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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 9:22 pm 
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How do socially and academically selective private schools manage to get only 80% or thereabouts of their pupils achieving A* and As. Are they really all that they are cracked up to be?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 9:27 pm 
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Which schools are you referring to? I think there are some that get a higher pass rate than that, could you be more specific about which schools you're looking at?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 9:35 pm 
You could say the same for GS. But it depends on the schools and the exams they take. Most independents choose to sit IGCSE which are harder exams with no coursework corrections to boost the grade and if a child sits the exam early then it is classed as a fail. So it is actually many state schools that have inaccurate inflated results. If you're talking about the major boarding schools then a pupils day is packed and there is much more to a boarding school than academia - I'm surprised they do so well given the vast amount of other stuff they do. Then you have foreign students who may be very bright but would find it difficult to gain A's in subjects that require a lot of written English.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 9:41 pm 
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An early GCSE is not a fail - it can be counted -

It's very difficult to compare GS as some select the top 5% and some the top third - quite different intakes.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 9:42 pm 
Hopefully they've changed the league tables but it was a fail for a very long time when they were supplied by the government.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 9:45 pm 
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Not if the school knows what its doing! It's been like that for as long as I've been teaching ... and that is a loooong time :lol: :lol:


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 9:46 pm 
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It's very difficult to compare GS as some select the top 5% and some the top third - quite different intakes.


Yes but even the super selectives do not get much higher than 80% and I think most GS are still more selective than the vast majority of selective independent schools. There are only a small number of inde's that are more selective than most GS.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 9:50 pm 
I think we (and I) are missing the point. Just because you're bright does not mean you will get good grades. There will always be % that shouldn't have got in to both inde and GS and then there will be rebellious kids, sick kids or family issues with some children. OH father walked out the night of his A'level and his brother's GCSE exams. Unsurprisingly they dropped grades! :(


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 9:53 pm 
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Tipsy - don't give me that old chestnut about the IGCSE. Some of them are not more difficult than the GCSE, only different - I know independent schools pick the IGCSE because their pupils find it easier.; besides most private schools still do mostly GCSE and A levels. GS of course virtually all teach GCSES.

More generally, with selective intakes and the dumbing down of GCSE's why only 80% or less in some cases. Is it because their selective recruitment process is flawed to the extent than 1 in 5 kids are not that bright. Is is because the pupils burn out and switch off. Or is it that the teaching in some of these indpendent schools is average at best.

The best comprehensive schools achieve as good or near as good outcomes as GS and indpendents. So what are the indpendents doing with all the money?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 10:00 pm 
Ealingmum - it depends what exam body you are talking about. Cambridge IGCSE'S are harder than any GCSE but the edexcel one is a joke and not generally taken by inde's. You also mentioned the selective schools and they do sit the IGCSE's, and as I said they cannot redo work to inflate the grade. Give me examples of the schools you're talking about.

No selective system can be perfect when choosing pupils but if you don't want me to give you the IGCSE chestnut you will have to acknowledge that GCSE's are hard and therefore even in the most selective schools not everyone can pass.

There is much more to inde's than exam results so of course the top ones (and many others) are all they are cracked up to be - and more. In fact they are viewed as some of the best schools in the world.


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