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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 12:38 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 11:55 am
Posts: 198
Although my daughter is applying for a grammer school she is also applying to two comprehensive schools in London. I notice that all London schools make children sit a "banding" test to see if they are above average, average or below. I just wondered if anyone could tell me what these consist of - are they VR/NR, maths and english or what? I have also read elsewhere that children who do really well in SATS might be selected for special lessons/courses at Secondary School (my daughter's current school is independent and does not do SATS). Does anyone know if this is the case in London?


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 9:05 pm 
The 'special courses' might have referred to the 'gifted and talented' (G&T) programme, an idea imported from the US. This requires schools to identify pupils with 'special talents' in academic and non-academic areas (sport/music/art) - on the basis of SATs, teacher recommendation, parent recommendation (!), etc. There are courses and summer schools for these students. See www.nagty.ac.uk.

All slightly dubious in my opinion. Does it leave those pupils not chosen with the feeling that they are neither 'gifted' nor 'talented' in anything?

Alternatively, the 'bands' might have referred to setting. I was quite surprised that my daughter came back on the second day of her new comprehensive saying she was in the 'top maths group'. As this was their first ever Maths lesson, the 'groups' must have been compiled on the basis of key stage 2 SATs results. Time will tell if the setting is provisional and further testing will occur.

Whether setting or G&T, there is probably not much to be gained by trying to second guess in advance what might happen to an individual pupil at at an individual school.

Jed


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 10:38 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2005 11:33 pm
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Location: London, South Brent
Hi, Nou,

This is an example of one struggling state school which uses “banding” to quickly improve its test results.
“Banding” looks like making a school truly comprehensive, but I doubt it.
There’re always bigger proportions of under achieving kids in deprived inner city area.
Banding system is very much likely squeeze out these difficult kids, which leaves them no school to go.
I’m afraid I don’t know how they pick children from each ability-band.
It’s better to be top of middle-band than bottom of top-band??

“Banding: A fairer admissions system? “
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/4365238.stm


I wonder why independent prep school doesn’t do SAT’s.
Is it because majority of pupils stay in private and not bothered?
Private Secondary Schools do Key Stage 3 SAT’s, otherwise they won’t be able to publish “Value Added Score”.

Good luck :P


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 9:59 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 11:55 am
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Thanks for that! Very interesting. I was worried that my daughter might be disadvantaged and placed in a lower band by not doing SATS/National Curriculum but I now see that there are lots of other things to worry about!

I also note that some admissions practises that schools such as Lady Margaret in Fulham operate (i.e. report from primary school about support from parents etc) will no longer be possible once the new admissions code comes in. I wonder how much this "covert" selection has influenced their good results!

My daughter's school say they don't do SATS because they prepare kids for the Common Entrance instead. My daughter's previous state school has really good SATS results and is considered one of the best; but we know it has an epidemic problem of bullying and kids have even been caught with Class A drugs at the school!


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