Booster classes shrink subjects on offer

13th July 2007 at 01:00
(Photograph) - Each spring term the staffroom at Westwood primary in Oldham is turned into a booster class for 11-year-olds, writes Helen Ward. In the mornings, there is just one Year 6 class at the school. But in the afternoons, to prepare for tests, an extra literacy, numeracy or science lesson is taught.

The children are divided into three booster classes: level 5, level 4 and level 34. One group stays in class, one goes to the library and the others use the staffroom.

Headteacher Janet Marland, right, teaches the level 34 group. "In the spring term, we do music, swimming, languages and ICT, but the humanities are mostly sidelined until after the Sats," she said.

None of the pupils who took the Year 6 tests in May are native English speakers but 79 per cent have at least level 4 in English and 72 per cent have level 4 in maths. Ms Marland said: "We see a real improvement during the booster sessions because they are intensive: 10 children work with one teacher."

Photograph: Chris Thomond

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