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 Post subject: % of 5+ GCSE's at A-C.
PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2006 9:14 pm 
There must be lots of other parents of Year 6 children who are visiting schools in their area like me. I have visited 4 in the last week. Are you taking into account the % getting 5 A-C's at GCSE's?

In my education authority the secondary schools' 2005 % of 5+ GCSE's are as follows:-

1 Mixed "Comprehensive" school (no sixth form) - 19%
7 Single sex or mixed secondary schools (no sixth forms) - 28%, 31%, 38%, 46% (x2) and 55%
1 Catholic comprehensive - with sixth form - 66%
2 Grammar schools - 100%

I cannot believe that the existence of the grammar school affects the results that dramatically as the intake for the grammars is smaller than the average secondary school, and also the grammars do not have a catchment, and take from 4 education authorities.

I consider that, apart from the RC comp, the results are low but I cannot understand why they are. It's not as if it is a particularly deprived area. Can anyone out there share any comparitive info for their area? Am I reading too much into these statistics? People have said to me that I shoudn't worry about the figures, only about my own child's progress. But I actually am concerned about the figures. These are children in our town and I am wondering why so many don't get 5 A-C's. Isn't that the minimum that a future employer would expect?

These figures are publicly available on the DFES website, so I can be open and say that I live in Bournemouth and I am very happy to live here.

Any views would be welcomed - even if it is to say I am placing too much emphasis on this.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 8:08 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8200
Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi Dorset parent,

I looked up the relevant figures for the non-Grammar schools in our area - a heavily selective area of Bucks. The three local comps get 56%, 55% and 35% - the latter does have more social issues than the the first two.

I don't know what the population of Bournemouth is, but I would guess that it isn't far different from the catchment of these three schools. I'm afraid that what you are seeing is the effect of the grammar system anywhere in the country.

Yes, you are right to use the figures as a benchmark of success - what other information could you possibly use, as the objective of education (and what employers want) is results, not just "happy, well-rounded children" - in OFSTED speak - without a qualification to their name.

However, you shouldn't despair, because within those figures are many children who are achieving very well indeed. Those same children might struggle at Grammar School, but rise to the top in a Comprehensive. When looking at schools, take into account the A Level results as well. Once the low-achievers have left at age 16, some of those schools will produce very respectable A Level results, as is the case in our area.

However, if I was in your position and grammar is not an option, I would certainly be fighting like a cat for the best Secondary Modern!

Best wishes
Sally-Anne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 10:35 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2005 3:47 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Berks,Bucks
I had a browse through the schools in you area because I was intrigued by your post.
I do think that the GCSE attainment is a good indication of how good a school is, but I also take the Value Added into consideration as it is a measure of improvement rather than raw results.
In term of value added, the two grammars are very good, but St Peter and Avonbourne have good value added, and Glenmoor is above average (the national average was 975.8 in 2005)

These three schools have better VA than GCSE results. It could be that their pupil intake level is lower than you expect.

But undoubtedly, there are too many schools with a low score and Bounemouth LA is below average in the LAs league table
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/4489000.stm

I suppose that a study of the area would be needed to find out the causes behind it.

If you are interested, here’s a link to an NFER document about the effect of the structure of the secondary education in Slough. Quite interesting, but of course not for your area.
http://www.nfer.ac.uk/publications/othe ... report.pdf

I do hope that your daughter will get where she wants next year.

Best wishes


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 9:13 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8200
Location: Buckinghamshire
Catherine

You are so much more thorough than me! I wouldn't have thought to look at the value added for Bournemouth schools.

Well done!
Sally-Anne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 9:46 pm 
Catherine - thanks for sharing your local results with me. Population of Bournemouth 150,000 at least. The 7 secondary schools do not have sixth forms so I cannot look at A'level results. The intake for the local secondary school is 242, whereas the 2 grammars are only 150- 160 intake per year each. For your comprehensives, what's the intake per year?

