Praise for school's heroic effort

11th February 2000 at 00:00

EVERY so often, the corridors of Matthew Moss high school, Rochdale, ring out to the chart-topping strains of M People.

The band's anthem to positive thinking, "Search for the hero inside yourself" has become the theme for a creative thinking programme runs for Year 7 and 8 pupils, writes Warwick Mansell.

And according to head Andy Raymer it sums up the optimistic ethos at Matthew Moss, one of 80 secondaries praised as good or outstanding by Chris Woodhead.

Mr Raymer claims a link-up with Manchester Metropolitan University's teacher training scheme has proved especially useful. "It's very cler that the work has led to better teaching. Those involved with training have themselves become better teachers."

Staff are singled out for praise, while M People underpin a programme of accelerated learning in which pupils, 40 per cent of whom speak English as a second language, are encouraged to use mental techniques such as mind mapping to boost their skills.

The school also runs cognitive acceleration programmes in maths and science to improve the results of pupils with below-average achievement. These strategies have helped to ensure the 900-pupil comprehensive's GCSE results are in line with national averages.

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