A star is born

29th June 2001 at 01:00
Enrichment, or acceleration, for more able children is frequently discussed. A thorny point within this discussion is whether to enter children for level 4 and level 6 in Years 2 and 6 respectively. What benefit is there in forcing children to gain these high levels? Will they really be achieving a full level 4 or level 6 if they do "pass" the set paper? Most teachers choose enrichment but then panic when it comes to the national tests. The number of children entered for level 6 has steadily risen, and I understand that this year there are more entries than ever.

To recognise the high level achieved by many pupils, wouldn't it be better to award a level 5*, similar to A* at GCSE, for those who achieve over 90 per cent, for example? In this way, enrichment would be encouraged, decisions about whether or not to enter children for level 6 eradicated and those children who achieve an exceptionally high standard would be recognised.

Sue Wareham Headteacher Hinchley Wood primary school Esher Surrey

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