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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:17 pm 
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A very interesting story which I found inspiring:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-44289172

"Sean Macnamara was put on "the oblong table" for low-ability pupils when he was still in reception. No-one told Sean and his friend Billy what being "an oblong" meant - but they knew. Smart lads like Matthew and Paul (Sean still remembers their names) were on higher-ability tables.
Sean believes the oblong-table pupils were set up to fail from the outset."


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 5:24 pm 
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Agree with the author's ideas on this completely.
'Teaching to the top' should be the aim - not fob off the chidren who need extra support with some basic work on a regular basis.
The impact is not just academic but social.

I was at a school where classes were organised according to ability - so the top set was in a separate class - the school's only nod to acknowledging that this may not be a fair thing was to call this the "E" class. But everyone knew the pecking order and it was acknowledged but unmentioned that the "dunces" were in class "A".

This also meant that even those bright enough to get in to the top set ended up being the bottom of the class ranking.

It is a harsh, harsh place to be.
And I speak as someone who was at the top in the topset - but who even at the age of 14 understood the cruelty of it all.

That is why one of the key factors in deciding my son's senior school after 11+ was to choose a school that did not do 'setting'.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 5:53 pm 
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"....It is a harsh, harsh place to be.
And I speak as someone who was at the top in the topset - but who even at the age of 14 understood the cruelty of it all.
That is why one of the key factors in deciding my son's senior school after 11+ was to choose a school that did not do 'setting'...."

Oh, the irony.... :shock: :shock:

bangs head on wall....


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:39 pm 
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I fell foul of this as a child and will read article later, come on it’s Friday :wink: Was put in lowest set for one year and suspect it scarred me despite knowing I shouldn’t have been there. It was the first year of setting. I struggle in current job because whilst I got away with not setting in Y1 have had to in Reception :roll:


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:43 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2017 7:54 am
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kenyancowgirl wrote:
"....It is a harsh, harsh place to be.
And I speak as someone who was at the top in the topset - but who even at the age of 14 understood the cruelty of it all.
That is why one of the key factors in deciding my son's senior school after 11+ was to choose a school that did not do 'setting'...."

Oh, the irony.... :shock: :shock:

bangs head on wall....


What's the irony CowGirl? That my son sat for the 11+ exams?
Are you suggesting that I should have sent him to the local struggling comp because the education system is unfair?


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 11:55 am 
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No, I am merely suggesting that the two statements are ironical. The irony is that you "understand the cruelty of it all" yet the 11+ is the cruelest system there is. Telling children that they are failures in most cases at 10....

It is a harsh place to be but to comment that you chose a school that does not do setting when the 11+ is a system that effectively sets children at age 10 is, frankly, ironical! I am not judging your decison, just commenting on the way you present it as being slightly flawed.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:54 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2017 7:54 am
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kenyancowgirl wrote:
No, I am merely suggesting that the two statements are ironical. The irony is that you "understand the cruelty of it all" yet the 11+ is the cruelest system there is. Telling children that they are failures in most cases at 10....

It is a harsh place to be but to comment that you chose a school that does not do setting when the 11+ is a system that effectively sets children at age 10 is, frankly, ironical! I am not judging your decison, just commenting on the way you present it as being slightly flawed.


Thank you for the clarification KCG - I misunderstood you.
I agree with you that the 11+ is a cruel system, and that it is in fact setting.
For me and likely for many other parents, the unfortunate reality is that rejecting that system is not feasible, given that the alternative is to send your child to a struggling/failing comprehensive - which sets your child (and you!) up for more misery.

I am fortunate and grateful that my child was able to get through - and in to a school which does not do setting from Year 7 onwards.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:12 am 
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I tend to think that pupils 'rank' themselves regardless of any mechanisms put in place by the school. Interested to see where this goes.


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