drekkus
02-09-2005, 23:02:31
Classical education is so 1800. Nowadays you should be able to have a taylormade curriculum, adjusted to your own skills and capabilities.

protein
02-09-2005, 23:23:51
I would have liked to have had the opportunity to learn things that I'm actually good at and give a fuck about. I was forced to do chemistry, biology, physics, french etc. at school and had no opportunity to do drama, art, music etc. I reckon the reason I'm so into my artyfarty stuff now is because I feel like I'm trying to catch up.

The Norks
03-09-2005, 02:26:55
i should have been put up a year at primary school but the school was a retarded village school and couldnt assign me a maths teacher so even though I was light years ahead in everything else, they kept me in my original year with the consequence that I skived all the time and distracted the other kids. I often wonder how things would have been different if they'd handled the bright kids better at that school. The curriculum in those days didnt allow for advanced kids either ie when I joined (age 5)I was reading the same books as the top class of juniors (age 11) but when the official curriculum kicked in at about age 9 (when I had a reading age of 14), they had no more advanced books and they tried to make me read roger red hat etc. I don't think things have moved on much tbh. There were also kids in my class who were really struggling to keep up and they were just given up on and labelled 'backwards'. in general therefore, i think its better to have a range of options instead of a one size fits all 'inclusive' education.

zmama
03-09-2005, 02:43:48
Originally posted by Drekkus
Classical education is so 1800. Nowadays you should be able to have a taylormade curriculum, adjusted to your own skills and capabilities.

:beer:

And truly school is the only place in life where age segregation is so rigid. Would you at 21 be ashamed and suicidal over a 20 year old studying the same as you? I doubt an 11 year old would feel shame about a 10 year old if we hadn't set up these social constructs. You can be in two different "years" with only a months difference in age!

It is pretty much a place of treating kids as product. A factory for churning out the average. I suppose for cost reasons it has needed to be that way


Oh and sorry for the serious post

Please forgive :gasmaske:

Sir Penguin
03-09-2005, 03:57:02
Comparing two adults of slightly differing ages is completely different from comparing two pre-teens of slightly different ages. But you are right in some ways. I was never held back a grade, but throughout my school career I was always the oldest in the class, because I started when I was almost 5 instead of almost 4. But it was just 8 months' difference, and I was never interested in being a teenager (let alone becoming one before everyone else). My instinct is that two years on either side is too broad a range for a solid peer group to gel. Sub-groups will form, made up of people of the same age who are going through the same physical and emotional challenges.

SP