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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:02 pm 
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I'm with you there Guest55. There is plenty that schools can do. I'm out of the game and out of date (admittedly) but I don't see it with my children's schools yet. Everything seems to be based on summative tests. Reports have a section for test results and predicted grades seem to be all mine talk about these days. It does concern me.

@Amber. You could be right of course. Achievement is only one of the factors that affects confidence. I'd still try to increase scores in the first instance though.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:54 pm 
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I must admit I am a little out of my depth here and it’s clear I’m in the company of experts! I’m glad there hasn’t been any serious falling out over the matter. I’m interested to read up thread that some kids’ confidence might be built at the expense of other kids’ lower scores. The take home message for me is DS must avoid harmful comparisons with other, higher scoring kids wherever possible. That there might be a virtuous cycle if he starts to work harder and get better test results. Thanks again for your input.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:15 pm 
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Guest55 wrote:
Sorry I disagree with all of that 'theory' - students don't compare themselves to each other if adults do not enable or encourage that. It's perfectly possible for students to work for themselves and not compete with others.

I have to agree. My DS sometimes comes home from a test disappointed as he has not achieved the score he thought he would. He isn't comparing himself/competing with other children he just knows what level he wants to be. He is only competitive with himself (if that makes sense!)


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:41 am 
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BucksBornNBred wrote:
My DS sometimes comes home from a test disappointed as he has not achieved the score he thought he would. He isn't comparing himself/competing with other children he just knows what level he wants to be. He is only competitive with himself (if that makes sense!)

So, here's the sneaky bit Bucks. He may still be using comparison with his peers but may not know it.

Why is it a particular score/grade/percentage that he has deemed the target for himself? Particularly if he receives raw scores from his maths tests, how does he know what a 'satisfactory' score (for him) is?

Probably best, you don't ask though. :)


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 8:53 am 
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Amber wrote:
It’s unusual for me to disagree with both G55 and KCG but personally I can’t see anything rude or offensive in what you’ve written RP and I think your points are valid, even if I disagree about trying to raise scores as a way of increasing confidence.

Let’s all be friends.


Thanks - I am surprised some new posters want to continue to post on here sometimes :wink:


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:20 pm 
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RedPanda wrote:
BucksBornNBred wrote:
My DS sometimes comes home from a test disappointed as he has not achieved the score he thought he would. He isn't comparing himself/competing with other children he just knows what level he wants to be. He is only competitive with himself (if that makes sense!)

So, here's the sneaky bit Bucks. He may still be using comparison with his peers but may not know it.

Why is it a particular score/grade/percentage that he has deemed the target for himself? Particularly if he receives raw scores from his maths tests, how does he know what a 'satisfactory' score (for him) is?

Probably best, you don't ask though. :)


I can see your point, but really he is just focused on getting a better result than the last time - moving forwards! And he knows what he is capable of. He only thinks of his achievements/failures based on his scores/grades and what the school expects rather than what other children are achieving. That is what I mean by not being competitive. He really doesn't care if half the class got 100% on a test and he only got 50%, if that is the score he feels he deserved.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:56 am 
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Thanks Bucks.

Guest55, a couple of posts back, referred to the role adults play. I have to admit falling to the same trap as Amber occasionally, by asking how everyone else in the class has done. I doubt we are alone, but it doesn't excuse us. :) I remember one colleague used to return his tests to the class in order of marks!

I imagine that Grammar Schools don't help pupils with a tendency to over compare themselves. Mixed ability groups/classes are (in my opinion) a healthier environment in which to learn, from the perspective of motivation.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:26 am 
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BucksBornNBred wrote:
He really doesn't care if half the class got 100% on a test and he only got 50%, if that is the score he feels he deserved.

I think your son sounds exceptionally mature and rather unusual in that regard, BBB.

RedPanda wrote:
Mixed ability groups/classes are (in my opinion) a healthier environment in which to learn, from the perspective of motivation.
I agree. The English education system relies on instilling a competitive spirit from the get-go. Even reception age children are stratified by tables (how I hate that) and by the time children get to the juniors they already know what counts - and what counts is what mark you get compared with other children. It is hardly surprising if a child who has jumped the high-stakes hurdle of the 11+ feels very aware of his/her place in the pecking order; and not surprising either if being among children who appear to be better at a subject than they are suddenly feels very threatening. The role of adults is of course key as G55 says; but if you have a system as we do based on competitive exams all the way through, we can't expect children to suddenly get all relaxed and collaborative when they hit 11, only have to gear up and outperform others again at 16.

English education is obsessed with summative testing and rankings. Children know this as it impacts on them from their earliest days at school. Rather than try to improve a child's results to become more competitive (which I think is your solution RP?) I prefer the notion of challenging the idea that education ought to be a competition and a race (and this is the rhetoric from Government down) and more a personal journey. But that message is, I am afraid, lost in the hegemony of league tables, rankings and 'outperforming our global competitors'.

'Measure what we value, or value what we measure?' (Gert Biesta: Good Education in an Age of Measurement)

https://link.springer.com/article/10.10 ... 008-9064-9


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