Monthly Archives: May 2012

Learning without limits

“Grouping by ability holds children back argues headteacher Alison Peacock, whose school went from failing to outstanding when the whole staff worked to ban limiting beliefs about fixed abilities and fixed futures and became a listening school”


Blog post by Alison Peacock is Headteacher at the Wroxham School in Hertfordshire, and co-author of Creating Learning Without Limits. Her co-authors are Mandy Swann, lecturer at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, and Susan Hart and Mary Jane Drummond, both former lecturers there. To read the full post click HERE

What are your thoughts and experiences? Should classes be mixed ability or streamed? Personally, I have worked in secondary schools where classes were mixed ability until Year 10; lesson planning involved making sure that for every lesson I planned ‘core’ work, in addition to ‘support’ and ‘extension’ activities. I have also worked in schools where classes were set on ability, I still had to plan for ‘core’, ‘support’ and ‘extension’ activities but the range in ability wasn’t so great. There is definitely a staff perception that planning for mixed ability classes is more time consuming but I believe that if you are effectively differentiating the work surely it shouldn’t take that much longer? I do believe that mixed ability classes offer students the chance to shine in other ways (e.g. communication skills, teamwork, etc) the benefits of which shouldn’t be ignored as they raise self esteem ….

University graduates embark on earlier chase for jobs

By , education editor at The Guardian

” The graduate class of 2012 has made a record number of applications and begun looking for jobs earlier than ever, a survey of over 17,000 final-year students shows.

Applications for graduate jobs in investment banking have returned to their highest level since the start of the credit crunch in 2008, the High Fliers Research survey finds.

Desire to take time off or go for a gap year is at an all-time low – just 12% plan to do this. The survey, of students at 30 universities, estimates the volume of applications has risen by 40% in two years.

A record 42% of students made applications for a graduate job by the end of October in their final year, while 61% had applied by the end of February, compared with 59% last year.

More than a third of students started researching their career options in the first year of their studies.”

Is this the end of the infamous ‘gap year’? What about the choices students are making in relation to the course studied? It wasn’t so long ago that a gap year was seen as almost a right before settling down and getting a ‘real job’. More often than not nowadays depending on your career choice it would make more sense to focus on getting relevant industry experience or perhaps an apprenticeship to get ahead.

What are your thoughts on the taking a ‘gap year’ – important or not?

Cartoon: school for equal opportunities