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 Post subject: KS3 in two years
PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 11:08 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2005 3:47 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Berks,Bucks
My son's school do the KS3 in two years instead of three. Pupils take the KS3 SATS in year 8 instead of year 9, and then get an extra year to prepare for GCSEs.

I have assumed so far that it was common practice in grammar schools, but have discovered that it may not be the case.

Has anyone else got children in a school , of heard of a school that do the KS3 in two years?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 2:06 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2006 4:07 pm
Posts: 2660
Dear Catherine

Yes, I had not heard about this until you mentioned it to me recently...

My new knowledge tells me that it is a pilot scheme that some schools across the counry have 'signed up for......follows an extract from a school that is participating......makes perfect sence to me.
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The Key Stage 3 Curriculum (Years 7 – 9) ¬

From September 2005 students joining King Alfred’s in Year 7 will cover the KS3 National Curriculum in two years rather than three. This will be achieved in a variety of ways, but particularly by being more efficient in our teaching, and making sure that the pace of work is maintained right across the key stage.

We are shortening KS3 because like many schools nationally we have concerns about the three year programme.

We want to maintain the momentum from Year 6 to Year 7 and to capitalise on the students’ willingness to work. We want to avoid the decline in motivation that seems to happen nationally in Year 8. A shorter, sharper KS3 will help.

We are unhappy about the distortion of the curriculum by KS3 testing, which is more about assessing schools than their students. We believe the emphasis should be on GCSE and higher qualifications that relate directly to future progression and employability. We want to shift the balance of the curriculum so that students have more time for GCSE and advanced courses.

The National agenda requires us to deliver a more personalised curriculum to our students, and to enable them to attend lessons that are right for their ability rather than their age. This requires more flexibility in the later years of school. We will be able to offer a wider range of vocational courses that will add breadth to the curriculum of the whole cohort, including those embarking on a traditional academic path.

The DfES has recognised these concerns and sponsored a number of pilot projects across the country; ambitious and progressive schools nationwide have been encouraged to raise achievement by shortening KS3 in this and other ways. The curriculum now on offer in Year 7 was recommended to the Governors because the Leadership Team believe that it offers students unprecedented opportunities in terms of the range and quality of qualifications that they will gain. In turn the college should become one of the most successful comprehensive schools in the country.
_____________________________________

Interesting .....

Patricia


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 4:44 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 9:10 pm
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Location: Lincolnshire
One of the very successful comprehensive schools in our area has done KS3 in two years for a few years now. My daughter's Grammar just does English in the 2 years - they said that practically all of their children had gained the maximum level 7 by end of year 8 and they felt it more useful to extend the curriculum and move on than to "mark time".


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 Post subject: Re: KS3 in two years
PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 9:41 am 
Catherine wrote:
My son's school do the KS3 in two years instead of three. Pupils take the KS3 SATS in year 8 instead of year 9, and then get an extra year to prepare for GCSEs.

I have assumed so far that it was common practice in grammar schools, but have discovered that it may not be the case.

Has anyone else got children in a school , of heard of a school that do the KS3 in two years?



My daughters grammar school does the KS3 Sats in Year 8. She is only in year 7 at the moment and I was worried that it was going to be a year earlier than most schools. However, she has already gone up one leve in english and maths as shown in assessment tests she has done, so I feel a bit more relaxed about it now. The fact that she will have 3 years to prepare for GCSE's is, in my opinion, great.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 10:08 am 
I hope that GCSE's are altered if this is to become the norm - my daughter found her GCSE courses stultifying. The thought of them lasting three rather than two years would have horrified her.

I hope that the additional time is well utilised to add more variety and interest to the work required as well as expanding on topics beyond the level required.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 1:01 pm 
This approach just seems like someones using, plain old common sense. :)

Especially if children are leaving yr6 with level 5's. Alot of schools in our area consistently get 50%+ lvl 5's in science.
To then have to bide 3yrs before they are expected to reach level 5/6 at KS3, must get exceedingly boring and demotivating the children, succeeding in turning them off of studying.

An easier paced 3yrs for GCSE course work would be far more desirable, and probably more cost productive in the long run.

BW


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 7:14 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2005 3:47 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Berks,Bucks
forest wrote:
I hope that GCSE's are altered if this is to become the norm - my daughter found her GCSE courses stultifying. The thought of them lasting three rather than two years would have horrified her.

I hope that the additional time is well utilised to add more variety and interest to the work required as well as expanding on topics beyond the level required.


In my son's school, pupils will be able to take their GCSEs in year 10 or 11 depending whether they are ready or not. It they take their GCSEs early, they can use the last year to work on various other subjects such as critical thinking.


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