TES Schools Awards 2009 - Outstanding personalised learning initiative

12th June 2009 at 01:00

Winner - Maltby Crags Infant School, Rotherham, South Yorkshire

Children are taught according to their needs and interests and not their age at this infants school. In a Year 2 class, a gifted boy is learning Latin alongside children who are two years behind their chronological age. Children are consulted about the curriculum: one of the thinking skills courses uses themes from popular culture such as Sponge Bob and Doctor Who.

The school says it aims to break the cycle of disadvantage that some families in the area have experienced for generations. It wants to equip children with the life skills of perseverance, independent thinking, reflection, problem solving, learning, supporting and creative thinking.

Enterprise and Seal (social and emotional aspects of learning), designed to improve pupils' social and emotional skills, play an important part. The local authority uses the school as an example of good practice in enterprise education.

Children set their own targets and mark their own work and that of their peers. Each pupil has a "friendly" target book that is shared with their family, their peers and the rest of the school. All teachers use assessment for learning.

Three years ago, Ofsted rated the school satisfactory. This year's Ofsted report says it is outstanding.

Judges' verdict: "The school has sharpened the principles of assessment for learning to make a powerful tool. It is demonstrably successful with vulnerable children." They also spoke of a deprived school that had transformed itself and praised the self-assessment, peer marking and mentoring.

TES Schools Awards 2009:

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