Should children be separated, based on ability?
Well let’s look at the education system now? The pressure for all schools and teachers is growing. The standards are continually being raised and to add to the concoction are the dreaded drastic cuts. The pressure on schools is increasing to meet each individual child’s needs in a class of 30 in a ‘mixed ability class.’
If your child is potentially a high achiever or is already a high achieving student, every parent’s fear is for their child to get ‘overlooked’ or not driven enough to entice academic growth and development. There are ‘Gifted and Talented’ interventions that many schools may adopt. However, how much time is given to them? Teachers are swamped with; teaching, learning, training, pastoral care, planning, marking and extra-curricular activities. Is there really the time or desire to push those already exceeding expected targets?
Let’s make the most of our resources. Parents are willing to support their children at home. Your Teachers believe we can help parents do this further. We also feel this can benefit schools as we are professional teachers: teaching, planning, assessing and marking student’s work. Encouraging and motivating individuals – something that schools are often unable to fund or provide. Our children can have the right access to learning based on their ability. Perhaps teachers will have less pressure. And perhaps, you won’t get a lot of good, experienced staff leaving!
“High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation.” – Charles Kettering American inventor, engineer, businessman
Yes. Differentiation is needed, but unfortunately in a lot of schools today there are a lot of children with a vast amount of differing needs; from English as an additional Language to ADHD. In the ideal world, classes should be smaller – however, with the current state of affairs in the education sector, this is not likely to happen. In one school I worked in 17 children in the class were on the SEN Register. A lot of time was spent on behaviour management. I had to start from scratch to retrain them for health and safety purposes above all else. The high achievers and the potential of these students was not met through lack of regular challenging tasks.
It is important to give all children of all abilities a fair access to the excellence in education that Britain is well known for delivering. We cannot expect teachers to achieve the high standards on their own within a school environment. Let’s look at other options to help all communities within our society.