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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 12:59 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2007 12:02 pm
Posts: 149
Location: Birkenhead
How interesting!
Quote from BBC news

Looked at over the five years since the Curriculum 2000 changes to the form of A-levels were made, the proportion of entries from independent and selective schools awarded an A has increased by about six percentage points.

This was double the rate of improvement in the majority of state schools.

Why?
What do we all think?
Any of the below?

More child centred teaching methods?
More extensive curriculum?
Brighter kids?
Kids more savvy regerding prospects?
Higher expectations from teachers/parents?

Personally I think it's got something to do with parental involvement and support rapidly followed by more confident kids with high esteem thinking thay can achieve anything

This is why we want to send our children to Grammar schools-why do the politicians want to take them away from us?

Hopeful Den

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Denise J


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 1:14 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2005 12:49 pm
Posts: 1647
Location: berkshire
Parental support must be a factor.
Unfortunately there is also the fact that although 'comprehensive' schools should stream by ability this is not always the case.
Teaching to the middle of a wide ability range will obviously not support the 'more able' to achieve the higher grades.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 1:33 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2005 3:47 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Berks,Bucks
It could be a mix, and I was thinking of another factor:

The brightest kids are those who may get a A grade. The proportion of bright kids is higher in grammars and independent schools, so there is a larger proprtion that can potentially improve.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 3:08 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
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Teachers are 'on the ball' about resits - we have a spreadsheet where pupils can work out how much they have to improve to get an A if they do poorly on one module . Probably parents more willing to pay for resits as well ... and get tutors


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 Post subject: Resits
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 8:41 pm 
Sorry to disagree but the quote was based on the results released today, not resits


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 Post subject: A levels
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 9:18 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 2:09 pm
Posts: 875
Location: Solihull, West Midlands
However the final "A Level" grades announced today will reflect any early modules which have been resat - it is quite common for schools to enter pupils in January almost as a "mock" for some papers, so they can resit in June to improve the score if necessary. Part of the improvement in pass rates/ A grades must be due to this - also the fact that pupils can take an extra subject in Year 12 to AS and then drop their weakest subject.

Just want to slightly disagree with the emphasis of some of the earlier press comment quoted here. If you look at the figures, the proportion of entries overall gaining A grades has risen |(since 1997 ) from around 16% to 24% overall - around a 50% increase. The proportion in independent schools acheiving A grades has risen from 32% to around 48% - again a 50% rise within that sector. So it could be argued that both sectors have improved their A grades in the same proportion.... What is lacking is any contest of the actual numbers of pupils in different schools, their prior achievement, the numbers "asked to leave" selective/ private 6th forms rather than depress the results etc etc (sorry statistical pedantry alert!)


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 10:05 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
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Location: East Kent
I'm also getting a little fed up with tv reprts comparing grammars to "state schools", the two are not mutually exclusive.

I had to turn teh radio off this morining because of teh reports of how A levels are getting easier. My daughtefr did extremely well, but she worked EXTREMELY hard!


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 11:09 pm 
I too get fed up with reports that the exams are easier - they're different but that doesn't mean they're easier. I'd like to see some of the French A level students in my day write a free essay in French about Voltaire or present an analysis of the pros and cons of alternative energy. Equally some of today's students would have difficulties with the translation exercises we had to undertake - but you can't learn everything.

What has changed is that the top grade includes more than a quarter of the grades awarded. I do agree that more discrimination is needed at the top end and that the A* will probably provide this. We recently had a teenage friend over from Germany who said that only 5% get an 'A' in final school exams. The grade still has the awe that it's lost here. It's not totally fair that the English system awards all students who achieve above 480/600 the same grade.

What does everyone else think?

Geoffrey


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 6:51 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
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Location: East Kent
Absolutely.

There does need to be something to distinguish teh excellent pupils. My daughter has taken 2 advanced extension awards which test a different skill in a subject.

Or maybe go back to the system in which the top x% of teh cohort were awarded A , next Y% B and so on.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 8:07 am 
Can anyone tell me what percentage is an A grade in GCSE.My daughter's tests at the moment are marked in percentage so I am curious to know whether 80% plus for instance is an A grade.
Thanks.


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