Sally Anne - thanks for the links. I've looked at the league table and Bournemouth is depressingly low - just below Tower Hamlets (no disrespect intended to that area). Thanks for that link to the study on education in Slough. I have just read through some of it and it describes the situation in Bournemouth. I am going to print it out and read it. I am most grateful for you locating this. From the look of it, I guess it will conclude that grammars get better results, followed by comprehensives then secondary moderns. But I don't have the option of a comprehensive.
Thanks for your comments on value added - another tool. I think NFER should do a similar study on Bournemouth.

I know I am fortunate in living in the catchment for the best secondary modern results wise, but it doesn't stop me being concerned about my town's schools and wondering why we are performing worse than our neighbouring education authorities.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 11:22 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2005 3:47 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Berks,Bucks
I got quite interested in the state of education after having been through the 11+ last year. I was quite shocked to discover how important it is for parents to be clued up about the system ...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 11:32 am 
Catherine wrote:
I got quite interested in the state of education after having been through the 11+ last year. I was quite shocked to discover how important it is for parents to be clued up about the system ...


Likewise Catherine. My son took his 11+ this year and I was a oblivious to the fact that it is up the parents to find out the facts about secondary education etc :roll:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 11:57 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:12 pm
Posts: 1300
Location: Birmingham
Have read this thread with some interest.

Whilst I think it's ok to compare schools in terms of their GCSE performance, I think it's completely meaningless to use A levels as a fair comparision of school performance for the following reasons.

Most Grammars have very strict rules regarding GCSE targets that pupils have to achieve to stay on into the 6th Form. Usually this means if you don't get A grades in the subjects you want to study at AS/A level then you haven't a chance of staying on. 4 grade As at GCSE is normally the minimum requirement, 6 grade As is not uncommon.

Having culled year 11 - they then cream-off the best performing pupils form the Comprehensive or Independent Schools.

It's not usual for the top Grammars to demand at least 6 A*s at GCSE for external pupils who want to come in to the 6th form. There is no shortage of takers.

Most Grammar heads are very smart and know that league table performance is the main measure, but also that within the DfES ratings, A level performance gets a much higher weighting - hence the cull.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying that the quality of teaching in Grammars isn't very good or excellent - but if you have weeded out all of your poorer performing pupils at GCSE and replaced them with outstanding pupils, from external Comprehensives or Independent Schools, then you are bound to get great results.

GCSE results are a much better measure of performance based on the original raw intake at year 7.

Strangely enough, a pupil from a moderate Comprehensive who gets 6+ A*s might actually do better to stay on at the Comprehensive. Bright kids who get excellent GCSEs and A levels from a Comprehensive will probably get much better offers from the top University's than pupils from top Grammars where 80%+ get grade As at A level.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:41 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2006 4:07 pm
Posts: 2660
Dear Ken

Totally in agreement, although Bucks grammars are not so 'fussy' on the As for GCSE......there is still a minimum number of points required, Bs in the subjects wanted at A level and of course the obligitory Maths and English.

Your last paragraph is so poignant.....and agree profusely [2 big words in one sentence!......something our children need to know to pass the 11 plus...but vocab is another story!]

Patricia


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 9:57 am 
Just to respond to the comments regarding the alternatives to grammar in Bournemouth. I started looking for a school for my son in Bournemouth a couple of years ago and I will need to find a school for my daughter in a couple of years. I think the choice for boys is even worse than for girls with regards to GCSE results and value added. I even took the unusual step of looking at private schools but I found there were far more options for girls in the area.
We looked round all the schools and then considered moving out of the area as we didn't think any of the schools were right for him.
As he was in the top sets at school we spent some time working with him at home and he got into the grammar.
I agree that the grammar schools do well because they cream off the best students, who have good support at home and they give regular homework. I think the discipline is also an important factor. My son has only been at school for a few weeks and has already had detention for forgetting homework (husband's fault - I was away for a few days, left a meal in the fridge, put guitar and Rugby kit required for the second day by the front door, 2 days lunch money in pocket - can't think of everthing... ;) I think the detention has given him a kick up the @rse and the school is moulding him into a more responsible individual already (which is going to make my life a whole lot easier).
I hope my son won't get penalised by the univerties because, coming from grammar, he is expected to get good results. I have to say, being uneducated myself and running my own businees I might well look more favourably at a CV from an achiever from a comp rather than a grammar (don't tell my son)


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