Brighton and Hove schools are doing better than ever but attainment divide is still in evidence (From The Argus)
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Brighton and Hove schools are doing better than ever but attainment divide is still in evidence
For the second year in a row primary schools in Brighton and Hove have achieved record results.
School teachers’ “attention to details” has been cited as the key to the success.
The attainment league tables published this week look at the results of the Key Stage 2 exams – taken by pupils in the final year of primary school when they are aged 10 or 11.
They measure attainment in reading, writing and maths– in each of which, level four is seen as the benchmark.
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New hard-line Government standards state that schools with less than 60% of youngsters making the grade are judged as failing and face being taken over as academies.
In Brighton and Hove, Westdene Primary, in Bankside, was named the top performing school.
Of the 61 pupils last year 95% achieved the benchmark level four in reading, 98% in writing and 95% in maths.
Delighted headteacher Debbie Crossingham told The Argus the school encouraged children to aim high.
She said: "We are very proud of our pupils’ achievement and like all schools, we aim to provide a rich, exciting and stimulating curriculum to engage all our learners.
“The attainment and progress of every individual pupil is carefully tracked and monitored and learning is personalised to respond to their needs. We encourage our children to aim high and make the most of every opportunity.”
Second best in the city was Balfour Primary School, in Balfour Road, where 98% or its 128 pupils achieved the benchmark in reading and writing.
Additionally 93% achieved level four in maths.
Closely following was St Bernadette’s Catholic Primary, in London Road, with 94% of pupils making the grade with reading, while 91% and 94% achieved the standard for writing and maths.
Headteacher Jacqueline Lance said: “At St Bernadette’s we strive to bring out the best in all our children.
“We are proud of our children and staff, and thankful for the support given by our parents and governors.”
At the opposite end of the city table was St Bartholomew’s Church of England Primary School in Ann Street.
Of its 30 students, just 67%, 60% and 53% gained the required grade in reading, writing and maths respectively.
Second worst was Whitehawk Primary School, which has reopened this year as an academy under the name City Academy Whitehawk.
Of its 33 youngsters, 64% gained level four in reading and writing while 58% made the grade in maths.
The school has been the subject of huge change since it converted to an academy in September.
When asked for a response to its table standing, headteacher since September David Williams said: “I can’t change history, I can only change the future.”
St Mark’s Church of England Primary School, in Manor Road, was third from the bottom with 63% of pupilsmaking the grade in reading, writing and maths. But the school was praised for improvements in reading, in which 94% of students improved by two or more levels.
Speaking yesterday Councillor Sue Shanks, chairman of the council’s children and young people committee, said: “I’m very pleased that we are continuing to improve overall performance here year on year and stay ahead of the game nationally.
“School improvement is very much about attention to detail. Our school advisers place great emphasis on the robust data analysis needed to evaluate individual pupil performance and target extra support where needed.
“Our schools are also helping each other more and more through sharing best practice and in some cases sharing expert staff through secondments.”
Councillor Shanks singled out the role of school governors for their voluntary efforts.
She said: “I’d also like to pay tribute to the very valuable work school governors do voluntarily to support our schools and help them improve.
“It really is a team effort and our strategies are working.”
Just five Brighton and Hove schools fell below the Government standards of 60% of students achieving level four in reading, writing and maths.
They were West Blatchington Primary, in Hangleton Way, St Mary Magdalen Catholic Primary, in Spring Street, St Mark’s, Whitehawk Primary School and St Bartholomew’s.
Results were mixed across East and West Sussex, with youngsters attaining vastly different grades depending on their schools.
Beckley Church of England, in Rye, came out on top in East Sussex with 100% of pupils gaining the required level four across all subjects.
Firle Church of England Primary School and Park Mead Primary School in Hailsham also gained 100%.
Bottom of the pile was White House Primary School in Hailsham with just 23% of students making the grade, followed by Chiddingly Primary School in Lewes and Rodmell Church of England Primary, with 25% and 44% respectively.
Responding to the result, a spokeswoman for East Sussex County Council, said: “These Key Stage 2 results are confirmation of the provisional figures that came out in September.
“East Sussex County Council has a range of strategies in place to raise standards at a faster rate across all key stages.
