INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE / WELSH BACCALAUREATE
Libby discusses the International Baccalaureate's Middle Years Programme, for ages of 11 to 16, which is now being embraced by several schools and the Welsh Baccalaureate, which aims to deliver a more broad-based education to children in Wales.
Joining Libby Purves is Tony Smith, Head of Dartford Grammar School, Keith Davies, Project Director Welsh Baccalaureate and Professor David Reynolds of the University of Plymouth.
The number of multiple births in the UK is increasing fast – with approximately one child in 35 now being a twin, a triplet or a quad. There’s no government policy on the education of these children, but many schools and parents are beginning to feel a need for guidance.
One big issue is whether to treat twins as a natural unit and keep them together in the same class, or to separate them, placing them in different classes, for the sake of their individual development.
Reporter, Caroline Swinburne talks to twins, parents and their teachers and Libby is joined by Stephen Bennett, Head of Grange School in Hartford, Cheshire, which has 19 sets of twins.
SETTING BY ABILITY
Gordon Brown’s first education programme, delivered in July–promising a return to traditional teaching and tougher classroom discipline—included an encouragement to setting, or grouping, by ability.
This kind of setting has been the government’s position since 1997. But two academics from Sussex University have undertaken research which not only throws doubt on the assumption that children do better learning with others of a similar ability band, but that without realising it, teachers who think they’re grouping children together by ability, are actually grouping very many of them together in terms of social class.
Joining Libby Purves live in the studio will be Professor Jo Boaler and Professor Judy Sebba of the University of Sussex.