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'Boot camps' aren't the only way

I read with interest your article about the boot-camp culture and the direct link to improved results (cover story, 11 November). I am, of course, impressed at the tremendous changes brought about in the school described, but I do wonder about the relationship between this behaviour strategy and results.

Six years ago, our school was bound up in a detention system, with a large number of exclusions, but we decided to move in the opposite direction.

We believe that children make mistakes and, as educators, we should support pupils in learning from them. In 2007, we decided to move down the restorative-approaches route. We now have a school with a very low exclusion rate (we aspire to, and will achieve, zero). We don't give detentions, and neither do we have an internal exclusion room.

What I did take from the article was the emphasis on literacy and numeracy, extended school days, and summer, weekend and after-school sessions, which I am sure do have a huge impact on attainment.

Helen Holman, Headteacher, Orchard School Bristol.

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