You may be interested to know that there has been much ground-breaking educational research accumulated over the last few years concerning children’s attitudes towards, and achievement within, mixed ability mathematics groupings rather than in traditional ability groupings. The negative effects of ability groupings on attainment and self-confidence are well documented. Importantly, the research states that the progress of the more able pupils is not negatively affected, while critically, the self-esteem and progress of the ‘average’ and ‘less able abilities’ are boosted. As a result, the majority of primary schools and some secondary schools are following this mixed ability model of teaching mathematics. Consequently, the mixed ability model of teaching mathematics is being trialled at Collis.
Below, please find two links that detail the impact of this research with a summary of why class maths (mixed ability teaching) is now considered to be the best way to teach all children regardless of their ability. From September 2019 all year groups will be taught in mixed ability groups except Year 6 who will convert in September 2020.
Education Endowment Research on maths sets: On average, pupils experiencing setting or streaming make slightly less progress than pupils taught in mixed attainment classes. Overall it appears that setting or streaming is not an effective way to raise attainment for most pupils. Setting or streaming may also have an impact on wider outcomes such as confidence. Some studies from the broader evidence base conclude that grouping pupils on the basis of attainment may have longer term negative effects on the attitudes and engagement of low attaining pupils, for example, by discouraging the belief that their attainment can be improved through effort.
Education Endowment Research: