Reviewed Tes Papers   (Papers will be added)   -

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After sitting 28 GCSE papers in four weeks, I was left thinking, "What was the point of all that?" Natile Brundell 


      School girl Natalie letter is extremely perceptive. Dylan Wiliam claims about the  importance of knowledge (Click) is vital, but it must be viewed as factual resources. It is important to consider what knowledge is relevant to children's learning needs.

        This is what Natalie said:-

        "After taking 28 exams in a four-week period, after 12 years of formal education and three years of GCSE preparation, I was left wondering: what was the point of all that?

This year we found ourselves with the dubious pleasure of memorising a host of formula sheets for maths and science.

   At least the 2017 cohort didn’t have the horror of the physics exam without a formula sheet; the year below are busy memorising formula after formula. Because let’s face it, in the real world there’s no such thing as formula sheets.

  If the exams are preparing us for the future, it is a future, from what we can tell, that will be full of memorised formulas and dates and even entire essays until we can recite them in our sleep.

 The kid who goes on to be an accountant: he won’t be able to access the statistics or figures if he forgets them while writing a report. The child who goes on to be a physicist: she won’t get to look up the formula for the density of an object because she should have memorised it. Instead she’ll be fired.

Memory isn't everything

That is what these exams tell us – that if you don’t remember in that allotted time period, you fail.

  We are being told that only the students with good memories are smart, because they can remember the formulas, the dates, the essays, the quotes and everything in between.

  We are not being taught to express our own ideas; instead, we endeavour to find one that will get us the best grade and recite it until we know it off by heart. We are being taught to be robots."

Dylan Wiliam - Pisa Comparisons not Useful 

      Dylan Wiliam, a recognised world authority on education, attack on Pisa clearly suggests that its results no longer offer credible comparisons on countries educational performance. He goes as far as suggest that South Korea would be a low educational attaining country if its children did not have private lessons  

Howard Tes Letter

The Seoul of Leaning – Letter 2nd December 2016

The BBC Wales School Swap: Korean Style school (bit.]ySchoolSwap) which featured three children who visited a South Korean school illustrates the reality of how out of touch the Westminster’s’ governments educational policies are. Children in Seoul experience a 60-hour week They are in school and private teaching institutions from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. or later.

Why We Should Ditch Differentation

         This anonymous article offer a honest appraisal of the problem of differentiation where there are no simple answers to it. The concern that if teachers have lower expectations for children and a ask less challenging questions to them and set lower order tasks then children of the generally lower learning potential will become could become complacent about what they will achieve.

H.G. This quote is sums up the whole issue of differentiation and catch up.

In a 1996 The Simpsons episode, “You Only Move Twice”, Bart is having difficulty in his new class. Instantly, he is removed to a remedial class and quite perceptively states: “Let me get this straight. We’re behind the rest of our class and we’re going to catch up to them by going slower than they are?"

If learners are slow learners, catch means that they must run faster to catch children who are consistently running faster than them.

This provocative, but very interesting paper.