Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by JordanL_)
    This is completely true, but mixing ability groups improves performance of the bottom kids. There's no optimal solution.

    Maybe we should have mixed ability groups, but give extra lessons to higher-performing kids, and allow others to opt-in. That seems like it'd work for everyone.
    That sounds like a good idea.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by StrangeBanana)
    That sounds like a good idea.
    Well in that case, it definitely won't happen!
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by StrangeBanana)
    That sounds like a good idea.
    yeah that's better than mine.
    • Very Important Poster
    Online

    19
    Very Important Poster
    (Original post by jonathanemptage)
    Whats wrong with point 3?
    Indiffferent. Handy, but not at the expense of languages.
    I'd be more pro people getting good advice on money, debt, drugs, mental health and careers.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    To respond to the OP because I didn't before:

    1. I disagree. There's a lot of research that shows we're less likely to be prejudiced against other cultures, races and religions if they're exposed to them. So I think exposing people to religion is important. RS is also largely about critical thinking - it covers a lot of philosophy. If anything, we need to introduce this at an earlier age, because the skills involved are essential life skills and also play a big role in further learning.

    If I were in charge, I'd increase the minimum number of hours spent teaching RS, introduce it at an earlier age, but change the curriculum to be more broad. Maybe change it to general studies. Focus on philosophical discussion about the political system, ethics, the law, while also exposing people to other views and lifestyles. Teach people to think, question, and recognise when they don't know something.

    2. I think we should be teaching languages at a much earlier age. As you get older, your ability to learn a language deteriorates significantly. There are a hell of a lot more advantages to knowing multiple languages than just going on holiday. It improves memory and cognitive ability, knowing a second language makes it much easier to learn more in the future, and it also tends to make people much better at using their first language - people from European countries that speak English as a second language often speak/write/read it better than most British people do.

    3. I agree with this completely. I don't think first aid is as important - realistically, trained first aiders will rarely, if ever, need to actually apply their skills to save a life. If anything I think it should be taught as part of learning to drive, which already happens in some other countries. But mental health education should be taught from primary school. It would help eliminate the ridiculous stigma, it would make it easier for the mentally ill to be accepted and to cope, and it would help kids identify and deal with their own issues.

    4. Not really sure what I think about this. I don't think we should threaten to hold people back - it adds stress and makes people resent learning. I'm not gonna do any extensive research on this, but this is what I found with a quick search.

    If anything, I think we should make it acceptable to repeat years. Peoples' education can stall for any number of reasons - problems at home, physical or mental illness, immaturity, and so on. I think instead of pushing them on, where they'll slip further and further behind, we should make it a completely valid option to take an extra year to get caught up, so people can perform to their full potential instead of being rushed through their education.

    5. Don't know how I feel about this either. I definitely don't think practical work in the sciences should contribute much (if anything) to the grade - some people are just bad at practical things, but they could still be excellent scientists. But I think we should involve more practical work in the early years of science so people learn the scientific method, how we apply it and evaluate evidence, rather than just filling them up with facts. Knowledge is important, but it's useless if you don't know what to do with it.

    6. I disagree. Numeracy is a skill, not a subject in itself. It shouldn't need to be a separate subject because it should be a skill that everyone has. It's the same with literacy - we don't have a GCSE in literacy, because we just expect people to be literate when they get to that stage.

    7. Already gave my thoughts on this. I think, rather than giving people different lessons based on ability, we should instead give more to the people that will benefit from it.

    This is all dreaming though. Michael Gove would have us back to writing out our times tables on slate boards if he hadn't been ousted from his reign of terror.
    • TSR Support Team
    • Clearing and Applications Advisor
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    TSR Support Team
    Clearing and Applications Advisor
    (Original post by jonathanemptage)
    X
    1. RS is not a required subject.
    2. Because modern languages are possibly amongst the most useful subjects you can learn in school because they hugely expand your opportunities in terms of where you can go in life. The UK is one of the worst countries in the world in terms of number of languages learned per person, it's an embarrassment.
    3. Yes, I agree.
    4. Possibly.
    5. I agree to some extent, particularly with respect to the need of a respectable set of vocational qualifications as an alternative to A Levels (rather than the current mentality that BTECs are just inferior A Levels).
    6. I think what you mean is splitting up 'life skills maths' (i.e. GCSEs) from 'real maths' which I empathise with but I don't really think it's practical.
    7. Not 100% sure what you're saying here but I think both setting and tiered exams (at least at GCSE for core subjects) are good.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    There are some subjects that should be assessed mainly by practical exams: Art, Music, DT, Computing, MFL.

