anon5252
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Do the majority of people who go to Grammer schools do better in exams compared to state schools? What are the advantages of both? I heard that there is competitive pressure amongst students at Grammer schools compared to state schools.
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Squirmz
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Grammar schools tend to be safer for bullying, better facilities, better teaching quality (more qualified and experienced teachers) and so it’s an easier learning environment. Grammar schools also promote healthy amounts of competition. However state schools have more freedom and are a more relaxed environment, so some people (not all) would find it better.
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Squirmz
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With grades, the top schools tend to be private schools/grammar schools, but some state schools do very well in exams, and some grammar schools not so well.
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Keels25
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Hello,

Here is an article from a few years ago talking about grammar schools vs. state schools:
https://www.dur.ac.uk/education/news/?itemno=34151

According to this article, there isn't much difference in terms of attainment when considering the fact that they are selecting for students who are already performing very well at 11+. In other words, if grammar schools were less selective (or totally non-selective), attainment would probably be of a similar level to state schools who teach children of all abilities and so it is hard to draw conclusions about differences in teaching quality based on attainment statistics alone. You'd be better off looking at surveys completed by students who attended grammar vs. state schools to make a comparison of their personal experiences. I suppose a problem with the grammar school system is that there are many state school students who would be capable of gaining admission to grammar schools but location can be a key disadvantage - if you are living in a deprived area with no grammar schools or perhaps you live very far away from a grammar school, it is unlikely that you will be able to attend one. I attended a state school myself, so I have not experienced what a grammar school is like but I did meet many people who had attended grammar schools at university. From what I've heard, grammar schools tend to be (or have previously been) more involved in outreach (e.g. universities/uni students coming into schools and encouraging young people to think about university). I think this is starting to improve, as there are many initiatives (at the university and wider level) aimed at getting young people from disadvantaged backgrounds into university. For example, students attending low-performing state schools are often made contextual offers (lower grade offers) for top universities to help level this problem out a bit.

Ultimately, a lot of how well you do is down to how much work and effort you are willing to invest - whether at a grammar school or a state school. Possibly teaching could be better in grammar schools, but I've heard lots of accounts disputing this and it probably varies in reality. The key differences (I think) involve outreach because many children attending state schools (who may have no relatives that have attended university) get much less information on the university process, generally speaking. Careers services are not always very well updated - for example, my school was unable to provide me with any specific information on applying for law or medicine (both of which are very competitive courses that interested me). This meant that I didn't really know which A-levels I should ideally be taking (which is especially important for medicine hopefuls). If you don't have university representatives coming into schools and telling students about applying for competitive courses like this, it could set students back to some degree. It may partly explain why the overwhelming majority of UK doctors do not come from working class backgrounds (according to the BMJ). Also, because state schools are non-selective, your peer group varies widely in terms of ability, thus university is not necessarily something that is a priority for the majority of people around you which could be damaging in that you may not be surrounded by like-minded people (if university is something that you really want to do). This is partially combated by putting students into "sets" based on ability or adopting 'gifted and talented' schemes designed to nurture students with high academic potential but of course, the quality of such programmes varies from school-to-school. This sort of alludes to the point you made about "competitive pressure", which is probably more likely to be a feature at a selective school.

Perhaps another advantage of some grammar schools is greater encouragement to get involved in extra-curricular activities? But equally, state schools can also be very encouraging of this so it would very much depend on which schools you were looking at.
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wewillrise
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I go to a grammar school and I have done since year 7 (I'm year 12 now). The environment is very academic in its focus, which works for some people but definitely not all- I had a few friends drop out in y8-9 due to the exam pressure. teacher-student relationships seem to be better from what I've heard about comprehensive, but class sizes are about the same (most of my GCSE classes had 25-30 students, and my A level classes have 12-17). Grammar school exam stats are usually better, but that does make sense as we have to qualify academically and are in a high-pressure academic environment. It's definitely competitive, but I'd say it's healthy levels of competition, and we all lift each other up too. it can be a very stressful and anxious environment in the run up to exam season though.
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anon5252
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(Original post by Keels25)
Hello,

Here is an article from a few years ago talking about grammar schools vs. state schools:
https://www.dur.ac.uk/education/news/?itemno=34151

According to this article, there isn't much difference in terms of attainment when considering the fact that they are selecting for students who are already performing very well at 11+. In other words, if grammar schools were less selective (or totally non-selective), attainment would probably be of a similar level to state schools who teach children of all abilities and so it is hard to draw conclusions about differences in teaching quality based on attainment statistics alone. You'd be better off looking at surveys completed by students who attended grammar vs. state schools to make a comparison of their personal experiences. I suppose a problem with the grammar school system is that there are many state school students who would be capable of gaining admission to grammar schools but location can be a key disadvantage - if you are living in a deprived area with no grammar schools or perhaps you live very far away from a grammar school, it is unlikely that you will be able to attend one. I attended a state school myself, so I have not experienced what a grammar school is like but I did meet many people who had attended grammar schools at university. From what I've heard, grammar schools tend to be (or have previously been) more involved in outreach (e.g. universities/uni students coming into schools and encouraging young people to think about university). I think this is starting to improve, as there are many initiatives (at the university and wider level) aimed at getting young people from disadvantaged backgrounds into university. For example, students attending low-performing state schools are often made contextual offers (lower grade offers) for top universities to help level this problem out a bit.

Ultimately, a lot of how well you do is down to how much work and effort you are willing to invest - whether at a grammar school or a state school. Possibly teaching could be better in grammar schools, but I've heard lots of accounts disputing this and it probably varies in reality. The key differences (I think) involve outreach because many children attending state schools (who may have no relatives that have attended university) get much less information on the university process, generally speaking. Careers services are not always very well updated - for example, my school was unable to provide me with any specific information on applying for law or medicine (both of which are very competitive courses that interested me). This meant that I didn't really know which A-levels I should ideally be taking (which is especially important for medicine hopefuls). If you don't have university representatives coming into schools and telling students about applying for competitive courses like this, it could set students back to some degree. It may partly explain why the overwhelming majority of UK doctors do not come from working class backgrounds (according to the BMJ). Also, because state schools are non-selective, your peer group varies widely in terms of ability, thus university is not necessarily something that is a priority for the majority of people around you which could be damaging in that you may not be surrounded by like-minded people (if university is something that you really want to do). This is partially combated by putting students into "sets" based on ability or adopting 'gifted and talented' schemes designed to nurture students with high academic potential but of course, the quality of such programmes varies from school-to-school. This sort of alludes to the point you made about "competitive pressure", which is probably more likely to be a feature at a selective school. Wow

Perhaps another advantage of some grammar schools is greater encouragement to get involved in extra-curricular activities? But equally, state schools can also be very encouraging of this so it would very much depend on which schools you were looking at.
Wow thank you so much for that detailed explanation! I will read the article now. I agree with this post.
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Saracen's Fez
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Notwithstanding the fact that grammar schools are a form of state school, grammar schools do better because they select only the best students to teach, and force the students they don't want onto other schools. Whether that means that the pupils from both schools do better overall than if they were together in a comprehensive school, I am doubtful.
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preetis11
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Grammar schools select best of the talents through competitive exams and hence will always have better results as compared to State schools.
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