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Introduction of Comprehensive Schools in Northern Ireland watch

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    (Original post by mobbdeeprob)
    That somebody was actually me - I have a problem with the comprehensive system per se and do not think it would be improved by abolishing grammar schools. Have you actually read what I have written, or have you fleetingly made up your mind that grammars are the work of the devil and should be abolished? Do you know anything about grammar and comprehensive schooling in Birmingham?

    As for the value-added tables, call me cynical, but I treat them with a pinch of salt. If anything, they are political machinations which serve political aims.
    Why do you have a problem with the comprehensive system? Is it because the grammars in Birmingham perform better due to their skewed intake?

    I do not think that grammars are 'the work of the devil' - rather, I see them as being totally irrelevant and unneccessary! I have posted links to reaserach that shows that pupils of the same ability as those who are admitted to grammars, but go to comps, do just as well, and in fact, those who are the most able, do better in comps.

    Yes I do know about schools in Birmingham, and in all areas that retain selection, as education is one of my passions!

    Value added tables can serve a purpose, inasmuch as they give a clearer picture of achievement. (rather than the blanket 5 A* - C grades GCSE which tell us more about intake than anything else) If a school can promote academic success despite all sorts of adversities experienced by their pupils then it is more successful than one who achieves because of ability of pupil intake.
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    (Original post by happysunshine)
    The ones worth 4 are different, there are no sweaty concentrating lessons, it's all hands on. I would not agree that it's worth 4 GCSEs, three is fine.

    And I say that because, a normal GCSE takes 2 hours of the timetable, a GNVQ takes 4/5/6 hours depending on the school. If it was really worth 4 GCSEs, 8 hours would be spent on this subject.

    And in further conclusion schools use this to up their league tables. Simple
    Hours spent on tuition time is not an indicator of difficulty or complexity of subject but more a question of teacher availability and timetabling planning.

    I would say that if educationalists reckon a subject is worth 2/3/4 gcse's then they are in a far more knowledgeable position to make that judgement. Anything we may feel is too subjective.

    It would be like telling a surgeon that he/she doesn't need to spend less or more time on our surgery because we know best!
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    (Original post by yawn1)
    Hours spent on tuition time is not an indicator of difficulty or complexity of subject but more a question of teacher availability and timetabling planning.

    I would say that if educationalists reckon a subject is worth 2/3/4 gcse's then they are in a far more knowledgeable position to make that judgement. Anything we may feel is too subjective.

    It would be like telling a surgeon that he/she doesn't need to spend less or more time on our surgery because we know best!
    We're talking about politicians deciding, not teachers, it would be interesting to hear what some teachers would say regarding the value of GNVQ ICT.
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    (Original post by yawn1)
    Hours spent on tuition time is not an indicator of difficulty or complexity of subject but more a question of teacher availability and timetabling planning.

    I would say that if educationalists reckon a subject is worth 2/3/4 gcse's then they are in a far more knowledgeable position to make that judgement. Anything we may feel is too subjective.

    It would be like telling a surgeon that he/she doesn't need to spend less or more time on our surgery because we know best!
    *******s, they know it's not worth 3 GCSEs and if they actually made it worth 4 GCSEs it would not be a course that would be passable for the less able. So even though it's worth three GCSEs, they make it 4 so it's easier for failing schools. The double awards in Tourism and Business, don't do half as much work as those doing ICT.

