Saturday, July 27, 2013

Born in July!

An interesting article about the Royal baby who was born in July like me!

When I left school I was still 15 because my birthday is 25th July, I started working as an appentice on August 3rd so I was just 16!  I was always the youngest in the class right through both primary and secondary schools. I was still 15 when I took my GCE's and I didn't do well! I was a 'late learner' now I have a degree and lots of other qualifications, but it took time for me to achieve.
My son Paul had an even bigger disadvantage as his birthday is 27th August, if he had been born five days later he would have had an extra year of education. Like me, Paul was always the yougest in the class! They don't take account of that in SATs and GCSE's but do when tests are assessed and then weighted with cronological age, sometimes called the 'Standardised Score'.

Still, at least my birthday is in the middle of Summer!

Being born in July.

Summer babies face the so-called "birth-date effect", which means that children born in June, July and August are statistically likely to perform less well than their older classmates.

Summertime might be when the living is easy, but learning is more problematic.

This gap is still measurable all the way through primary and secondary school, GCSEs, A-levels and university admissions. There is no point at which these sunshine-month youngsters ever catch up with their older winterish peers.

A few years ago, Cambridge Assessment (an exam board rather than a namesake of the new baby) carried out a major overview and concluded that summer babies were "strongly disadvantaged" and that evidence of this age-related gap "stared out of qualifications data".

By the end of primary school the difference on average is 12%, a substantial difference in the data-obsessed measurement of primary school performance.

An analysis of more than half a million GCSE candidates found a consistent pattern of summer-birthday teenagers performing less well across all subjects.

A Freedom of Information request this year showed that the chance of going to Oxford or Cambridge was 30% higher for someone born in the autumn rather than July.

The difference is so stark that the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said that summer-born children should get extra exam marks.
Mind the gap
But why should there be such a persistent difference?

The IFS suggested that it could be about a lack of confidence and they linked this to younger children being more likely to be unhappy at school.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Nivivo 405 line camera

I found this interesting photo of the 405 line black and white video camera that I had back in the 70's. I always called mine a 'NEV' camera, but couldn't find any trace of it on the internet. It looks very similar with the Vidicon sensor, boards and connectors. I can also see a 'C' type lens the same as mine.

I used it during the days when I was experimenting with 405 line television on 70cm with amplitude modulation. It worked well, but later became a problem with intermittent faults. In the end I decided to rebuild the boards using modern transistors. I'm not sure if I built the boards on Veroboard or made printed circuit cicuits of my own...such a long time ago!
I also don't remember what I did with this camera. Gosh...I wish I had kept some of the old stuff!