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 Post subject: League Tables
PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2007 10:21 am 
The new league tables for B'Ham read interestingly.



 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 9:44 am 
These new tables have not made me think again about our preferences. The fact that George Dixon got a CVA score of 1046, the second highest in Birmingham, doesn't particularly make me wish that I'd put it on the form at all!

On the other hand KE Handsworth, had a CVA score of 991.1, and is our first choice.

What exactly are these tables supposed to make us think?

 Post subject: Grammar Schools
PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 10:29 am 
Ultimately everyone know the grammar schools are the best

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 2:04 pm 
I disagree. I think that ultimately nobody knows exactly how the SAME child would perform in different types of school - except perhaps at the extreme ends of the scale (e.g. failing sink state school vs well-funded independent). This is the holy grail of education. In the meantime, we must all make our own minds up as to what will serve our children best.


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 9:09 pm 
My daughter goes to a KE grammar and I can't fault it. We get so much information about how she is doing, newsletters, etc. By contrast, my friend's son goes to a good comprehensive, but she has no idea what grades he gets in tests, etc. Also my daughter is in 2 orchestras and a choir, she goes to public debating and plays netball. Such a lot of opportunity - I am very pleased with our "choice" - I know they chose us, and not the other way round.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 7:45 am 
My take on these tables is simple. If you take a local comprehensive school and it gets a good pass rate for GCSEs, personally I would be interested in how well the school has performed over the last five years. This is a good measure of how stable the school is at getting results and also suggests consistency in the teaching standards and leadreship. Most, if not all KEG schools have this, but then you would expect nothing less as they are excellent in getting high pass rates. However, I am also interested since a school that has scored poorly or average may perform well when my son comes to take his exams in 6 years time, as the batch of children at that time may be brighter etc etc. So, do we write schools off or do we give them a chance, it's a high risk strategy, which even I would not want to chance.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 11:35 am 
Yes, one looks at league tables, ofsted reports, prospectuses, and go to Open Evenings (certainly no later than year 5 if it's your first child). But it's the extra information that one picks up on visits and chats to other families that can really give you a feel for what's going on.

A couple of years ago I visited a popular local school when looking for a place for my older daughter, now year 10. The school trumpeted that they were now offering 3 separate sciences at GCSE, but when I examined the results, I found that the pupils entered for 3 sciences had all passed Chemistry and Biology but most had failed Physics. I found that there had been no Head of Physics for several months and the pupils had all been entered for the wrong paper. I know that Physics is a shortage subject, but a school with a good reputation should have no problem attracting staff for shortage subjects.

I visited the school again last year with my younger daughter and found that they were not offering Maths at AS level. What does this say about Maths teaching throughout the school? I know a girl in the current 6th form had to give up her plans to study A'level Biology if she wanted to stay on, as the school are not offering it this year. These are fairly basic subjects for a school to have problems staffing, which is why it appears at the bottom of our list of preferences. (Though it is still above the ones we refused to include at all!!)

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