    Of course hours spent on it is an indicator of difficulty. If it was a course for 18 or 21 year olds then I'd agree with you, but it's not it's for 14/15/16 year olds who will refuse to work long hours after school.
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    (Original post by Lord Huntroyde)
    And one set of value added tables showed grammars to be better, another, comprehensives, I don't think they can be relied on.
    Yes you're right. The one set of VA that showed grammars to make more difference is the one at key stage 3 (from key stage 2 when the emphasis is on getting children through the 11 + so as those grammars could admit them in the first place)
    The second set of VA is more reliable because it tracks pupils from key stage 3 to 4 when all schools have reached a 'catch up' situation - and this is where the comps are proved more efficient.
    But the only time we will be able to assess the most efficient is when we have the VA from key stage 2 through to year 13 - this will be done within the next 3 years so we have to put the VA debate on hold to get the true picture.
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    (Original post by yawn1)
    Yes you're right. The one set of VA that showed grammars to make more difference is the one at key stage 3 (from key stage 2 when the emphasis is on getting children through the 11 + so as those grammars could admit them in the first place)
    The second set of VA is more reliable because it tracks pupils from key stage 3 to 4 when all schools have reached a 'catch up' situation - and this is where the comps are proved more efficient.
    But the only time we will be able to assess the most efficient is when we have the VA from key stage 2 through to year 13 - this will be done within the next 3 years so we have to put the VA debate on hold to get the true picture.
    But grammars already have pupils at a high standard at KS3 so it's no surprise if, when these pupils do well at GCSE, the value added is quite small.

    I don't see how Y13 values added will work because my grammar has a wide entry for A-level, not just from the main school.
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    (Original post by Lord Huntroyde)
    We're talking about politicians deciding, not teachers, it would be interesting to hear what some teachers would say regarding the value of GNVQ ICT.
    GNVQ ICT is a 'vocational' exam and as such is espoused by the teaching profession as they realise that academia is not the 'be all and end all' of a measure of excellence.

    Increasingly, vocational subjects are being given as much credence as others which is as it should be - after all we all have talents of one kind or another - and particularly those who wish to retain selection - keep saying that one is just as meritous as the other.
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    (Original post by yawn1)
    GNVQ ICT is a 'vocational' exam and as such is espoused by the teaching profession as they realise that academia is not the 'be all and end all' of a measure of excellence.

    Increasingly, vocational subjects are being given as much credence as others which is as it should be - after all we all have talents of one kind or another - and particularly those who wish to retain selection - keep saying that one is just as meritous as the other.
    I am not disputing that, but happysunshine, who has lived the GNVQ ICT experience (which neither you or me have) thinks it should be worth less.
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    (Original post by happysunshine)
    *******s, they know it's not worth 3 GCSEs and if they actually made it worth 4 GCSEs it would not be a course that would be passable for the less able. So even though it's worth three GCSEs, they make it 4 so it's easier for failing schools. The double awards in Tourism and Business, don't do half as much work as those doing ICT.

    Of course hours spent on it is an indicator of difficulty. If it was a course for 18 or 21 year olds then I'd agree with you, but it's not it's for 14/15/16 year olds who will refuse to work long hours after school.
    You said that the less able do the foundation NVQ which is equivalent to 2 gcse's at D - G grades. Make up your mind whether it's 2 or 4 please. (Actually, I'm going to research that further as I am getting conflicting messages on this forum so it's best to make sure of these things rather than rely on hearsay).

    What do you mean when you say the double awards in Tourism and Business (should that be Leisure) don't do half as much work as those doing ICT? Are you saying then that ICT is worth the 2 or 4 GCSE's in comparison?

    Hours spent on a subject are not neccessarily indicative of the difficulty of the subject but rather the ability of the group studying the subject - as well as the timetabling difficulties that are presented to the individual schools. When you consider that some schools offer as many options as 20 subjects or more, you must see the logistics of timetabling problems. Or perhaps you don't because you have never considered the management problems that this entails.
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    (Original post by Lord Huntroyde)
    I am not disputing that, but happysunshine, who has lived the GNVQ ICT experience (which neither you or me have) thinks it should be worth less.
    Happysunshine is only one person amongst many thousands - what about the teachers who teach many thousands of students and have more overall insight into what it means. as a result of this experience?
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    (Original post by Lord Huntroyde)
    But grammars already have pupils at a high standard at KS3 so it's no surprise if, when these pupils do well at GCSE, the value added is quite small.

    I don't see how Y13 values added will work because my grammar has a wide entry for A-level, not just from the main school.
    The value added will take into account the split between academic and vocational exams as the AS/A level tables do now.

    There will be a continuous 'picture' of the individual student from key stage 2 through to year 13, charting each key stage. This is already done on an LEA basis by PANDA reports.
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    (Original post by yawn1)
    Why do you have a problem with the comprehensive system? Is it because the grammars in Birmingham perform better due to their skewed intake?

