• Why we should stop ability setting in schools

    Classrooms will inevitably feature children of very different ability levels, but keeping them apart helps none of them, argues Mary Myatt There are a number of problems with setting by ability and the first is the term “ability” itself. It is fraught with difficulty: all we can talk about with any confidence is prior attainment:

    5.00 Dec. 9th, 2017 | Opinion

  • Schools are streaming the youngest children by phonics ability

    Schools are using phonics to divide primary classes into ability streams – and pupils born in summer are paying the price. Phonics teaching involves six phases in which children learn how to read and spell using progressively harder phonemes and graphemes – sounds and the letters that represent them. But the National Education Union has

    0.01 Dec. 1st, 2017 | News

  • Rampant ability grouping in primary is 'necessary evil'

    Testing pressures are forcing primary school teachers to group their pupils by ability, even when they don’t believe it will raise attainment. Eighty-one per cent of reception teachers divide their classes into ability groups to teach phonics, new research from the National Education Union and UCL’s Institute of Education has found. However, just 52 per

    0.01 Dec. 1st, 2017 | News

  • Mixed-ability classes barely exist in schools, researchers find

    Teaching pupils in mixed-ability groups is so unpopular that researchers struggled to find enough examples to complete a recent study into the practice. They found that factors driving schools to avoid such classes included the “fear that parents may respond negatively and results will be endangered”, according to a new paper from the British Educational

    0.01 Sep. 5th, 2017 | News