Let’s get rid of ‘average’

Let’s get rid of ‘average’

While ‘average’ may be a good way to describe the middle group of children. Looking at each child individually, you will discover that no child is ‘average’ and can improve if given the opportunity. 

We need to change the narrative and get rid of ‘average’. Every child has the potential to achieve excellent grades at school. All they need are the right strategies and support. 

Every child has a Gift.

Every child has a gift; every child has something special about them. It could be their sense of humour, confidence, or wit. It could be their ability to empathise, their ability to focus, and their creativity. Entrepreneurship or even leadership abilities could be where their talent lies. 

The problem is not that children are average. Instead, the problem is that many children think they are ‘average’ and can only achieve ‘average’ results. 

The Problem with the Setting System

It doesn’t help that most secondary schools in Britain use a setting system. The system sets pupils based on their attainment in previous tests and examinations. This means that pupils in set 1 feel reassured that they are clever, pupils in sets 2 and 3 think that they are ‘average’, and pupils in set 4 and below feel that they are not good enough!

Research has shown that setting can benefit pupils in the higher sets by increasing their confidence and encouraging a competitive attitude towards learning. However, research has also shown that setting can be highly damaging for pupils in the lower sets. Yet, this system still exists in many schools.

For many pupils, the setting can feel like a glass ceiling.

Imagine starting a new-entry-level job, and you want to be promoted. However, you knew the only way to move up would be if someone from the management team moved down to do your entry-level job. Such is the way with setting in schools.

Set 1 is usually filled to the brim with 30 students working towards A/A* grades. Many of the pupils in set 2 or below and all pupils then end up feeling that they would have to physically work their way through the sets if they ever wanted to get an A or A*.

No wonder pupils in the lower-attaining groups often feel helpless or wonder if it’s worth the stress. Being placed in Set 2 or below can be a constant reminder that no matter how hard they try, they will never be good enough to pass through the glass ceiling.

So what can you do?

Most comprehensive schools will stick to the setting system for the foreseeable future. However, we believe that pupils who feel average still have a lot of potential.

The first step in moving away from average grades is understanding that top grades are attainable and that no child is ‘average’. When given the proper support, many pupils from middle sets can still achieve top grades. Additionally, when your child has changed their mindset, they or can realise their potential and achieve excellent grades.

The Success Academy has helped hundreds of young people worldwide succeed at school and beyond. Through the GT Scholars Success Academy, we have helped pupils build the right skills, get the proper support and implement the right strategies for success. So if you struggle to achieve good school results, our Success Academy could help you improve.

If you are interested in one of our programmes, you can register your interest here, and one of our team members will contact you to discuss things in more detail.

GT Scholars
Growth mindset