    I do not think that grammars are 'the work of the devil' - rather, I see them as being totally irrelevant and unneccessary! I have posted links to reaserach that shows that pupils of the same ability as those who are admitted to grammars, but go to comps, do just as well, and in fact, those who are the most able, do better in comps.

    Yes I do know about schools in Birmingham, and in all areas that retain selection, as education is one of my passions!

    Value added tables can serve a purpose, inasmuch as they give a clearer picture of achievement. (rather than the blanket 5 A* - C grades GCSE which tell us more about intake than anything else) If a school can promote academic success despite all sorts of adversities experienced by their pupils then it is more successful than one who achieves because of ability of pupil intake.
    My problem with comprehensive schooling lies in the very fact that they aim to provide all things to all men. The same applies to state primary schools, I personally think that grammar schools push their pupils a lot harder. To bring into play personal experience, several of my friends at comprehensive schools have less homework, the tasks which they explore can be less demanding and their teachers do not diverge from the syllabus nearly as much as at my school. A lot of comprehensives near me only offer double-science at GCSE which (some may argue) puts pupils at a disadvantaged when compared to the separate sciences (which are largely the preserve of grammars and independents).

    Although I believe that an able pupil can succeed in either system, I have a basic difficulty in accepting that education, when targeted at such a broad range of abilities, can really bring out the best in pupils (at both ends of the ability spectrum). If my primary school experience is anything to go by, the provision of education to children of mixed ability (given the present level of funding in the system) is problematic.

    As for the value-added tables, as I said earlier, I can understand how they could perceived as a more progressive comparison for schools, but at the end of the day, raw attainment is what education should be about (in my opinion). Although I do accept that it is governed by a range of factors which extend beyond GCSE and A-level results. In my opinion, grammar schools perform well not just because of their intake. The vast majority of grammar schools are steeped in tradition and offer a rigid but thorough curriculum very well.

    If you know anything about Birmingham comprehensives, then you will know that the top achieving ones enforce streams/sets in a lot of the major subjects. Doesn't this go to show that by dividing the cohort into ability groups, the learning experience is enhanced both for the learner and the teacher? However, if the top performing comprehensives enforce segragation of the cohort according to ability, aren't they just resorting to an effective method of teaching? More to the point, if grammar schools 'cream off' the top ability band and comprehensives split up their intake according to ability - why abolish grammar schools?
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    As I see it the biggest problem for comprehensive schools is that the independent sector and grammar schools were allowed to survive side by side with them. As long as there are people with money who decide to opt out for whatever reason, the comprehensives will always have a problem.

    And as a governor of a grammar school which has vocational "A" level options, the term is now AVCE, not GNVQ. And former pupils of my school who took the GNVQ/AVCE route are now on Masters courses in some of the "top" universities.
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    (Original post by earthmother)
    As I see it the biggest problem for comprehensive schools is that the independent sector and grammar schools were allowed to survive side by side with them. As long as there are people with money who decide to opt out for whatever reason, the comprehensives will always have a problem.
    And as a governor of a grammar school which has vocational "A" level options, the term is now AVCE, not GNVQ. And former pupils of my school who took the GNVQ/AVCE route are now on Masters courses in some of the "top" universities.
    You couldn't possibly be referring to grammars in the emboldened section could you?

    I know for a fact that, in Birmingham at least, few (if any) grammar schools offer AVCE qualifications.
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    (Original post by mobbdeeprob)
    You couldn't possibly be referring to grammars in the emboldened section could you?
    Grammar schools get much private funding.
    (Original post by mobbdeeprob)
    I know for a fact that, in Birmingham at least, few (if any) grammar schools offer AVCE qualifications.
    Hmm... sounds like a fact. :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by Bigcnee)
    Grammar schools get much private funding.
    Are you hell-bent on amusing me this evening or have you been smoking something that you shouldn't?

    AVCEs are a joke and should be treated with the contempt they deserve. Unless you're a plumber or want to go to Bath or something ridiculous like that.
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    (Original post by mobbdeeprob)
    Are you hell-bent on amusing me this evening or have you been smoking something that you shouldn't?

