“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 ….