Although students at Wilson’s fall within a relatively narrow ability range, we find that setting in a number of subjects is helpful in ensuring that all students attain their potential.
Setting takes place in Mathematics
, Modern Foreign Languages
from Year 9.
Our target for all students is that they reach the highest levels of attainment and achieve the highest grades in their public examinations. The setting arrangements are designed to achieve this end.
The statements below outline individual departmental policies with regard to setting, addressing the following points:
1. Upon what criteria is setting based?
2. Are there opportunities for movement between sets?
3. Does my son’s set have an impact on the examination paper he sits?
- In Years 7 and 8, students are taught Mathematics in their form groups.
- In Year 9, students are split into two parallel cohorts. Each cohort is then split into sets. The setting is based on students’ performance in assessments over the previous year with particular focus on the end of year examinations.
- In Years 10 and 11 the setting continues in the same structure as Year 9 with changes occasionally being made on an individual basis as appropriate.
- In Years 12 and 13 students are put in sets according to their performance in their Mathematics GCSE examination.
In Years 7 and 8 students are taught Science in their form groups.
In Year 9, 10 and 11 students are split in to two bands (V and W). There are four groups of equal ability in each band, with each group containing around 23 students.
The classes are reviewed at the end of every year. All boys study specifications for the separate sciences. During Year 11 a decision is made as to whether it is in the best interests of the student to take separate sciences (3 GCSEs) or Combined Science (2 GCSEs).
Modern Foreign Languages
Initial placement in sets and subsequent changes are based upon a rank order drawn up from the regular assessments. Membership of sets is reviewed on a termly basis and decisions about movement between sets are reviewed by the staff concerned.
Extenuating circumstances may be taken into consideration, but there is a certain amount of overlap between the sets and a boy would have to be showing a considerable misplacement to be moved.
It is presumed that all pupils, regardless of membership of sets, will take the higher level in the reading and listening papers. The other two skills, writing and speaking, will be assessed by two Controlled Assessment for each skill. Any change to setting and level of entry will be made in consultation with the pupil concerned, his parents or carers, his language teacher, the Head of Modern Languages and senior staff.
In English at KS4 there are two parallel sets of 24 – 26 for the most able (V1 and W1), four parallel sets of 18 – 23 below them (V2, V3, W2, W3) and V4 and W4, which are two parallel smaller sets, designed to enable pupils to receive a lot of personal support, owing to the very favourable pupil-teacher ratio.
Boys are allocated to sets according to a number of criteria:
- Year 8 examination results
- End of KS3 Teacher Assessments
- Prior performance in relevant tests and teacher assessments
- Departmental consultation
Between Year 9 and Year 10 there may be some movement between sets according to the performance of pupils. This depends upon pupil performance across all sets rather than within a set. In Years 10 and 11 this is less likely as different sets will be studying different texts for GCSE English Literature.
In all cases, although setting is mainly arranged using examination results, the professional opinion of the student’s teacher is also taken into account.