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Secondary Modern to Grammar

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by onelittlevictory, Jan 18, 2009.

  1. A rather strange situation.

    I have spent over 10 years teaching in Kent, where there are Grammar schools,nearly grammar schools and schools that get what's left. I have spent those years in the latter, doing my best to turn borderline kids into Cs and turning Us into Gs.

    I am now interested in teaching at grammar schools. I'd like the challenge of stretching my maths and trying a new situation.

    I wondered whether grammar schools would be interested in my experience? Or am I better off applying to schools that would 'suit' me better?

    Should I brush up on some A level work? Or better to look at IB?

    Any other advice on what to expect?

    Any views would be appreciated.Thanks.olv
  2. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    Interesting question.
    I think there is one major difference between teachers at Grammar schools and those in State schools - namely one applied and the other didn't!
    So brush up your interview skills, stop demeaning yourself, and get those applications in. Unless you apply you will never get in, and you owe it to yourself to apply.
    Good luck and all the best.

  3. (And some of us positively wanted to teach in a state school of course, and didn't land here by lack of getting employment in a grammar).
  4. As a Head of Maths in an independent school, I would certainly consider an application from someone who had a lot of experience teaching in a school like the one describe.
    My concerns would be related to stretching the most able and ability to teach to all levels. Given your background I would ask you to teach an A-level lesson for interview.
    Give some thought to the following questions before interviews:
    • How would you strech a student in the top set Year 10/11 who finds the GCSE course too easy?
    • From the A-Level course what would you consider to be your area of specialism (e.g. Pure, Mechanics, Statistics, Decision)?
    • What experience do you have of working with A* students? (If you have none, think about getting involved with someone like the Further Maths Network or UKMT)
    • Give an example of how you could encourage 'independent learning' in mathematics
    If your local Grammer schools are doing IB it may be worth looking into but if they don't I wouldn't bother...
    Hope that is of some use and Good Luck!

  5. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    Naturally. Where you teach doesn't make you a better or worse teacher. How you teach does. Some want to teach in State schools, some in Grammar schools, some in the Independent sector and some abroad. Amen to diversity.
  6. Thanks Karvol, just checking that I'm not wasting their time or mine. Good point about applying!

  7. I agree brookes. I've never applied to one before. By choosing to land where I did, I got some once in lifetime opportunities.

    On a similar theme, I think I remember someone saying that in France the Government decides where you will teach. So how you got the job had nothing to with interviews.

    Perhaps all teachers should go on rotation every 5 years?

  8. Thanks anothermathshod. It's a good point. I certainly don't have many A* lesson plans lying around!
    My specialism at A level might well be Mechanics. Will get brushed up!
    Rather naive me, I thought quite a few independent schools were going IB, and that Grammars would be chasing this up as well. Is it just a fad then?

  9. I agree with you that from a pedgagocial perspective the IB is a much better qualification. My overriding concern at the moment is that I don't think Universities have really taken on board how much harder it is!! Several of my students this year have been given offers around 39 to 42 out of 45 including a 7 in Maths HL. However if they had applied of A-levels the equivalent is AAB. Getting an A in A-level Maths is significantly easier than achieving a 7 in HL (I would say it is closer to a high 5 or a low 6), which means by encouraging students to study the IB we are currently making it harder for them to get in to Uni (which is a real shame as they are normally better learners for having done the IB).
    Also from my research most Maths courses would rather students sat A-level Maths & Further Maths and not the IB.
    UCAS do at least give a very high point score to the IB, but if you are applying to one of the 'top' Uni's then they don't give points offers!
    I think the IB is probably here to stay in some form but will not become more mainstream until it is better understood by university admission tutors.

  10. I will look up some IB stuff. Any particular recommendations for sites that explain it? ( For someone who is starting from square one)

  11. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    If you let me know what subject you teach and at what level, I will email you the syllabus, teacher guide and any other official bumph the IB has produced.
    It is available for free from their website for all teachers who teach at IB schools.
    Just send me a PM.

  12. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    I just noticed we are in the maths forum... Doh!

  13. thanks karvol


  14. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    Check your email.
  15. Have sent thanks via email, but will also add thanks here.

    Will click, read and think on the resources you have supplied.



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