Academic Gear:

A person’s ability to apply literacy, mathematics and scientific skills that allows them to access and explore the world around them, helping to develop their self-esteem and identity

A traditional model of education is to stream children into ability groups within a primary school class. These children would then be provided with differentiated work. Most children were able to make progress using this approach. Uplift aspires for every child to achieve rather than most.

The Traditional model exacerbates a number of issues across the ability range creating ever increasing gaps between the low and high ability children:

Below average children: Often placed in groups where the expectations were low and work was matched to their ‘below national status’. Children in these groups may have exhibited low self-esteem and poor behaviour. They were often aware of their ‘status’ and rarely felt a sense of achievement for their effort and outcomes.

Average children: Often given average work where the teacher was happy for them to achieve national expectations.

These children appear to be able to cope with a content driven curriculum but ultimately don’t fully always master each skill before moving on.

Above average children: Often the children who have achieved top group status do so with little effort or challenge. They can become complacent as their skills of metacognition have rarely been challenged. Children in this group may rush through content due to their higher learning rate and often don’t fully master fundamental learning skills.

These are some essential elements that contribute to a child’s ability to learn when there are no issues with the Emotional and Identity Gears.

  • Intellect: Intellect is a significant factor when moving children onto more complex problems and situations that require deeper thinking. Howard Gardener has shown that there are multiple intellects in different subjects. Intellect does not prevent a person from learning a skill.
  • Learning rate: Learning rate plays a significant role in a child’s ability to learn new skills. Some children learn at a hyper rate and need further challenge and higher level thinking. Other children can have a very low rate of learning, but simply need more practice time to master the required skill, but they do have the capability. A child with a low learning rate does not automatically have a low intellect.