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How Will My Child Be Taught?

Many children find that in secondary schools, teachers are less indulgent than they were in primary school. Teachers expect students to become more responsible about their own education; pupils need to be more organised when it comes to doing homework, and handing it in on time, knowing the timetable and what to bring into school each day. etc.

Setting and Streaming

Many secondary schools use ‘setting' - grouping children according to their ability for certain lessons. Other schools use mixed-ability teaching. You can discuss any concerns you or your child have about the group or ‘set' that she/he has been allocated with the class teacher. Setting should not be confused with ‘streaming' where children are split into different ability groups for all lessons.

If you believe that your child is in the wrong group or ‘set' for a subject, try discussing this with the class teacher to get an explanation of the teacher's assessment.

Children will take formal tests and schools will carry out ‘mock' tests to allow students to learn what it feels like to work in test conditions: arriving on time, following instructions, obeying the rules, working in silence, etc.


Parents and children are often surprised by the increase in the amount of homework at secondary school. Most schools give children a homework diary so you can see what they are meant to be doing and when.

English as an Additional Language

Some children need to learn English as an additional language. They should be given extra help. Research shows, though, that being fluent in his/her first or heritage language is very important for a child so he/she may also be encouraged to read books in his/her first language.