A levels a/a* discussion?!!

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username3515694
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There is this idea that if you study in grammar sixth forms you are more likely to get a/a*s in a levels and I think that's unfair because I believe in any student that is willing to work hard and commit to the subjects will get the top grades they deserve

What's your opinion ?

Thank you
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04MR17
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(Original post by Student_57)
There is this idea that if you study in grammar sixth forms you are more likely to get a/a*s in a levels and I think that's unfair because I believe in any student that is willing to work hard and commit to the subjects will get the top grades they deserve

What's your opinion ?

Thank you
Hi there!:hi:

I've moved your thread into here in the hope that you get some better responses/bit of a debate going.
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username3515694
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Thank you !!!!!
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hollyoliviax
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I go to a Grammar School and love it but the kids at my local comprehensive are amazing and so intelligent too!!!! You don't have to go to a Grammar School to be smart at all
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FortitudeBank
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Someone with a lot of motivation and willing to work hard in public schools can get A*/A. The thing is that in grammar and private schools the pupils are very pushed to work hard by parents, teachers and tutors; they let them know to what getting top grades will lead.
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LlamaLikeEllie
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It is unfair. In my area, there are no state grammar schools that I could study at, as I'd be travelling over an hour each day. This meant you either had to pay £12,000+ per year, or go to a state comprehensive. At a grammar school, you're taught in smaller classes, and people are of the same high ability.

On the other hand, A-Levels are much more focused on independent work, which you can do regardless of what school you go to. At state schools you also have to take more control of your learning, which helps when you go to university.

Overall, as long as you work hard, I doubt it makes much difference
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04MR17
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(Original post by Student_57)
There is this idea that if you study in grammar sixth forms you are more likely to get a/a*s in a levels and I think that's unfair because I believe in any student that is willing to work hard and commit to the subjects will get the top grades they deserve

What's your opinion ?

Thank you
I reckon it purely depends on the student.

Like anyone, if the school and the student fit well together, then there's a better chance of doing "well" (how you define that is important though)

Grammar sixth forms tend to be more formal/academic orientated. Which can work for a lot of students. Particularly those going onto more formal/academic higher education.

For others, it's not right for them.
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username3508100
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I go to private school, and they care a lot about grades - borderline on too much. We're pushed to go to extra lessons, to get into a good university and overall put a lot of stress on us. The stress I was under during my GCSE year was a cause of my depression and I feel that because teachers were so fixated on good grades, they didn't take my it seriously :\ I guess because you pay for private school, they offer extra things to get you to top grades, but that doesn't mean everyone is smart. Honestly so many people at my old state school did amazing, A*s and As, much better than me. It really depends on the student, not the school.
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FortitudeBank
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(Original post by 04MR17)
I reckon it purely depends on the student.

Like anyone, if the school and the student fit well together, then there's a better chance of doing "well" (how you define that is important though)

Grammar sixth forms tend to be more formal/academic orientated. Which can work for a lot of students. Particularly those going onto more formal/academic higher education.

For others, it's not right for them.
I completely agree. Personally my school was very liberal so I really liked it. Nevertheless, I think some of my friends would have benefited of more tutoring (even if they wouldn't like it).

For me, the fact that public schools do not perform very well is due to poor tutoring and they encourage less their pupils.
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Mesopotamian.
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I think that if someone genuinely wants to work hard and succeed then they will regardless of school background.

I went to a state sixth form (and turned down a selective school) and we had some fantastic results with people getting all A*s at A Levels and getting into top universities including Oxbridge.
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FortitudeBank
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To get back to the thread question, it definitely depends on the student motivation. A motivated student in public school has the same chance to get an A* than a motivated student in grammar/private schools. It's just that it is easier to get motivated (or demotivated) in private/grammar school.
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04MR17
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(Original post by PMC01234)
I completely agree. Personally my school was very liberal so I really liked it. Nevertheless, I think some of my friends would have benefited of more tutoring (even if they wouldn't like it).