    AVCEs are a joke and should be treated with the contempt they deserve. Unless you're a plumber or want to go to Bath or something ridiculous like that.
    Lol. Shut up.

    You remind me of your boyfriend in many ways. Gnostic can't seem to take people disagreeing with him either. I suggest you grow up.
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    (Original post by yawn1)
    Lets get one thing straight here - you keep bandying this figure of a GNVQ ICT being worth 4 GCSE's. It isn't! The foundation level of GNVQ which is what students in year 11 take is worth 2 GCSE's - the Advanced GNVQ - usually taken in year 12/13 is the one equivalent to 4 GCSE's.

    What GCSE are you referring to that required 2 - 150 odd page assignments. Do you mean humanities course work that stipulates 3,000 words? Methinks you exaggerate somewhat - we are talking about GCSE's aren't we? They are reasonably easy to get top grades at for the more able so present no big deal. However, one that is equivalent to 2 GCSE's must obviously require much more input.

    Regarding value added - the first tables you refer to were Key stage 3 - which showed that more value was added between the ages of 11 and 14. This was primarily due to lack of emphasis on key stage 2 because of concentration on 11+ preparation. It naturally follows therefore that the key stage 2 results were not representative of the cohort and that more progress was made between the 2 stages as children were in a 'catch up' situation. When we look at the value added between key stage 3 and 4 (GCSE) we see that comps made much more improvement than grammars.

    Thank you for your link to the National Grammar schools Association (who has the agenda then - them or casenet?) Incidentally I have seen all the propoganda from both sides of the divide plus those who have no axe to grind and I come down in favour of non-selective schools.

    Someone mentioned the comps in their area of Birmingham - was it you? How can comps compete with Birmingham grammars who cream off the most able? Again, results in grammars come down, purely, to intake.


    Furthermore Bezza - I have been involved in this type of discussion on UK-Learning for much longer than you have and consequently you have nothing further with which to enlighten me!

    Nothing personal of course, but this is one debate you cannot win.
    I'll leave the first point as no one seems able to agree on the right figure and I don't know myself.

    I was talking about GCSE IT (only worth 1 GCSE) for my two 150+ page projects so this can surely be compared with the GNVQ in terms of workload since it is the same subject.

    As I've said previously - schools don't teach people to pass the 11+. They teach what's on the national curriculum. Regardless of this, KS2 SATs are taken months after the 11+ anyway.

    The link to the NGSA was meant to be ironic as they obviously do have an agenda, like Casenet. Taken from their front page:
    CASE believes in a fully comprehensive, locally accountable and democratic education system
    Birmingham - wasn't me, no - I know nothing about Brummies!


    I think you're right, I can't enlighten you - you're a lost cause
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    (Original post by Bigcnee)
    Lol. Shut up.

    You remind me of your boyfriend in many ways. Gnostic can't seem to take people disagreeing with him either. I suggest you grow up.
    You fool, that wacky-backy really is getting to your brain. It isn't advisible to confuse me with your homosexual acquaintances. I would also seek to remind you that the majority of the population are straight (unlike the backdoor-Commando microcosm, that is Bath).

    For what it's worth, Gnostic beat you with a stick in every argument that I ever cared to view between you two.

    You arrant knave, go and spurt your meaningless drivel on the streets of Bath where it's appreciated boy!
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    (Original post by mobbdeeprob)
    Are you hell-bent on amusing me this evening or have you been smoking something that you shouldn't?

    AVCEs are a joke and should be treated with the contempt they deserve. Unless you're a plumber or want to go to Bath or something ridiculous like that.
    My school is a grammar school and sixth years can study AVCE ICT, Health and Social Care and Business Studies, and they are considering introducing AVCE Science.

    While I'm not interested in doing them, they are very beneficial for people who like a more vocational emphasis on their education and prefer continuous assessment to exams.

    They are a perfectly respectable qualification to have. What's wrong with being a plumber anyway? Why do people have no respect for people like plumbers, builders and electricians? These people make good money, are often their own boss, and are infinitely more use to society than advertising executives and middle-managers.
 
 
 
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