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 Post subject: Age Weighting
PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 10:16 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2010 8:26 am
Posts: 6
I have enjoyed perusing this site over the last month or so in the lead up to the 11+ and enjoy the debates on the various issues so wondered what your members thought of this topic.....

DD is September born and according to the many informed threads on your site will need to get around 72/73 to be sure of acheiving a successful SS score of 121. This is about 5 marks more than an August born. These five marks represents 6.25% of the raw marks available and is steep handicap in any exam let alone one so competitive. Lets consider a hypothetical child in her class who is born in August and ask why they should benefit from this weighting. They have both been in the same school, same class and had the same teachers for over 6 years so have enjoyed a similar input. The hypothetical child could conceivable pass with a raw score 5 lower than DD who misses by one and I feel that this level of weighting is too high.

I have read articles which state that the older child will have a greater vocabulary than the younger child but surely this is based on far more compelling factors than purely age. Might I suggest the standard of the school, range of abilities in the class, intelligence/attitude (to academia) of the parents amonst many others. I appreciate that it would be very difficult to factor these in, if not impossible.

I agree that age may play a part in a child attaining a higher mark but not to this extent. If this was the case would not SAT's, and even GCSE's benefit from the same system but less of a weighting as the children get older and closer in age (in overall terms).

DD's older sibling was June born and benefited, no doubt, from this system and fortunately passed so it is swings and roundabouts but I do find it hard to accept an exam which can pass a child who scores 5 marks lower than another who fails.

I would be interested to hear the thoughts of your members and I am sorry if this has been discussed before but I am a newbee. Good luck to all those waiting for the 26th November with baited breath.


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 Post subject: Re: Age Weighting
PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 11:33 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8206
Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi Belgarath, and welcome!

It may not be quite as much as 5 marks between September and August, but that is the safety margin.

There is a fair bit of research to show that pupils born in June - August under-achieve compared to their older peers. The Good Schools Guide did a survey of all secondary schools in England a couple of years ago, asking for GCSE attainment by month of birth, and the results were astoundingly consistent, with a sudden drop in results from June.

You should be able to view the article here, although you will need to register on the FT site first: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/0b055ef0-d8f2 ... ck_check=1

You can read a rather sketchy article along the same lines in the Telegraph:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/40 ... ldren.html

As that article mentions, there are still quite a few schools in Bucks who have a staggered entry, with some children not starting school until January or even Easter. They have therefore had one or even two terms less education.

Finally, having been the youngest in my class (born on the last day of the school year) throughout school, I can say that it made a big difference to me until at least my mid-teens, because I was terribly aware of how much more mature the girls born in September and October of the previous year were, especially at the age of 10 or 11. (They wore a bra and I didn't!) Assuming that the brain also develops at the same rate as the rest of you, a late August born child taking the 11+ is nearly 10% younger than a September born child, so weighting their score by 6.25% is actually less than the disadvantage they are at. (That's a new pet theory, folks! :D )

My starter for ten - enjoy!

Sally-Anne


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 Post subject: Re: Age Weighting
PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:57 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:45 pm
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Also, am I correct in thinking that children are only actually compared to all the others born in the same month as them? Then the jiggery pockery is done with the standard curve, so presumably as a group the September borns do better. I'm not sure I'm expressing this very well, but for example 20% of the August borns scored 70/80, you might find that 30% of the September borns did, so you are only comparing like with like and assuming that as the August cohort in general are scoring lower, than is because they are younger and should catch up later and be just as suitable for a grammar school education.

Or am I talking rubbish?!


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 Post subject: Re: Age Weighting
PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 11:12 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2005 12:49 pm
Posts: 1647
Location: berkshire
scary mum wrote:
Also, am I correct in thinking that children are only actually compared to all the others born in the same month as them? Then the jiggery pockery is done with the standard curve, so presumably as a group the September borns do better. I'm not sure I'm expressing this very well, but for example 20% of the August borns scored 70/80, you might find that 30% of the September borns did, so you are only comparing like with like and assuming that as the August cohort in general are scoring lower, than is because they are younger and should catch up later and be just as suitable for a grammar school education.

Or am I talking rubbish?!


I believe you are correct....... If, for instance, in a particular cohort of children the August born children (overall) scored the same as the September born children then there would be no difference in the standardised score...

This is only my interpretation from trying to understand standardisation so feel free to contradict. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Age Weighting
PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 11:18 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2009 6:19 pm
Posts: 517
Location: bucks
the thing i don't get is why pick on age i supect there will be sex differences so why not standardise for this and more controversially what about any other factors known to affect results


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 Post subject: Re: Age Weighting
PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 11:25 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8206
Location: Buckinghamshire
Back in the mists of time the results were actually adjusted to give extra marks to boys.


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 Post subject: Re: Age Weighting
PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:39 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 9:14 am
Posts: 66
I have been reading this thread with interest.

Had my own DC been born just a few days later, then she would be in year 5 now and a "September" born child.

She would also be able to wait another year before she took the 11 plus. That's another year of reading (to help the VR), another year to get to grips with the more difficult mathematical concepts and another year to perfect her creative writing skills.

In my view, this would be worth rather more than 6%!


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 Post subject: Re: Age Weighting
PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 8:52 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 11, 2010 5:57 pm
Posts: 36
One aspect of Belgarath's post that I have a lot of sympathy with is the expectation that any child needs to score 73/80 to "pass" an exam, this is 91.25% and allows no margin for errors or silly mistakes (particularly for September borns). It means that guesses could be more crucial than in many other exams.

I wonder if the Council could make the exam tougher, widen the scoring and make the absolute "pass mark" lower with less pupils on the borderline.


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 Post subject: Re: Age Weighting
PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 10:18 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2010 6:55 pm
Posts: 247
Out of interest, why were more marks awarded to boys in the past? I appreciate the age standardisation now, even though it might work against my October born DD.

I agree that it would make more sense to change the system such that there is a wider pass window - and that one silly mistake doesn't make such a pass/fail difference? It would be interesting to know how raw score marks are distributed between 121 and 141 but I guess it is hard to collate this info?


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 Post subject: Re: Age Weighting
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 8:53 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2010 8:26 am
Posts: 6
tiredmumof2 wrote:
I have been reading this thread with interest.

Had my own DC been born just a few days later, then she would be in year 5 now and a "September" born child.

She would also be able to wait another year before she took the 11 plus. That's another year of reading (to help the VR), another year to get to grips with the more difficult mathematical concepts and another year to perfect her creative writing skills.

In my view, this would be worth rather more than 6%!


Tiredmumof2

I fully understand your point but look at it this way. Had you DC been at my DD's school they would of had exactly the same school input, that is 6 years and the start of the autumn term. You could say that my DD had to hang around a year before her education started. Any input would of had to have been parent generated which brings me back to my original point that surely there are other more compelling factors than age to base a handicap on.

I suppose as a compromise I agree with Jules 17 & Bucksdaddy in that a wider spread of marks would be fairer so that one or two silly mistakes would not possibly cost an early born the chance of a GS education. Perhap s return to the accumulated score of both exams would be good.


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