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To Set or Not to Set?

posted 13 Oct 2014, 07:19 by

.....That is the question!

Since September, Year 7 students have been experiencing all that Millbrook Academy has to offer. From Science experiments in the Superlab to amazing acting in Performing Arts; all of which has taken place through mixed ability setting.

As a large cohort, students stay within the same group in all of their subjects, which in itself helps to reinforce the students’ resilience. This move from traditional setting has been received positively by students who have described it as ‘supportive yet challenging’ and a ‘great idea.’

Lucy McNab, a Gifted and Talented student in English, thinks that it helps to strengthen the pupil’s knowledge and allows students to support each other. For example, Lucy has created a game with a range of difficulty levels for use in English, which will help with sentence construction. Thomas Biles, George Lewis and Darnell Cunningham have shared their expert knowledge on punctuation by leading differentiated starter activities. Their confidence depicts them as positive role models for others in the class, irrelevant of ability.

As an Academy, we have been asked how we continue to challenge the higher ability students; students are given more complex success criteria within the work set and more difficult modelled examples. Students are also given ‘challenge words’ to develop a more advanced vocabulary.

With various interventions still operating within and outside of lessons for students that require further support, mixed ability classes are creating a culture with the mindset, in the words of Lucy McNab and AET: to make our best better.