Right targets help set success;Letter

15th January 1999 at 00:00
I READ with interest the letter "Standards have been raised by setting" (TES, December 27).

Our school has been able to significantly raise standards by setting pupils in ability groups at both Key Stage 1 and 2 for maths and English for the past three years.

But I've also known of schools who have "set" children and not effected any change. Perhaps it boils down to "It ain't what you do it's the way that you do it!"

Our setting is based on accurate levelling across the whole school. The sets are reviewed every half-term and each set has clear criteria for membership eg working towards level 3; level 3; and working towards level 4 etc. The staff devised the criteria and set targets for each half-term. The school expects a climate of "gain" for every pupil.

At first we had a significant mix of ages in sets but now we've moved towards children working on age-appropriate learning.

Last year we were visited by inspectors Keith Lloyd and Ian Rogers, who both praised setting in our school as effective and successful.

Teachers' planning has been made easier, staff say teaching is more enjoyable managing one ability level, and children love it.

Helen Buchanan Headteacher St Clements CE primary Ordsall, Salford

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