    Art should IMO have one written exam on Art History / Appreciation / Analysis, just like Music has an exam on Music History / Appreciation / Analysis. DT and Computing can have one maths/physics-based exam. But all other exams should be practical in those subjects.

    I dislike that they are trying to "academise" these subjects. It's not necessary or useful for anyone to write essays in DT or Computing - coursework is awful, but practical exams can be just as rigorous as written exams.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by StrangeBanana)
    That sounds like a good idea.
    I'm not sure that it does. Putting a lower set group with a higher set group would probably just be more detrimental to the confidence of the less capable because the more able understand things more easily. Also, how would it work teaching a class that's likely to be made up of both foundation and higher students?
    But I do think that the lower sets should be paid more attention to; they should be given more help and encouragement, as well as more advice on different pathways to careers. With my school for example, the more able students are paid much more attention to and the less able almost completely disregarded. It's unfair and illogical, IMO....


    EDIT: Sorry, I quoted the wrong post. I meant, I'm not sure that putting lower kids with higher kids boosts their performance.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Elivercury)
    Basically what you are saying is that you recognise current system is completely messed up because some ******** with zero teaching experience thought he knew best and gave everything a complete overhaul. And you think the solution to this is to completely overhaul the education system because you, with your presumably zero experience teaching, think you know best?

    Genius, how could it possibly fail?
    not exactly zero and how can things improve if we don't change things.
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by JordanL_)
    To respond to the OP because I didn't before:


    6. I disagree. Numeracy is a skill, not a subject in itself. It shouldn't need to be a separate subject because it should be a skill that everyone has. It's the same with literacy - we don't have a GCSE in literacy, because we just expect people to be literate when they get to that stage.


    This is all dreaming though. Michael Gove would have us back to writing out our times tables on slate boards if he hadn't been ousted from his reign of terror.
    However whilst it is not now, it has been (at least in Scotland)

    I proudly have A passes in both O Grade Arithmetic and O Grade Maths and can see in the workplace that the merging of the two has degraded arithmetic dexterity. When arithmetic is not given primacy in its own right its mastery cannot be taken for granted. (Is it possible to pass an O level maths with weak arithmetic skills if one understands the maths, I have certainly seen examples of people with the certificate where that might be the conclusion drawn?)

    Recently playing a game of yahtzee with my somewhat grown up children, both of who sat Advanced Higher Maths, and my son also taking maths as part of his computer science degree, when it came time for each of us to add up our column of scores, both my wife and I (in our 50s) were finished in about a quarter of the time it took our children. I appreciate speed at adding is not vital, I appreciate computers now take the load, but being comfortable with numbers is pretty critical in detecting that a data input error has taken place within say a spreadsheet and the answer given is obviously incorrect. (And I am much slower these days than say 30 years ago when I would have added the 10-11 scores in my head, and my ability with arithmetic does not come from studying further maths, my wife struggled passing Higher Maths but is far quicker than myself at mental arithmetic)

    Put into a spreadsheet 1,000, 465 and 500, but for the 500 mistype so there is a comma before it so ,500. Ask excel to sum the column, answer it gives is 1465 not 1965, that ability to estimate/have awareness of likely result is one reason why being very comfortable with numbers, even in the age of computers, is invaluable.

