On the Octagon Table: Does Mixed Ability Teaching and Learning Work?

Trivium 21c

Centre_Table_(Carpenters'_Hall)

Would you prefer your seven year old child to be taught in a mixed ability class or not?

According to the Millennium Cohort Study whether a seven year old child is taught in a mixed ability class or streamed makes a significant impact on their attainment. This paper from the IoE draws on the evidence from the study and draws some stark and not altogether surprising conclusions: “Children in the ‘top’ stream achieved more and made significantly more academic progress than children attending schools that did not stream, while children in the ‘middle’ or ‘bottom’ streams achieved less and made significantly less academic progress.”

I have not had access to the rest of the report so I am not sure what conclusions it draws but from this statement alone the challenges for primary education are huge. Streaming is not good for ‘middle’ ability and ‘low’ ability children, however it is good for…

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