The exams merry-go-round
Walk into any bookshop and it's hard to believe Letts didn't introduce exams! A quick glance at the array of revision guides demonstrates the importance and emphasis now placed on assessing little Annie or Ahmed. For some parents, exams prove an occasion to swell with pride, as their child soars over the hurdles. Others seem to limp along, attempting to find a different way to cross the hurdle, dodge it, or not even getting an invitation to attempt it. However, we are told testing is designed to help spot problems and to allow children to be given appropriate help and support, so don't be despondent if your child doesn't fly first time, but do work with teachers and other professionals to help sort problems and difficulties.
The National Curriculum, and P levels
The National Curriculum is the framework used by all state schools in England. Children work at different levels according to age and ability. There are 4 key stages, with national testing at the end of each (the fourth being GCSE at which point the national curriculum no longer applies). By the end of key stage 1 (age 7), the average child is expected to achieve national curriculum level 2; this rises to level 4 at the end of key stage 2 and level 5 or 6 by the end of key stage 3. Only the most able pupils will achieve a level 8 with an additional exceptional performance category for those who achieve beyond this. Such performance is rare. In exceptional cases, schools can choose to disapply weaker students from some elements of the national curriculum.
ASDAN, a QCA (Qualifications Curriculum Authority) approved awarding body, specialises in producing curriculum resources whcih promote the development of Personal, Social, Citizenship and Independence skills which prepare the learner for working life.
The ASDAN awards and qualificatons complement the statutory curriculum by providing nationally recognised accreditation. Following their operating principles 'Plan', 'Do' and 'Review' they identify the next challenge/target for the learner, whcih might be progressive or involve practising and maintaining skills/knowledge learnt.
Perhaps you suspect your child has some learning difficulty and you would like advice on what you should do. Or perhaps it is becoming clear that your child's current school is not working for him or her, and you need help to find a mainstream school which has better SEN provision, or to find a special school which will best cater for your child's area of need. Our SEN consultancy team advises on both special schools, and the mainstream schools with good SEN support, from reception through to the specialist colleges for 19+.
Special Educational Needs Index
There are currently around 163 state funded grammar schools located in 36 English local authorities, with around 167,000 pupils between them. There are a further 69 grammar schools in Northern Ireland, but none in Wales or Scotland. Almost half of these are in what are considered 'selective authorities' (eg Kent and Buckinghamshire), where around one in five local children are selected for grammar school entry based on ability. The others are areas such as Barnet or Kingston, with only a few grammar schools.
How to find a state grammar school
Word of warning: not all selective grammar schools have…
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