    I can also confirm that despite taking Higher Maths and then first year Maths and first year Statistics at university, I have very rarely used much beyond O Grade maths in my working life as an accountant, a little trig, a little geometry, a little calculus and slightly more statistics, but the core skills used (more back in the day when manual accounting records were common-they do still exist) was adding and subtracting and even today it is things like ratios,fractions, and percentages that are used regularly-these are arithmetic.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    Mixed ability groups have their benefits, and there's definitely a time and a place for them. But in general it is simply not realistic to teach mixed-ability classes and expect learning to not be affected.

    Some pupils are learning Pythagoras whilst others in their year are figuring out how to divide a two digit number by 4.
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Megan1404)
    I'm not sure that it does. Putting a lower set group with a higher set group would probably just be more detrimental to the confidence of the less capable because the more able understand things more easily. Also, how would it work teaching a class that's likely to be made up of both foundation and higher students?
    But I do think that the lower sets should be paid more attention to; they should be given more help and encouragement, as well as more advice on different pathways to careers. With my school for example, the more able students are paid much more attention to and the less able almost completely disregarded. It's unfair and illogical, IMO....


    EDIT: Sorry, I quoted the wrong post. I meant, I'm not sure that putting lower kids with higher kids boosts their performance.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    I think there's actual research/studies etc that show that mixed ability groups help the lower kids.

    It goes without saying that every kid should be given the support they need to do as well as they can. There are schools where the bottom kids are forgotten, but there are also plenty of schools where the top kids are.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by StrangeBanana)
    I think there's actual research/studies etc that show that mixed ability groups help the lower kids.
    Yes, you can also see this effect in areas which have not abolished grammar schools.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by StrangeBanana)
    I think there's actual research/studies etc that show that mixed ability groups help the lower kids.

    It goes without saying that every kid should be given the support they need to do as well as they can. There are schools where the bottom kids are forgotten, but there are also plenty of schools where the top kids are.
    I see, I was not aware of that.

    True. I suppose it's hard to get that balance - I'm not saying the top kids should be forgotten either but I think they're more capable of reaching out for help themselves, if that makes sense. The bottom kids might not necessarily want to ask for extra support because they feel they won't get it...
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by pizzanomics)
    Prepare for my bias as a prospective languages student. They shouldn't be abolished under any circumstances, but there definitely needs to be some reform. I'll outline some points/ideas and offer my opinions next to them.

    Modern languages should still be compulsory up until the end of GCSE - However it shouldn't be neccessary to sit an exam in them; students should be split into classes based on who is sitting the exam and who isn't. Making them compulsory reinforces the idea that languages are important in the modern world and in these classes we should aim to teach the language in an effective manner. You mention "all that grammar rubbish", but you need to know the grammar in order to know how to converse... You can't learn a language without learning the grammar behind it and you can't learn the grammar behind it without learning the language.

    Where possible, students should be given a choice of the language they want to study - In my high school I was randomly placed into a German class and luckily I really liked it and am going to university to study it, however I know plenty of people who didn't like German at all, as well as people doing other languages who would have rather been doing German. If everyone gets a choice then at least people will be a little bit more motivated from the beginning. I know this could have an adverse effect on class sizes (e.g. nobody might choose a language) but that's unlikely to happen - could always implement a 'no preference' option.

    Stop going on about how 'hard' languages are - Yeah, they're difficult, but once you get the foundation in any language it's super easy to build up. For some reason there seems to be a huge misconception that languages are one of the most difficult subjects to study, and I guess in some ways they are, but they really aren't. Especially considering how you can pass a GCSE language exam with knowing barely any of the language. At the same time, stop going on about how "everyone speaks English". Yeah, English is the current lingua franca of the internet and the world in general, but step foot outside the UK and you will quickly find that not everyone speaks English at all. I've been travelling all over Europe and it honestly, really isn't that case. A lot of people do speak English, but nowhere near as many as you'd think, and of those, even fewer speak it well.

    Introduce lessons on culture - These lessons were what made A level MFL so much better than GCSE. It gives you an insight to the culture behind the language as well as breaking up the monotonous grammar drills that are neccessary.

