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Does streaming at KS2 work?

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by 2r2e, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. 2r2e

    2r2e New commenter

    Can anyone point me in the direction of any evidence base that they know of (one way or the other) about the effectiveness of setting/streaming in English and maths at KS2? Or have thoughts based on any personal experience of changing from one to the other? Our progress for middle ability isn't great and we're trying to pin down why, so our current streaming in Ys 4-6 needs to be examined closely.
    Many thanks.
  2. Children need role models when learning and something to aspire to. Differentiated mixed ability teaching encourages good teaching strategies like use of AfL and guided work. Ability setting can lead to one size fits all. Some Teachers can teach a whole class approach well through targeted questioning and constantly raising the bar but they are usually brilliant at their subject, put it across well and are rare. In a streamed class you will have strengths and weaknesses across the maths or literacy curriculum which won't be addressed if everyone is taught the same thing at the same time. I would look closely at teaching style and strengths of teaching in each set. Subject knowledge gaps in teaching can often be hidden and lead to subject knowledge gaps in learning. Do your weakest Teachers have the weaker sets? I'd suggest looking at the quality of teaching first then gradually looking at developing best practice from the best you see and consider developing subject knowledge all round. Moving to mixed ability teaching might take longer to develop well but in my view would challenge teaching the most and raise standards.
  3. We don't set any lower than Y5 currently but my Y6 teachers have developed an amazing system which means that, although they are split into roughly a L4-6 or L2-4 set, these groups are reorganised WEEKLY, with the teachers looking at APp and where gaps in learning exist and moving children between the groups. They also swap groups every couple of weeks and have joint responsibility for all the children. The impact of this has been amazing with the children making extraordinary progress (incl. 5 L6's and 2 LEVEL 7's!!) but with all groups benefitting with many of the traditionally 'bottom set' children finding themselves in the top groups some weeks and making 4-10 points progress. I really rate this method and we are currently trailing it in Y5 before extending it to all of KS2 next year. Interestingly, the initial idea came from seeing how EYFS teachers work with fluid groups and spend time observing the children to see what they can do before grouping children.
  4. 2r2e

    2r2e New commenter

    Thanks both, very interesting food for thought.

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