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 Post subject: Grammar School Education
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:20 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2011 9:16 am
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Apologies if going over old ground...

DD settling in well at GS and although I'm quite up to speed with the 11+ process, am quite a bit behind when it comes to actual educational life at GS. Obviously I'm roughly aware of how the curriculum is followed for her particular school but I've already noticed some examples of homework etc that IMO look quite difficult for a new yr 7, more on a yr 8/9 par, of course could just be me and my lack of knowledge :lol: How does it work then? Do GS's generally follow exactly the same curriculum at the same time as the DC in other secondaries, whether a GS or not?

I think DD is taught as a form for at least a year - is it likely there may be subtle 'top/middle sets' etc within that form -or is it assumed all DC are kind of at the same level? I'm still of the opinion many inherently bright DC may not qualify for the 11+ on the day for whatever reason, and vice versa perhaps some very over tutored do - but may just not have that innate ability? Do GS children all learn pretty much at the same standard?

Wonder how other yr 7's/parents are finding the level of homework in these early days?


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:45 am 
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I have to say last year when DD started at her GS I did not know what homework was most if the time - she just seemed to get on with it. I think we had a couple of panics when she got stuck with some maths that DP helped sort out and then she forgot a history essay she needed to get in and we helped with that.
DS has just started and it is totally different- DS is dyspraxic so not so organised and has total block on creative writing so has been in a right panic not knowing what to do for an essay he has been given to write- I have contacted the SENCO as i knew this was going to be DS's issue so hope to get some help with that. I have deciphered his timetable into something we can both understand. Maths seems fine but too easy according to DS and is always the first bit of heomwork he will do. The worst part seems to be having to decorate & sticky back plastic all his exercise books- ..... dyspraxia and sticky back plastic do not mix!


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:51 am 
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Every grammar school organises themselves differently in terms of which subjects they set for, or do not set for, and the years in which they start the setting. Academies have slightly different requirements re. The national curriculum than v a and community schools.

I would hope that grammar children were getting harder work in year 7 than bottom set in a non-selective. One might expect top sets in a true comprehensive to work at similar standards to grammar schools.

There is no set answer; schools do have quite a few freedoms as well as certain things that have to be done.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:05 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 1:05 pm
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Location: Reading
For us it's the change in style of homework.
After years of primary getting, for instance, worksheets of maths questions or a list of sentences to make more interesting, DD is now getting homework that she has to think about how she will tackle.
Like RS homework. What 5 things do you think a Martian would need to help understand Christmas. In theory a 5 minute job, but in practise she took forever thinking about it.
Geography homework, one of the questions was 'what is geography?' The process of actually looking it up hadn't crossed her mind.
None of the homework she has had has been particularly hard, it's just getting used to not being spoonfed (and that mum won't spoon feed either :lol: ) and realising that she has to research more and do some thinking. As it is she seems to spend ages on homework that she could probably do in half the time.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:11 pm 
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Location: Warwickshire
Dd2 is in her first term at gs. She has two older siblings at comp, one has stayed in top stream, the other is less academic and in a middle stream. Her friends mostly went to the comp, now in year 7.

I am rather shocked to discover (girls have compared planners) that she has less homework than the comp. They get fourteen lots a week; she gets twelve. She is very happy about that. :roll:

But come to the subjects and now (very early days) they are doing very much the same things, which is the same things that my oldest two dc did in year 7. Covering books, learning grammar, same in history and science.

I think the work is very similar, but the comp don't do Latin or Philosophy & Religion or Spanish in year 7 - although they do German.

DC17C, my dd2 isn't dyspraxic, but has dreadful problems with sticky back plastic! and so do I!

She also has a block on writing. She would happily sit and do reams of maths, or science, but she has had to do a few spider diagrams, and "finish writing". She always does the minimum. It's not always laziness, sometimes I think she just does not know what to do. I am sure she'll get used to it.

countrymum, glad your dd is settling in well. I don't think the work would be much different. I think they do follow the same curriculum. Doubtless someone will come along to correct me - I too would like to know.

Sorry, Tinkers, crossed with your post. After years of making dd2 do her homework, she is now doing it, but she too has problems with abstract questions exactly like what is geography. Having older siblings helps - she had to do a spider diagram of her favourite country, they just rattled off to draw its continent, neighbours, ocean, climate, rainfall, produce, population .... she did it. She needs to learn. But like you (I haven't spoonfed but have had to force her just to do any homework) I'm not helping any more, other than checking it is just done.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:16 pm 
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it's nice to hear we're not alone in our thoughts. My dd seems to do the same thing - she seems to have a mental block as soon as homework is given. Homework that is minutes long is a long drawn out process taking double the time. Hoping she'll learn to manage her time and expectations of the task(s) without the need for me to spoon feed her :)


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:33 pm 
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Thanks for the replies - DC17C - I don't think it is just your DS with organisational needs, my DD requires much 'gentle support' (read that as kick up the derriere) from the sidelines! She's a keen writer/reader and they tend to be known for being a bit wayward with their organisation, loose papers everywhere for example. Also she's one of those everything last minute type people - so I do have to gently remind (tapping watch) her about homework. She's getting better with practise :) Oh my - those sticky back plastic requirements - DD is quite particular and they had to be done just so, with certain patterns for different books. Muggins here seemed to be very 'hands on' regarding that delightful job :roll: Does anyone enjoy it?

I suppose its hard to be too specific as like all schools they work differently etc - I guess I was of the thinking (right or wrong) that like mystery says, she's in a class that would ordinarily be the 'top set' children in a comprehensive. How does it work for different subjects though - can you get a brilliant mathematician but very weak in English - or are GS DC generally good at everything :lol: Yes Tinkers, her homework is certainly getting her thinking - she's happy to be left to it but I've told her to ask if there's something she doesnt understand etc. Of course I couldn't resist taking a peek - went right over my head :oops:

Ginx - Sounds like your DD is getting on marvelously!


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:18 pm 
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Location: Essex
DD transferred from a comprehensive to a GS just before the end of last term (yr7). She finds it interesting that she has covered at least one topic in maths that her new classmates haven't. She did have a very keen maths teacher who liked to push the top stream, but of course there is the worry that she will eventually find that there is something which they covered in year 7 at the GS that she hasn't...

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 7:07 pm 
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Location: Birmingham
Countrymum,I like sticky back plastic :shock: as I have become an expert - our primary school insisted we cover books. I take great pride in bubble-free and crinkle-free covers. I am sad enough to ask my children whether the precision had been noted by anyone - it usually isn't though :x

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 8:44 pm 
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My dc is finding the transition to senior school homework slightly difficult. This evening, he went to his bedroom quite happily to do it, but then only wanted to do one subject. Like someone else said, the work set is intrinsically not too difficult, but he seems a little overawed as to what is expected.

No sticky back plastic has been requested in this household yet, although we have done posters.


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