In September I started sixth form
at my local grammar school after attending a comprehensive school
for five years.
After seeing the story from both
sides I can see why grammar schools do better.
By making the children take the
11 plus, grammar schools start off with the brighter children, this
means there are no under achievers to hold the class back.
This is where I think comprehensives
fail. Obviously the majority of pupils at comprehensive schools
are average for their age group, however there are some who do not
reach the average grades for their year and can get
behind the rest of the class and so get bored and begin disrupting
This means that the teacherís attention
is then turned to the disruptive child, meaning the rest of the
class also loses out. Because of this problem I think comprehensive
schools tend to focus more on helping the under achievers than pushing
the higher achievers.
|'I've seen how grammar schools
only aim for A grades' - Kate
Grammar schools donít have this problem
because their focus is on nurturing the high intelligence they already
They teach that the only grade to
aim for is an A, which means the pupils are only satisfied when
they get that grade. I have noticed that at comprehensive schools
most pupils aim for a pass and a C is good.
Whereas here the pupils get really
upset at the thought of a C because they believe it is a fail. In
comprehensive schools it recognised more so when a pupil has really
made an effort for a piece of work even if they donít get the best
grade in the class.
In most cases, but not all unfortunately,
the encouragement given to this pupil will help them achieve more
next time and so their skills are developed.
However, in my experience this help
and encouragement does not happen in grammar schools as the school
only goes on grades and not effort.
Over the past five months I have
noticed that the grammar school teachers do not make the effort
to notice when a pupil is struggling and will not go out of their
way to help.
They expect the pupils to understand
everything and when you go and ask for help they still donít explain
things so you understand them. I received so little help with my
AS level IT I ended up dropping it.
At comprehensive schools I think
everyoneís aim is to be popular and the popular oneís are the oneís
who donít work and disrupt the lessons. However at grammar schools
the popular ones are the cleverest and so here to be popular they
have to work which is why they do better.
Also, grammar school it seems pupils
all aim for the top jobs, such as doctors and lawyers and they know
they have to work to get the grades to go to the best universities.
just don't want to be at school
In my experience the majority of
comprehensive school pupils donít know what they want to do in the
future and so donít have anything to aim for. Most only stayed for
sixth form because they didnít know what else to do.
|'Grammar schools miss out on
other social classes' - Kate
The truancy rate at my old school
is 0.3% while here it is 0.1%. Not a big difference I know but it
is reflected in the grades. On the other hand, most grammar school
pupils recognise that school is a necessity to enable them to get
the best grades and so they do stay at school and work.
I've seen that some pupils donít
work at comprehensive schools - they donít even bring their work
and books with them.
I found at the comprehensive school
the popular people brought a little bag, which would only hold their
mobile, make up, and hairbrushes. This meant they didnít have any
pens or books and so didnít understand.
However, at the grammar school they
all carry huge folders with them and always turn up and so get an
education. This is why the percentage of pupils who achieved 5 or
more GCSE grades A-C at the grammar school was 100 in comparison
to the 42% at the comprehensive I used to go to.
schools miss out on diversity
However grammar schools arenít always
the best, here the pupils donít learn about different social classes
as theyíre always surrounded by bright people from the better backgrounds
and in 50% of the cases, if daddy doesnít drive a Jag you donít
This isnít the case always as there
are a lot of really nice people there who do accept you for who
you are but there are some who still donít want to know me because
Iím one of the few who doesnít have a designer bag!
This is where comprehensive schools
are better because there is more diversity and acceptance of people
from different backgrounds because the majority of people are from
similar working class families.
However comprehensive schools are
not as culturally diverse as grammar schools. This helps the pupils
learn and interact with people from different cultural backgrounds,
which is useful later in life.
And what about the single sex school
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