Sun, 13 Jan 2019
PUPILS across West Berkshire primary schools are performing better than the national average in two key subject areas.
Data released by the Government in December shows that 64 per cent of pupils at state-funded primary schools across the district achieved the expected standard across reading, writing and mathematics at the end of the last academic year.
Four primary schools across the district – out of a total of 63 – achieved 100 per cent in the three subjects.
They were Enborne Primary, The Ilsleys Primary, Purley Primary and St Paul’s Catholic Primary in Tilehurst.
In reading and writing, West Berkshire pupils fared better than the national average, while children’s performance in mathematics was in line with the national standard across England.
Despite the encouraging findings, more than a third of pupils at state-funded primary schools in West Berkshire failed to meet the expected standard in reading, writing and maths at the end of key stage two last term.
Two thirds of pupils at all four of the district’s academies – funded directly by the Department of Education as opposed to the local education authority – did not reach the expected grades in the three subjects.
A quarter of year six pupils (25 per cent) at Lambourn Primary School achieved the expected standard in 2018, scoring ‘well-below average’ across the three subjects.
The school became an academy in September 2018 when it joined Excalibur Academies Trust.
A statement from Excalibur said the body was working closely with the headteacher and the school’s teaching staff and as a result, the school was already seeing positive changes.
It added: “Specialist leaders in education and other experienced educationalists are also in the school weekly supporting teachers and helping to ensure that every child achieves their potential.
“We have long-term plans in place to continue to support the school and we are confident that, as part of Excalibur Academies Trust, the pupils of Lambourn School have a very bright future.”
In the data, schools were also ranked according to the amount of progress pupils had made at the end of Key Stage 2.
Pupils at Shaw-cum-Donnington Primary made the least progress in 2018.
Along with Lambourn Primary, it was the only West Berkshire state-funded primary school to score ‘well-below average’ across reading, writing and mathematics.
Factors denoting the size of Year 6 classes and the number of pupils for whom English is a second language – both of which could impact on how schools are ranked – were not included in the data.
West Berkshire Council’s portfolio holder for education and young people Lynne Doherty (Con, Northcroft) said the data painted an encouraging picture of children’s education across the district.
Mrs Doherty said: “Making sure children fulfil their potential is a priority for us, so it is encouraging to see that overall, our schools are performing above the national average.
“Importantly, these results show we’re equipping our pupils for their next chapter of learning with more pupils leaving school ready for secondary education.
“There is a lot to be proud of – particularly in reading and writing – but we can’t be complacent.
“We remain focused on education and delivering the best outcomes for children and young people in West Berkshire.”