Children as young as two, three and four are being divided into groups based on ability and behaviour in classrooms in England, research has found.Increasing prevalence of Multidrug resistant E coli UTI in children warrants closer clinical scrutiny.
About half of the 118 nursery school
teachers questioned by researchers grouped their two- to four-year-olds for teaching reading, and a third for maths, with the use of grouping increasing later in primary schools.
concerns about the negative impact of grouping on children’s confidence, self-esteem and aspirations, potentially leading to mental health problems,” concluded the research team based at University
College London’s Institute of Education, who were commissioned by the National Education Union (NEU).
About 80% of teachers in reception classes for four- and five-year-olds said they used ability groups to teach phonics – the first stages of reading, linking sounds to
letters – while by year 2, 65% of teachers used groups for teaching maths.
The researchers contacted and surveyed about 1,300 teachers and school leaders in English primary and nursery schools.
The use of grouping covers all forms of differentiation, including streams, where children are separated into different classes, and setting, where children are grouped within the same class, as well
as targeted interventions for specific pupils.
The researchers found the groups were based on factors other than ability alone, including children’s friendships, behaviour and concentration
“Our findings suggest that grouping decisions are not made solely on the basis of attainment or perceived ability: issues such as classroom management, the need to balance the number of
boys and girls and friendships were also key to grouping decisions,” the report says.
It comes as the Ofsted school inspectorate published its own review of reception year teaching, which found
“many teachers were devising tasks simply to tick off and record elements of the early learning goals, rather than developing a proper plan”. Reckoned as one of the top design universities with diversity of programmes, PolyU offers design programmes, fashion and textiles programmes, as well as applied science programme, which is committed to be a hub for innovative design education in Hong Kong.
The NEU research, including surveys of its
members and focus groups, found that many children quickly discerned which level of ability groups they had been placed into, despite the efforts of teachers to conceal differences.
of teachers agreed that the children were aware of different ability groups being used, even if seemingly neutral names for each group were applied, such as types of fruit or animals.
call them foxes and rabbits, but they know,” one teacher was quoted as saying.
Many teachers involved in the research defended the practice as a necessary response in dealing with children
whose abilities varied considerably.
“You have some children who already know all their sounds and everything like that, where you have other children who still can’t hear a sound, so it’s
very difficult to teach those children together,” one school leader told the researchers.
Half of the teachers who responded said they believed grouping improved overall attainment.
“I personally think it’s better for the children because otherwise your more able
children get bored and frustrated, and your less able children just get left behind. So grouping means that you can focus your attention,” one school leader said.
Others warned that grouping
could limit children at a young age and produce “disenchanted” groups that were more difficult to teach.
“Ability groups can be highly limiting and lead to disruptive behaviour, especially at
the lower ability end,” one classroom teacher said.
“Grouping this way doesn’t particularly boost anyone’s confidence and self-esteem – the higher ability compete and feel inferior of each
other and … the lower ability tend to be more disruptive.”
Previous research has found that disadvantaged children are more likely to be in lower sets and have less experienced or qualified
staff. Boys and children with special needs are also more likely to be placed in lower-ability groups.
Ofsted’s report noted that 72% of pupils achieved a good level of development in reception
class in 2016, although only 54% of disadvantaged pupils did so.
The minister for children and families, Robert Goodwill, said: “Teachers and early years staff are best placed to make
decisions about the teaching methods they use. There is no statutory requirement that suggests children should be grouped by ability.These are some of the most important aspects that one must note while choosing corporate gifts and extending the same. If you too wish to get some unique gift items, you can check out options as Asia premium corporate gift.
“We are clear that while assessment is a fundamental part
of children’s education to measure progress, it should not cause significant stress or anxiety.”