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BOYS TARGETTED IN BOOSTER MATERIAL FOR KEY STAGE 3 TESTS - SCHOOL STANDARDS MINISTER

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School standards minister David Miliband today launched booster ...
School standards minister David Miliband today launched booster

material aimed at giving all 14 year old students the best chance of

doing well in their Key Stage 3 tests - especially boys.

The tests in English, Maths and Science are not 'pass' or 'fail'

tests. They aim to provide parents and schools with a measure of each

child's progress.

Both boys and girls test results are improving - 2002 Key Stage 3

results were the best ever, with 67 per cent of pupils achieving the

target level (5) or above, but there is a gender gap with girls

continuing to outperformed boys, particularly in English.

Encouraging boys to take more of an interest in their learning

requires an innovative approach to an old problem - such as using

football as a vehicle to re-motivate them. The new Key Stage 3

booster materials are part of a package of exciting measures that are

targeted at pupils who need or want additional support, boys in

particular.

Research shows that students who do well at Key Stage 3 (11-14) are

likely to continue doing well through 14-19, but those who fail to

make progress usually continue to struggle. Key Stage 3 is critical

to achievement in later education and is therefore at the forefront

of the government's focus.

David Miliband said:

'A significant minority of young people, especially boys, get turned

off in secondary school soon after they arrive and the main reason

for this is boredom. Boredom is the gateway to truancy, bad behaviour

and eventually to dropping out. That is why the Key Stage 3 Strategy

is so important.

'The strategy aims to promote more active and more independent

learning. This means fast-paced, lively lessons which use an

interactive style and are rich in oral work; texts and topics which

will sustain boys' interests and cater for diverse tastes; and role

models such as male writers.'

The booster materials will give students fun, helpful tips, to

prepa re for the tests. The materials include a revision diary for

girls and a series of football cards for boys - with revision

information on one side and 'football facts' on the other. There are

also magazine supplements for parents on how to support their

children through the tests.

Underpinning the study materials, a new innovative website has been

set up especially for Year 9 students preparing for their tests:

www.y9booster.org.uk

The site offers more study tips and also gives students the chance to

win a goody bag if they provide the best study tips

NOTES

This Notice applies to England.

1. School Standards Minister David Miliband launched the Key Stage 3

booster material at the Arsenal Football Club where he also spoke to

14 year old boys.

2. For pupils nationally, a diary will appear in J17 and football

cards in the Match magazine. Parents supplements will appear in

Closer and Top Sante. All magazines are available across the country.

3. Students will be sitting their Key Stage 3 tests in May.

4. The materials are an innovative way to reach young people through

sending out the Government's key messages in an appealing, youth

orientated format.

5. The KS3 National Strategy is an investment of £500m up to 2003/04

to raise standards for all 11-14 year olds by spreading effective

teaching and learning to every classroom and is part of the

Government's wider plans to transform secondary education.

6. Booster materials, updated for 2003, consist of a set of three

kits, one each for English, mathematics and science. The materials

aim to help pupils achieve levels 5 and 6 in the Year 9 tests. Each

kit contains:

* Advice on helping pupils prepare for the Key Stage 3 tests;

* A set of booster lesson plans and associated preprint resources;

* A leaflet for pupils on how to prepare for the tests;

* A leaflet for parents giving details of the test and how they can

best support their child.

7. The kits were sent directly to schools in November 2002 and are

also available from the Key Stage 3 website at:

www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/keystage3

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