Thomas Mills High SchoolA State Funded Academy


Pupil Grouping Policy in Key Stages 3 and 4

The School does not take an overall view on the desirability or otherwise of setting or of mixed-ability teaching.  The type of grouping used is decided subject by subject.    The basis of our decisions is ‘what works best?’  

Most subjects (including English) prefer to teach mixed-ability groups and have a successful record of doing so.

Exceptions to this general position are as follows:

In Year 7:                            

Maths, Science and Modern Languages teach groups based on the results of KS2 results.   Groups are reviewed shortly after the beginning of the year and at intervals thereafter based on further testing and teachers’ observations of how well individuals are progressing.   Any change of group by a pupil is notified to parents.

In Years 8 – 11:                 

Pupils are setted in Maths and in Modern Foreign Languages, where learning is hierarchical.

In Science, pupils are taught in broad ability groups aimed at either the Foundation level of entry or the Higher level of entry.   Final decisions in Years 9 and 10 on actual levels of entry at GCSE are, however, made on an individual basis in discussion with pupils and parents.

In all these subjects, pupils may have their group changed if their rate of progress indicates the necessity for this.   Any change of group by a pupil is notified to parents. 

Parents who are concerned about the group their child has been placed in should contact the relevant Head of Department.