St. Bertelines (Languages)

Overview

Setting

St Bertelines is a Church of England Voluntary Aided school of 14 teaching staff and around 300 pupils. The school is set in a suburban area of Runcorn in the north west of England. The percentage of pupils eligible for free school meals is below the national average (10%). The percentage of pupils identified with special educational needs, including those with statements of special educational needs, is below the national average (18%). No pupil is identified as needing support for English as an additional language.

According to the latest Ofsted school report of 2002 - 'This is an exceptionally good school with outstanding qualities of care'.


Timing

The CPD Project was delivered over three months.


Background and rationale

The school was concerned to rejuvenate literacy: to promote reading's value, the art of literature and higher levels of understanding and appreciation. The pupils' performances in reading are satisfactory to good; but the staff wanted to extend pupils' reading and deepen responses. It was agreed that the project would address the following learning objectives.

  • Make greater and more effective use of whole texts;
  • Draw upon a broad spectrum of texts to enhance the development of reading;
  • Provide substantial reading opportunities within and beyond the Literacy Hour;
  • Make more interesting use of books;
  • Create more opportunities for children to use meta-language;
  • Teach children to engage with text in a mature and reflective way.

These objectives were chosen with the long-term aim of equipping teachers to review the English policy and resources.


Conclusions

The project at St. Berteline's proved fascinating as it has shown the potential for a school with a strong vision of education, excellent working practices and highly developed policies to come together to enhance aspects of their work. The school would have been justified in feeling proud of what was already being achieved in this area but rather there was a determination to build upon excellence. It was interesting that the groups chose to focus on the implementation of policy for particular groups within the school population. The work in each case shows insight into the needs of the chosen groups and an imaginative sympathy in consideration of policy development. It is also worth noting that the implications consistently transcend each group's original remit and are of relevance to the whole school.