For me, the fact that public schools do not perform very well is due to poor tutoring and they encourage less their pupils.
:yep: "Poverty of Ambition" is the phrase that Sir Ian Hall used.:sadnod:

I should add though that there'll be a direct correlation (with exceptions) between pupil premium and poor exam results.:sadnod:

*looks for guardian article*
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FortitudeBank
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(Original post by 04MR17)
:yep: "Poverty of Ambition" is the phrase that Sir Ian Hall used.:sadnod:

I should add though that there'll be a direct correlation (with exceptions) between pupil premium and poor exam results.:sadnod:

*looks for guardian article*
As said in my previous answer, the chances to get an A* depend only to the student's motivation. Still it is easier to get motivated in grammar/private schools.

Although in few cases students in public schools have parents not wealthy enough to pay grammar or private schools, I think in most cases the parents don't care about their children education. You can have government help for grammar schools, some private schemes for private schools and I know someone whose parents dedicate a lot of money to their child education even if they are far from being rich. It's mostly about what are your priorities.
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04MR17
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(Original post by PMC01234)
As said in my previous answer, the chances to get an A* depend only to the student's motivation. Still it is easier to get motivated in grammar/private schools.

Although in few cases students in public schools have parents not wealthy enough to pay grammar or private schools, I think in most cases the parents don't care about their children education. You can have government help for grammar schools, some private schemes for private schools and I know someone whose parents dedicate a lot of money to their child education even if they are far from being rich. It's mostly about what are your priorities.
Even if you can just about afford the tuition, there's also the question of availability. Where I am (in a city), the nearest private school is about 10-15 miles away. That's far if your family doesn't have a car.

I think there are a lot more people who can't afford private or grammar education than you might think.
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FortitudeBank
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(Original post by 04MR17)
Even if you can just about afford the tuition, there's also the question of availability. Where I am (in a city), the nearest private school is about 10-15 miles away. That's far if your family doesn't have a car.

I think there are a lot more people who can't afford private or grammar education than you might think.
Of course, there are still huge inequalities. Nevertheless, the fees in private schools are necessary to pay good teachers and tutors and facilities etc... But I agree that £1,500-£2,000 per term per student should be enough. If it is more, it is just a "social" selection to be assured to only get students of a good background who generally perform better.
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Pidge Gunderson
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Why would parents fork out thousands if there was no difference in teaching standards etc. between private and public schools?

I personally believe that a talented student would thrive in either system, however a mediocre student would punch above the bar at a private school but just end up bang average in a public one.
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MoistMandem
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(Original post by Student_57)
There is this idea that if you study in grammar sixth forms you are more likely to get a/a*s in a levels and I think that's unfair because I believe in any student that is willing to work hard and commit to the subjects will get the top grades they deserve

What's your opinion ?

Thank you
A very interesting question to propose indeed!

After reading all the posts in response to this question, I agree with many on that student motivation is usually the key to success. My main argument is that you cannot use a generalised question that groups all schools under these two categories, since you have poor grammar schools and very good comprehensives (especially in areas where there are no grammar schools to take the higher achieving students) which all have different teachers and teaching standards may vary from subject to subject making this question very hard to quantify. However, I do believe grammar and private schools as a general rule have better resources and possibly better teaching standards but also have the advantage they are able to filter out the less motivated and less academically talented before they even enter the school making the teachers jobs a lot easier in terms of class control and keeping the student motivated.

I go to grammar school in Kent, so have experienced grammar school conditions but not comprehensive, meaning my argument may be a little flawed but nonetheless I would love to propose my thought to TSR. My school follows a very similar pattern to what I outlined in my main argument, in the sense we have some very good teachers and some very bad teachers, ranging across all subjects. Grades are not all down to teachers, but for subjects like history it is almost impossible to find useful material online to help you with your studies, making you rather reliant on your teacher. For the mathematical sciences this is not so much the case, however. Therefore, it is dependant on what subject you take and the luck of the draw to which teachers you have that can play a large part in determining whether you achieve high grades, not just whether its a grammar or comprehensive.

The overall point is that yes, it is largely down to student motivation that allows you to achieve top grades, considering it is luck of the draw with teaching and whether your area has grammar schools or not, but after all, it could be argued some comprehensive schools may be better than some grammar schools, not necessarily in terms of overall grade achievement, but in terms of teaching and therefore if you're motivated enough there is nothing stopping you from achieving those top grades.
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