    Place more emphasis on just how important languages are and where you can go with them - You say that you'd just learn the language if you go to a new country.... Well, would you really? Look at all the retired expats in Spain, almost none of whom speak even a lick of Spanish and live in their little expat bubbles. Being in a foreign country and learning through immersion is the best way to learn a language, but if you go through your whole life thinking that MFLs aren't important you'll never absorb that knowledge. The second best way is through lessons, so schools should be providing this foundation in languages to help move on. Arguably those who don't see a use for their language will never speak it again once they leave school, but providing everyone with a decent, worthwhile foundation will allow more people to progess further once they leave school, whether they actually want to study the language or just learn it passively in their own time. If we remain in the EU (which hopefully we will), knowing other languages will make it easier to move abroad. Alright we've got the freedom of movement currently within the EU, but if we have knowledge of say, French, then all of the jobs in France are now open to us too (okay you don't need to know French for every job, but you will need basic French for the majority and it would make day-to-day life in France easier too). If you don't speak another language, all those doors are closed off to you because you just think, what's the point.

    Change the languages offered - Not really sure how to implement it since there's only a limited number of teachers/schools/classes, but in an ideal world it would be good to limit the languages offered to one from each main family, this makes it easier to move on to other languages within that family (e.g learning German opens you up to Dutch (which opens up to Afrikaans), Luxembourgish, Norwegian, Swedish and Danish - and more distantly Icelandic and Faroese etc.). So I'd try and offer French for the Romance languages, German for the Germanic, Polish/Russian for the Slavic, as well as Arabic and Mandarin Chinese, I could go on forever. But I realise this is difficult to organise so it's probably a moot point.

    Edit: I can come up with more reasons if you want me to go on.... These were just the first ones on the top of my head.
    @jonathanemptage could I have a response please?


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by jonathanemptage)
    I have been thinking recently about how useless the educational system failed me and i still failing kids to day it seem clear to me that it needs some quite significant changes.

    1/ We should abolish RS as a required subject (I mean I didn't have to do it as a exam but still had it until 16) by all means have it as a GCSE but don't ram it down our throat .

    2/ Modern Languages why why why should I have to do one of these (for GCSE it was law when i did GCSE's many years ago) if I'm going to another country I'll learn the language but the stuff we learn in school is pretty useless maybe we should actually be taught how to converse inn the language rather than all the grammar rubbish.

    3/ First Aid should be required with a unit on metal illness and how to recognise/handle it maybe in place of Modern languages.

    4/ Holding kids back I think the threat of this really would make kids work hard and leave school with the tools they need to succeed not being taught to the test like they are today.

    5/ Vocational courses subjects like science should be assessed in a lab maybe doing an experiment of for mechanics maybe fixing a car what have you where the write up of finished product is the exam.

    6/ Maths should be split in to maths and numeracy because they are separate and lumping the together turns kids off maths which is an interesting subject.

    7/ Get rid of the streaming system kids being to ld oh yeah this is bottom set or this is top set can cause them to either lose hope or feel too much pressure which can lead to behavroual problems down the line just like the middle sets can sometimes just coast not to mention exams should be the same for everyone so everyone has the chance get a good grade nothing is more demoralising than being told at 15 none of you can get above a D thats it the top grade on the paper your doing .

    so yeah what do you chaps think how would you change it also watch the video it's pretty thought provoking
    w useless the educational system failed me and i still failing kids to day it seem clear to me that it needs some quite significant changes.

    1. I think that especially in the multicultural society we have it is probably important to expose kids to different cultures, however it's probably possible to do this in a more engaging way and tie it into culture/PSHE rather than having it purely as RE.

    2. not all students have to do a language... however usually able students are encouraged to do so as it is a useful skill to have and the process of learning a language once will make it easier to learn other languages in the future (e.g. for a holiday). We should be encouraging students to do subjects which are valuable (and learning a language is). As far as the way it is taught, I remember doing the same topics over and over and spending loads of time on stuff that felt useless (e.g. what's in my pencil case) however grammar is very important, if you don't know how the language is meant to be structured you will never learn it properly.

