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PUPILS TO GET 'SPRINGBOARD TO SUCCESS AT GCSE'

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There will be a new focus on reading, writing and maths skills for ...
There will be a new focus on reading, writing and maths skills for

11-14 year olds when they go back to school next month.

School standards minister Stephen Timms announced today that the new

strategy was in place for day one of the new term and would offer

pupils a 'springboard to greater success at GCSE'.

The£82m strategy builds on daily literacy hour and maths

lessons for primary schools that achieved what OFSTED called a

'transformation' of standards at primary level.

Stephen Timms said:

'This strategy will boost young teenagers' reading, writing and maths

skills and will motivate, inspire and raise their expectations -

giving them a springboard to success at GCSE. For teachers, the

strategy offers flexibility and focus with new support and guidance

to help teachers develop and make best use of their specialist,

professional skills.'

The new strategy brings in:

* a recommended minimum three hours English and maths each week

* new teaching materials, rated very highly by teachers who used

them in a trial last year

* new guidance to boost the teaching of gifted and talented pupils

* summer schools and extra lessons to help pupils catch up in

literacy and numeracy where needed

* support from local education departments to provide expert advice

and guidance in the classroom at a local level

* challenging targets for schools in 2004 and 2007 to keep driving

up standards

English and maths teachers have been involved in developing the

strategy in pilots across the country. In English the strategy has

been developed to give teachers the tools they need to develop

lively, interactive English lessons that attract and motivate young

teenagers. There is a clear focus on helping pupils to get the basics

such as spelling, vocabulary, sentence construction and grammar -

right so that they become shrewd and fluent independent readers,

confident writers and effective speakers and listeners.

The strategy will help maths teachers guide pupils in reasoning their

own way through algebra and geometry problems - and give them tips to

help maximise the use of computer technology in enlivening maths

lessons.

For all secondary teachers, the strategy offers new training and

development opportunities. Designed in partnership with teachers, it

offers them:

* flexibility in implementation - allowing teachers to use their

professional skills to adapt best teaching practice to fit local

circumstances;

* a focus on literacy and numeracy - giving teachers clear

direction but backed by specific support to implement new

developments such as the teaching of literacy and numeracy skills

in all subjects and not just in English and maths lessons.

NOTES

This Press Notice applies to England.

1. The strategy was announced in by the prime minister on 26

September 2000 and was piloted in 205 schools

across 17 local education authorities last academic year. Funding

increases to£168m by 2002-03 when the strategy is extended

to include science, information and communications technology and

other subjects.

2. The English and maths frameworks set out clear teaching

objectives and provide guidance for teachers. They are published

here.

3. Success in the early years of secondary education is vital to

GCSE results; research shows that where pupils do not achieve the

expected standard at age 14 there is only a 6 per cent chance of

pupils achieving five or more A* - C GCSEs. This rises to 51 per

cent where they achieve the expected standard and 94% for above

expected standard results. (Source: matched 1998 KS3 - 2000 GCSE

data from DfEE statistical bulletin: Pupil Progress in Schools in

England 2000).

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