Thursday, July 14, 2011

Primary School pupils not being stretched

'Estyn' is the Welsh education watchdog. They have concluded that the most 'able and talented' pupils in Welsh Primary schools are not being stretched enough.

Well firstly, I have no idea what the real difference between 'able' and 'talented' is and secondly- it's exactly the same in England. We let down the brightest and dimmest kids, then carry on doing the same in Secondary School.


Don said...

I believe that strictly speaking 'able' generally means being bright across-the-board, whereas 'talented' tends to denote special aptitude in a particular field or subject area - eg 'a talented musician'. Although the two terms do seem to be used more or less indiscriminately.

Unfortunately, the educational system we have in most parts of the country now fails both groups of pupils equally.

Boy on a bike said...

"not being stretched enough" - are they particularly short?

Dafydd said...

Ah - But in Wales they attempt to educate Primary School pupils through the medium of the Welsh language .

This stretches native English speakers no end ; come to that many purportedly bilingual pupils find it challenging too .

paulsc said...

Things have probably changed since my teenagers left primary school but when they were there it was clear that all pupils were being groomed for the SATs in year 6. Since the mark for the exam had an artificial ceiling of level 5, the teachers had no incentive to spend time with those pupils who were already able to achieve it. All their time was spent trying to get the weaker pupils up a level.
My daughter was given un-official approval to read books at the back whilst the rest of the class were being taught. Hardly a considered approach to dealing with the gifted and talented as it was then known

ColdWater said...

It's even worse. The only incentive is to work on the borderline pupils - the ones would could creep into the next higher or lower level. Those who will easily get a 5 or never get a 5 could get neglected.

Jenny said...

Sorry to comment on an old post, but I just wanted to say that I loved reading your book and totally agree with your comments about the most "able" students and those with difficulties being let down by the education system.

I'm only 21 (still at university) and, while I was lucky enough to go to a decent school where there weren't as many of the behavioural issues as you have had to deal with, I definitely felt let down by my school.

I wouldn't consider myself amazingly bright or clever but I always tried hard and was interested in learning but the response I got from many teachers throughout primary school and secondary school was fairly negative. I felt I was actually a bit of nuisance to them because I would always finish my work and have nothing to do for the rest of the lesson. I also remember once a friend and I actually being told off by a teacher for reading ahead in a book we were reading for class (when she overheard us discussing it).

It was thanks to the few decent, inspiring teachers I had in my time that I continued to try at all. I then chose to move from my secondary school to a sixth form college in another town and ended up at university - but so many young people don't have that opportunity!

Isabella said...

People don't leave because things are hard. People do leave because it's no longer worth it.

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sittingtenantman said...

I think the last 6 months of the academic year for year 6 pupils. My daughter certainly wasn't stretched in that period.