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    • Thread Starter

    I've never worked with either systems so I can't really judge properly. It seems like this question would only be answered by people who have worked in both systems either as an actual teacher or as a teaching assistant.

    There is so many different opinions of the best approach. Research based views, counter arguments as well as pragmatism based views.

    My gut feeling based off the limited evidence is that it would be wiser to just have mixed ability, however as I'm not an actual teacher, maybe it's more about being pragmatic and practical.

    At the end of the day, it seems like a primary school teacher would have to go through the same content with their class regardless of their ability/attainment. The only difference is children are aware which table they belong to, and what sort of work they should be engaging on dependent on their tables.

    My mum is an infant/reception teacher, and she has to differentiate everything. It makes planning a nightmare, and for things like PE or Art it's just unnecessary. For Literacy, Phonics and Numeracy, ability groups are really important as there is a massive divide between the top and bottom groups, so it isn't fair on the lower abilities who need more support and different activities to work at the pace of the top group, and vice versa. For Topic (which incorporates History/Geography/RE at her school) the groups are mixed ability as there are more activities and topics that will suit all. Hope that helps!

    Posted from TSR Mobile

    The current expectation would be 3-5 ability groups per lesson in English and Maths. Regardless of pragmatism, research etc, that is what is expected. It may also be the case that high ability children will need some extension activities, and it's likely to be the case that SEN children have their own separate planning.

    Not sure why you're asking this question though - is it in preparation for an application?

    Posted from TSR Mobile

    I agree with the above.

    Plus, empirical/anecdotal evidence: I distinctly remember being in sets for Maths in Year 6. This was 1996-1997. Was in the middle set of 3. Don't think it damaged me in any way; if anything I remember feeling relieved as I knew the next group's questions were too hard for me.

    We weren't set for literacy at that time but I think it would have really helped me. Would have saved years of frustration!

    Additionally, the children will be set for these subjects in secondary school, so in Year 6 at least, I think it's helpful with their transition to their next school.
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