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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:05 pm 
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Just been browsing the Daily Telegraph's A level league tables for state schools, and am interested to see that several of the Gloucestershire grammars appear to perform significantly less well than some local comprehensives when it comes to 'A' levels. I wonder why? HSFG didn't submit results (?) but Crypt, Marling and Ribston seem to do worse than, for example, Balcarras and Cleeve.

I always assume league tables are to be taken with a huge pinch of salt but wondered what others think might have led to this apparent phenomenon?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/le ... hools.html


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:34 pm 
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In Bucks there is a huge difference in the grade requirements for entry to sixth forms - some Upper School (Secondary moderns) ask for the same grades as some of the Grammars.

In Maths the entry requirement vary enormously - this must affect results regardless of the quality of teaching.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:37 pm 
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I was wondering the same Amber. DD's comp has performed better than two of the 4 Grammars in our neighbouring borough at A level and the same happened the last 2 years (when I started looking at results, tables etc). Could it be that a number of top performing students at GCSE move for 6th form to the superselectives leaving a more equal pool of students at the comps and non-SS GSs? At DD's comp, students have to meet certain criteria to stay on/ join so the level of ability is likely to be on a more even footing with the GSs. I also think it's possible that the standard of teaching can be greater at a comp by virtue of the fact that the teachers are teaching all ability groups (but am prepared to be shot down on that one by the teachers amongst you!)

Another reason may be that good results attract good students - hence the trend continues.....


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:06 pm 
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I know of one GS which almost doubles its year group size at sixth form and is taking people in on more or less the same basis as two local sixthform colleges.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:21 pm 
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But presumably there is still a 'core' of students who have been in the school from Year 7, and who were selected on the basis of what was considered to be academic potential? One would have thought these would ensure high results, whatever dilution factor could be blamed on a loose admissions policy to sixth form? Here, we only have superselectives, so the movement between grammars must be limited at sixth form. Don't know...I wonder whether the 11 plus might be a good enough predictor of attainment at GCSE but is less good at predicting who will do well at 'A' level, which requires far more in the way of higher order skills, and by which time also I imagine personality starts to play a much greater role in likely diligence?

Bondgirl, I agree about the possibility of teaching playing a part. I know several teachers who won't on ethical grounds work in GSs, and it isn't necessarily the case that the 'best' teachers want to teach in GSs. Not ranking myself as one of the best, but personally I wouldn't want to work in a selective environment as I prefer the challenge of mixed ability teaching and indeed working with challenging children. I imagine (also prepared to be shot down) that if children are all very intelligent, and come from the highly supportive families likely to find themselves consumers of GS, the job of a teacher in helping them to higher grades at GCSE might be more straightforward than in a diverse comprehensive. By A level, the influence of parents starts to lessen, and children are more independent in their studies, or lack of them.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:02 pm 
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.


Last edited by Belinda on Sat Nov 03, 2012 6:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:24 pm 
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The ability mix at the comprehensive will be improved by the fact that those unlikely to get A levels will have left or not taking A Levels, so you are not comparing the same cohort at A Level compared with GCSE.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:21 pm 
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I wonder does this occur because some of the subjects taken at A level are what's termed 'soft'? The grammars tend to concentrate their pupils efforts on academically rigorous subjects, or 'facilitating' subjects (science, maths etc.) because the top universities have a habit of turning down pupils who opt for 'soft' options. The Telegraph does not mention which A's were taken into account and so, in effect, it is like comparing eggs with cheese.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-13761153 I think this nicely sums up what I am talking about.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:45 pm 
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That makes interesting reading EE.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 1:22 pm 
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Obviously not all pupils want to apply for Uni. However, the Russell Group of Uni's have published guidelines advising students on which subjects they best veer towards should they wish to gain a place on certain courses.

http://www.russellgroup.ac.uk/media/inf ... latest.pdf


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