Organisation in the comprehensive school. an investigation into the effects on certain educational results of a transition from a streamed to an unstreamed form of organisation in a large comprehensive school.
2015-11-19T09:16:04Z (GMT) by
Between 1954 and 1961 The Woodlands School, Coventry, a ten form entry boys comprehensive school, adopted a form of organisation in which pupils on entering the school were allocated to work groups that were rigidly streamed on the basis of the eleven plus examination results. From 1962, a relaxation of streaming commenced which eventually culminated in all school subjects being taught to all pupils, in the first three years, in unstreamed forms, without recourse to setting. Between I968 and 1972, an investigation designed to examine the effects on certain educational results of the transition from a streamed to an unstreamed form of organisation, was carried out. The indicators chosen included external examination entries and results, the voluntary 'sstaying on' rate, the performance of selective and non-selective pupils, pupil achievement in relation to season of birth, and the influence of the house system in determining pupil performance. Previous experiments had compared either results from streamed schools with those from similar non-streamed schools or results from streamed classes with those from unstreamed classes within the same school. The Woodlands experiment differed from earlier experiments in so far as it related to a school that was originally rigidly streamed and which changed gradually, over a period of a few years, to one that was unstreamed. The evidence from The Woodlands experiment suggests that a non-streamed form of organisation, operated by a staff who believe in and are dedicated to the idea of mixed-ability teaching, who do not see the pupils' worth primarily in terms of academic achievement in the early years and yet who retain the basic techniques of class teaching as their principal method of instruction, represents a more favourable structure for the vast majority of pupils, including the so-called able ones, than does a system based on streaming.