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 Post subject: Birmingham league tables
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:16 pm 
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Location: Birmingham
Just a few notes on the new 'bac'. Apparently this is the % of children achieving at least 5 good GCSEs that must include English, Maths, a Science, Language and Humanity.

Fascinating league table readings as always...Five Ways have achieved an eyewatering 'Average Point Score' - of 757.2 - I have never seen such a high score anywhere before!
Yet the Camp Hill schools surpassed them by far in the new 'bac' measure, with the Girls at 91% and the boys at 88%, and Five Ways at 71% .

Handsworth Girls is at 90% with Aston at 58%.
Sutton Girls is at 78% and BV at 68%.

My guess is the difference between boys and girls is to do with girls choosing languages more, and boys maybe opting for more of the Sciences.
I don't really feel that, for a child who has no plans to holiday in France, and wishes to pursue a non-language career route, taking a GCSE language is really that important.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:32 pm 
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shame not to study a language - it is a small world world these days and many jobs require travel and communicating with people from othe countries - can be great if you just try a bit of the language


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:34 pm 
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I agree that for those able and willing to study a language, they may well enjoy it and find it of great use in the future.
But I cannot understand why it has been included as all-important in the government's measure of 'success'. I studied French and German at GCSE, gaining very good grades, and yet they were in all honesty never of use to me. I now cannot string a sentence together in either language and struggle to help my Yr 7 son.

English and Maths we all obviously need, if only at GCSE level, at least one science, yes, and geography or history both give an excellent grounding in world issues and knowledge - but the lack of a language would seem to be no great loss for a great many students.
My own son will have to take French and I will support him 100% in doing that, but he has no natural aptitude for it and spends probably about 70-80% of all his homework/study time desperately revising this subject alone, to little avail. If this was a core subject of importance, I would accept that - but he certainly has no plans or wish to use French again once that all-important certificate comes through! It just seems a strange use of 5 years of time and effort.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:35 am 
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I can see why something calling itself a bac would insist on a language.

That compulsory French GCSE is my only major gripe with CHB so far (well, in truth I probably have a slight gripe about 3 compulsory sciences as well despite my own education being almost exclusively science oriented). I really can't see the point of compulsory French, it's not as if our kids are likely to go to war with Germany and spend lengthy spells in France as their grandfathers and great grandfathers did. The majority will probably never even visit France. Chin up though um, if you look at their results they will almost certainly get your son through GCSE with flying colours. Even ours seems to be starting to get to grips with it and he's the total antithesis of a natural linguist.

I think 5W's GCSE points score highlights what I've been saying about them recently: they take far too many GCSEs for my taste.

Mike


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 8:15 pm 
This is why the KES route is so attractive for us. IGCSE & IB are the way forward as A levels continue to lose their meaning. Some top universities are already giving preference to this over A levels.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 11:48 pm 
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no_ball wrote:
This is why the KES route is so attractive for us. IGCSE & IB are the way forward as A levels continue to lose their meaning. Some top universities are already giving preference to this over A levels.

But isn't a MFL obligatory at IB (and therefore IGCSE) while it is not at A levels?


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:10 am 
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um wrote:
My own son will have to take French and I will support him 100% in doing that, but he has no natural aptitude for it and spends probably about 70-80% of all his homework/study time desperately revising this subject alone, to little avail. If this was a core subject of importance, I would accept that - but he certainly has no plans or wish to use French again once that all-important certificate comes through! It just seems a strange use of 5 years of time and effort.


When I was young and schooled in France, my first MFL ( at 11) was German to which I added English at aged 13 (with Latin and Greek though I was an exception to have a fourth 'foreign' language in my school as it is not in the curriculum - the children have to choose between Latin or Greek). My parents had pleaded for that and the headmaster was an intelligent open-minded man who arranged the timetable just for me to do these extra-studies... (His son two years younger than me did the same! I am pretty sure he had that also in view! :lol: ).
What a shock I had when I arrived in the UK and realised that classics are only taught in private schools! You could be surprised at my reaction as Latin and Greek are not really useful nowadays (except for knowing some Greek roots in medicine, etc., but frankly we can do without learring Greek for several years).

I saw the book a young girl uses at KEHS and I really loved it :D and this pupil does enjoy Latin .... Personally I really have excellent and fond memories of all my times studying Latin, Greek or German even though like you, I have completely forgotten these languages... I am not sure everything we study at a young age must be linked to something in the adult sphere. There is the pleasure to learn, to discover different cultures, etc...

I feel it is really important to have an enthusiastic attitude so that your child could pick it up (instead of him repeating after you' What's the use of learning French?' :twisted: ).
I have a friend who hates German (though she never studied it) and she often makes fun of it when talking about choices in MFL. Sure enough, her son didn't pick up German when he had this possibilility while starting year 7 (he chose Spanish instead) :roll: The parents' attitude can create the child's attitude...

with love :wink:


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:13 am 
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no_ball wrote:
Some top universities are already giving preference to this over A levels.


From where did you get this information? Do you have any document worth reading concerning this matter please?
I am presently exploring the indies route, but I know that my DH will close his purse if our DS get any place at a grammar :lol:


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 7:41 am 
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JaneEyre wrote:
no_ball wrote:
Some top universities are already giving preference to this over A levels.


From where did you get this information? Do you have any document worth reading concerning this matter please?
I am presently exploring the indies route, but I know that my DH will close his purse if our DS get any place at a grammar :lol:



don't think there is actually any concrete evidence of this. Many A level students are extending their work with the extended projects etc - A levels and IB are only 2 of the qualifications that universities have presented to them.

Ooops sounds like if you want the indie route - you had a) get working on DH or b) get earning and control of the purse strings...... Actually I was sold on the indie route then did the sums and looked at the options and the GS won easily. Glad I did as Uni is a lot more expensive than it was. Some areas of the country have no GS and in these the indies are often a better option (and often over more subscribed)


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:49 pm 
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hermanmunster wrote:
Ooops sounds like if you want the indie route - you had a) get working on DH or b) get earning and control of the purse strings...... Actually I was sold on the indie route then did the sums and looked at the options and the GS won easily. Glad I did as Uni is a lot more expensive than it was. Some areas of the country have no GS and in these the indies are often a better option (and often over more subscribed)


Well, I am not yet completely on the 'indie' route...I used to consider it as a back up if our DS doesn't obtain a place at a local grammar... and obtain a scholarship at an indie :lol: :lol: :lol:

When we went for the open day at KEGS in Birmingham, there was a parent AND a pupil who were guiding us on the tour. I have been very surprised that our parent-guide chose the indie route though his son got a place at a grammar...

no-ball seems also completely conquered by the IB... so the indies...

I am therefore trying to understand if it is really worth to spend so much money for an indie if we get a place at a free grammar... :?:
I did read in the past some articles explaining that the places at Oxbridge are mostly given to pupils coming from the private sector... However, to dream of Oxbrige for us who are not speaking Englsih at home is perhaps rather unrealistic!! :lol: :lol:


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