“We are committed to improving education in every school in the county.”
In West Sussex, St Mary’s Church of England in Horsham, Boxgrove Church of England and Ashurst Church of England in Steyning were joint top with all of their students making the grade.
Bottom was Broadfield East Junior School in Crawley with just 35% reaching level four across all subjects.
Slindon Church of England in Arundel was next with 44%.
The Argus approached West Sussex County Council for a comment but it was unable to reply by the time the paper went to press.
Doctor Michael Davies, headteacher of high performing Little Horsted Church of England School, told The Argus that success was down to three elements.
He said: “I often talk about it as a triangle. You need to have the hard work and dedication of the children, the support of the parents and commitment of the teaching staff.
“If those three are all working together then the pupil can fulfil their potential.”
He added: “Within the school it is very much a team effort. It is not only the teachers and support staff but also the governors.Aschool has to be working together as a team to achieve.”
Brighton and Hove
|Westdene Primary School, Brighton||93%||1|
|Balfour Primary School, Brighton||92%||2|
|St Bernadette’s Catholic Primary||91%||3|
|Rudyard Kipling Primary School||90%||4|
|Cottesmore St Mary’s Catholic Primary||89%||5|
|St Mary’s Catholic Primary School||88%||6|
|Downs Junior School, Brighton||87%||7|
|Middle Street Primary School, Brighton||87%||8|
|Our Lady of Lourdes RC School, Brighton||87%||9|
|Middle Street Primary School, Brighton||86%||10|
|Coombe Road Primary School, Brighton||69%||35|
|Hertford Junior School, Brighton||69%||36|
|St Martin’s CofE Primary School||69%||37|
|Moulsecoomb Primary School, Brighton||68%||38|
|Woodingdean Primary School, Brighton||64%||39|
|West Blatchington Primary and Nursery||56%||40|
|St Mary Magdalen Catholic Primary||56%||41|
|St Mark’s CofE Primary School, Brighton||50%||42|
|Whitehawk Primary School, Brighton||39%||43|
|St Bartholomew’s CofE Primary School||37%||44|
|St Mary’s CofE (Aided) Primary School||100%||1|
|Boxgrove CofE Primary School||100%||2|
|Ashurst CofE Primary School, Steyning||100%||3|
|All Saints CofE Primary School, Horsham||97%||4|
|Loxwood Primary School, Billingshurst||96%||5|
|St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School||95%||6|
|Bosham Primary School, Chichester||95%||7|
|The Windmills Junior School, Hassocks||94%||8|
|Turners Hill CofE Primary School||94%||9|
|Summerlea Community Primary School||93%||10|
|Tangmere Primary Academy, Chichester||52%||178|
|The Meads Primary School East||51%||179|
|St Augustine’s CofE Primary School||50%||180|
|St Mary’s Catholic Primary School||48%||181|
|The Mill Primary School, Crawley||48%||182|
|St Mary’s Catholic Primary School||47%||183|
|South Bersted CofE Primary School||46%||184|
|Rake CofE Primary School||45%||185|
|Slindon CofE Primary School, Arundel||44%||186|
|Broadfield East Junior School, Crawley||35%||187|
|Beckley Church of England Primary||100%||1|
|Firle Church of England Primary School||100%||2|
|Park Mead Primary School, Hailsham||100%||3|
|Groombridge St Thomas’ CofE||96%||4|
|Burwash CofE School, Etchingham||96%||5|
|Newick Church of England Primary||94%||6|
|Bodiam Church of England Primary||94%||7|
|Little Horsted Church of England||94%||8|
|Maynards Green Community Primary||93%||9|
|Blackboys Church of England Primary||93%||10|
|Meridian Community Primary School||53%||132|
|Fletching Church of England Primary||50%||133|
|St Thomas’ Church of England Aided||48%||134|
|Western Road Community Primary School||47%||135|
|Langney Primary School, Eastbourne||44%||136|
|Heron Park Academy, Eastbourne||44%||137|
|Pells Church of England Primary School||44%||138|
|Rodmell Church of England Primary||44%||139|
|Chiddingly Primary School, Lewes||25%||140|
|White House Primary School, Hailsham||23%||141|
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