Low Expectations, Poor Performance

A few years ago I had a top set Year 10 Chemistry class, all targeted to get As and A*s. I can’t remember why, but I decided that they should do an O level paper (I think it was some sort of competition run by the Royal Society of Chemistry). I started teaching them what they needed to know. There was a huge amount of new content and the concepts were much more advanced than those in the GCSE specification. They struggled. I struggled. After two weeks, we had only done enough for one O level question, which they failed abysmally. It was a dispiriting episode for the pupils and for me. Continue reading “Low Expectations, Poor Performance”