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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 9:35 pm 
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How have children coped moving from a primary to a grammar in respect of no longer being top of the class?

Obviously some children will still be top at their GS but a lot won't. My son loves being one of the best and top of the class and wondered how children who have been in this position in primary school adjust to being just "average" in a GS class.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 9:38 pm 
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He can still be top but he needs to keep his foot on the pedal and not ease back now that the exams are over. I know of plenty of students still enjoying improving their skills. Nobody needs to be just average but they need to enjoy pitting their wits against the rest of the class. DG


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 9:51 pm 
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Quote:
they need to enjoy pitting their wits against the rest of the class


NO - I disagree - being at a GS is not about competition and getting to the top.

It's about developing your potential as a student and human being ...


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 10:04 pm 
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My boy who's now in Yr9 is top in some subjects, middle in others, and towards the bottom of the class in one. It reflects his ability, interests and to be honest his effort. He needs to find what inspires him.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 6:46 am 
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Daogroupie wrote:
Nobody needs to be just average... DG
Not true of course - 50% of a class will be average or below average.

Agree with G55 - there is no need to turn school into any more of a competition than it already is. If my kids have any idea where they are situated in any class, then they've never shared it with me. When they are studying about 10 subjects the chances are they will be good at some, average at others and pretty rubbish at one or two as well. If a child's sense of self-esteem is built around being 'top of the class' it is very fragile - research has shown that children who feel this way are less likely to be successful later on as they take fewer risks - a necessary part of high achievement. Best to start debunking the myth of 'being top' as early as possible in my view and concentrate as G55 says on more human values. And learning that we are all good at some things and less good at others is a very handy value to have as you go through life as it marks the beginnings of empathy and compassion.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 6:59 am 
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My daughter commented about this and said that she loves not being relied on to always be the person who can answer all the questions. I think she feels the pressure of having to stay top of the class has been lifted and shared with a joint expectation for everyone in the class to do well. She is very happy at her new GS! Long may it last!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 7:23 am 
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I've just read Mindset by Carol Dweck. It compares those with a fixed mindset who judge themselves by being the best, and those with a growth mindset who see their 'failures' as something to be worked on. It's meant I've reminded my kids of one simple word 'yet'. Rather than 'I can't do decimals, it's too difficult for me' we now have 'I can't do decimals yet'.

I was that child at the top of the class for many years. When I was at school, for me it was always about being the best. For my kids I want them to feel they are being their best. It's a subtle but important difference for me.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 7:37 am 
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The sporty kids won't neccessarily be top banana any more either, but they will learn sportsmanship.

The trouble with putting your foot on the pedal is you don't have time to look round at the view, it's ok to slow down and nice to let someone out in front of you some days.

I also whole heartedly agree, no one is brilliant at everything...with the apparent exception of ranulph fiennes, who is just annoying! :lol:

They find what they like best and are good at and tend to excell in those subjects and do extra research whilst the less favoured subjects get the minimum to keep them out of trouble with teach and parents.

Agree with red velvet growth theory too, if it cones too easy there is no desire to expand, or even search for alternatives.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 7:54 am 
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RedVelvet wrote:
I've just read Mindset by Carol Dweck. It compares those with a fixed mindset who judge themselves by being the best, and those with a growth mindset who see their 'failures' as something to be worked on. It's meant I've reminded my kids of one simple word 'yet'. Rather than 'I can't do decimals, it's too difficult for me' we now have 'I can't do decimals yet'.

I was that child at the top of the class for many years. When I was at school, for me it was always about being the best. For my kids I want them to feel they are being their best. It's a subtle but important difference for me.


Well said. Red velvet you might enjoy Bounce by Matthew Syed too, which fits in beautifully with the growth/fixed mindset theory.
Makes perfect sense, and as the proud mum of boy twins, one of whom veers strongly into fixed and the other veers pretty strongly into growth I can really see how it impacts on risk taking and self esteem. Both are very high achievers, one struggles far more with tackling things he 'cannot do yet', hence lots of maths 'shutters down' moments despite glowing reports from maths teacher. Very interesting.
And as most have said, really no need or requirement to be top of here class. I am proud to be an 'intelligent average', used to earn lots of beans (if that's what you want) and I don't feel constantly under pressure to prove myself. It's a life skill, learning that you always do your best but sometimes you just won't be 'up there' and that's fine.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 9:09 am 
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Thank you all for your replies. Interesting to hear differing points of view although what comes across is I am worrying over nothing!!

In life generally I am a very laid back person but choosing secondary schools in my opinion has been the hardest decision I have ever had to make (must have had an easy life up till now!!).


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