    3. I definitely agree that first aid should be taught in all schools. It was done in PSHE in my high school.

    4. I would agree with allowing kids to be held back/skip years according to their achievement. Not as a threat but just because if a student hasn't mastered year 7 work they are not going to cope with year 8 work and will just continue to fall further behind and get more disillusioned with education... you need a solid foundation before you can try and build on it.

    5. Science is not a vocational subject

    6. I do think there should be English and Maths options where kids can focus on basic skills they will use in life and not on all the other bits that are in the GCSE (e.g. analysing poetry) in order to give them a greater chance of actually mastering those skills (and being able to write reasonable job apps, manage money etc)

    7. There are positive and negative aspects to streaming/tiered exam papers. You say kids will feel bad/pressured because of their set and another point is that poor behaviour tends to be concentrated in lower sets which makes it harder for kids in those sets to learn, also there is less peer to peer learning because students are at a similar level. However, it is hard for teachers to teach a class who are ranging from a grade F to easily achieving an A*, you could easily end up alienating the students at the extremes as the teacher can't present really challenging stuff to a class of 30 when only 2-3 students will understand but also can't take the time to go through the basics to the extent the low ability students need. You could make the weaker students feel even worse as they can see how far behind they are.
    As far as exams go, foundation papers go up to a C (which is a pass) and generally anyone who would be sure of passing would be on a higher paper anyway, the foundation papers are so weak kids get an F rather than a U. Again, it would be very difficult to adequately assess the full range of ability from G/F grade up to A* in one paper so you would have to end up with long/more papers in order to distinguish properly. That would also mean high ability students spending lots of time on questions at F/D/E grade which are far too easy while weak students would be able to answer the first question and then be sat there feeling terrible about themselves for the next 2 hours of exam because there was so little they could do.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by doodle_333)
    5. Science is not a vocational subject
    .
    No but they still need to demonstrate a ability to design conduct and write up experiments with a suitable conclusion kind of like a final year project in uni but not taking so long and done in exam conditions.
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by jonathanemptage)
    No but they still need to demonstrate a ability to design conduct and write up experiments with a suitable conclusion kind of like a final year project in uni but not taking so long and done in exam conditions.
    not as an alternative to a written exam on content... the science course at the school I'm working in does coursework which is experiments and a write up, when I was at school you got a decent percentage of the marks for practical work which was observed, problem with doing practicals as part of the exam is that it doesn't assess individuals (as equipment/space will dictate working together and enforcing silence in those conditions would not be practical) and allows way too much room for cheating (I didn't do all my practicals for science GCSE and was just given 100% of the marks for that section)
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by jonathanemptage)
    not exactly zero and how can things improve if we don't change things.
    A large amount of why things are so bad is BECAUSE things are constantly changed and teachers are always having to play catchup. It's impossible for them to perform well if they don't know what they are supposed to be teaching because it has been redesigned in a half-arsed manner, and they've the knowledge that the same will happen again next year.

    Change is likely required, but it should be done in a controlled and structured fashion over a number of years rather than a sudden revamp. Also the people in charge of the changes should be teachers/headteachers who actually know what works and what doesn't rather than some guy who thinks he knows better because he went to Eton.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Elivercury)
    A large amount of why things are so bad is BECAUSE things are constantly changed and teachers are always having to play catchup. It's impossible for them to perform well if they don't know what they are supposed to be teaching because it has been redesigned in a half-arsed manner, and they've the knowledge that the same will happen again next year.

    Change is likely required, but it should be done in a controlled and structured fashion over a number of years rather than a sudden revamp. Also the people in charge of the changes should be teachers/headteachers who actually know what works and what doesn't rather than some guy who thinks he knows better because he went to Eton.
    I didn't go to Eton whatever gave you that idea :confused:
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Would you like to hibernate through the winter months?
    Useful resources
    Uni match

    Applying to uni?

    Our tool will help you find the perfect course

    Articles:

    Debate and current affairs guidelinesDebate and current affairs wiki

    Quick link:

    Educational debate unanswered threads

    Groups associated with this forum:

    View associated groups
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.