Beyond borders

5th January 1996 at 00:00
Your correspondent Charles Bell (TES Letters, December 8) describes this school as "polarising" on the basis of your article "No shame in marginal gain" (TES, November 24) and an eclectic use of league table evidence.

The targeting of middle-ability pupils is aimed at enabling as many as possible to progress from GCSE to advanced courses post-16. We aim to increase their performance to four C grades minimally, the basic entry requirement of our partner sixth-form college. We have also negotiated alternative progression routes for both borderlines and those who are less able, thus improving the staying-on rate.

Furthermore, we have strategies for targeting the more and less able. The school has two senior staff holding responsibility for these two pupil categories. Each chairs a working party which plans and reviews provision. Each faculty has two named members of staff with responsibility for less and more able pupils. Each group of pupils receives appropriate special attention. The TES focused specifically on our borderline pupils. There is no shame in targeting them as part of a strategy aimed at enhancing the performance of all our pupils.

RP THORNTON

Headteacher St Bernadette RC comprehensive Whitchurch, Bristol

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