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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 5:07 pm 
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What do you think of them? I have glanced at the list in the Sunday papers (of course only schools that have submitted so far) which gives percentage of passes at A and B grades. The Kent grammars (superselectives and TWGGS excepted) do not look particularly exciting.

What do you think?


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2009 10:47 am 
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I think the answer to your question is in what you say about superselectives excepted. As that is where the greatest concentration of ability lies, then the other grammars have a much wider spread of ability (you only have to get approx 50% of the exams right to gain a place), hence a less impressive league table position - although they are all excellent schools. However, you can bet that those in the top streams of these schools are gaining just as good grades as those in the superselectives and that is why the whole league table thing is so misleading - there are just less of these students in the overall cohort than at a superselective. I would never judge a school simply on these exam results as there are rarely two schools that can really be compared equally to each other, as their students cohorts and entrance criteria differ widely.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2009 11:14 am 
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It would also be very interesting to see which subjects are being taken in schools, I read an article recently, not sure where but suspect that it was in the Times or TES, that inferred that some schools encourage their pupils to take "softer" subjects at A'level than others.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2009 9:39 pm 
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Yes, I am sure this is happening in some schools nationally, although more likely in the comprehensives. This had become a problem with the GCSE's, hence the percentage of 5 A-C passes now have to include maths and english.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2009 10:14 am 
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I was looking at the tables just for A' level in the Times / Telegraph for 2009 results.

Not all the schools are in it, as it is just those that have chosen to submit their results to these newspapers for these particular tables. The tables showed percentage of A level entries at A and A and B grades.

You could be right that it at the grammar schools pupils happen to be taking subjects which a lower percentage of pupils get As and A and B grades at A level.

But I'm not sure that this is the explanation. Some of the perceived "easy" subjects have lower percentage of people getting A grades than many of the traditionally "hard" subjects. e.g. media studies has a much lower percentage getting A grades at A level than many of the more traditional A levels. I don't think that the Kent grammar schools have loads of people doing media studies who are dragging down their percentage A and B grades.

There must be some other reasons - either in how the statistics are done. Or maybe there is no reason why Kent grammar school A level results should be any better than average. It is only a certain percentage of the population that sit A' levels. So maybe one should not expect the A level results to be any different from average at Kent grammar schools as a whole. This to me could be a reasonable conclusion. But the thing that concerned me more was that (super-selectives excepted) I got the impression from the tables (and this could well be a false impression as these tables are not complete) that Kent grammars are as a whole possible doing worse than average when compared with all schools nationally.

Anyone got any thoughts, or better data on this?


Personal information is that I live in Kent, and was aiming for the grammar school system, pass scores in the future permitting, but this is making me wonder if really I should be heading out of Kent.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2009 8:39 pm 
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I totally appreciate your thoughts. Looking at league tables can be baffling and should be done with caution especially if it makes you think of re-locating. I think you'll find that most of the top 50 or so schools in the league tables tend to be the superselectives, or comprehensives within a non-grammar locality. There are only 164 grammars in the country, amongst a much larger number of secondary schools. It may appear that a number of the non-selectives show to be doing better than some of the grammars, but, as I said, these tend to be in non-selective areas where the percentage of able students is much larger than in Kent comprehensives, where we have the majority of grammars to take the most able. One thing is for certain, that the grammar schools within the West Kent area that are not superselective will have their results affected by the superselectives. However, an able student can do just as well in any of them. It would be wrong to look at a top school and think they could work their magic on any student. Usually, these schools have the most able students in the first place and should, therefore, be expected to be achieving good results. I feel there is only so far you can raise the outcomes of a less able student and schools with wide ability ranges will never be at the top of the league table. They can still be excellent school though. I also feel that softer subjects should not be devalued as we need all kinds of students heading out into the future workplace and not just accountants, doctors, lawyers, etc.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 8:38 am 
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I just wanted to say that my sentiments are exactly the same as kentmum's.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 10:34 am 
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Hear hear!


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