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LOCAL primary schools have praised the hard work and progress of their year 6 students and staff following the publication of the Primary School League Tables last month.
The information, published by the Department for Education, is based on how 11-year-olds in schools across England performed in national curriculum tests – or Sats – taken at the end of primary school.
Four primary schools managed by the White Horse Federation were amongst those topping the tables for the Melksham area – at St George’s Primary School in Semington, 83% of year 6 students met the expected standard across all tests – reading, writing and mathematics – at the end of the school year in 2019; 79% at Seend Primary School; 78% at St Mary’s Primary School in Broughton Gifford; and 70% at Shaw Primary School.
In comparison, 65% of year 6 students across England met the expected standard; whilst 64% met the expected standard in Wiltshire.
At the three other primary schools managed by the White Horse Federation, 57% met the expected standard at Bowerhill Primary School; 54% at Forest and Sandridge Primary School; and 25% The Manor Primary School.
The White Horse Federation’s regional director for Wiltshire, Simon Cowley, told Melksham News, “The White Horse Federation is pleased that our Melksham primary schools are making continuous progress.
“We are delighted to see Shaw, Seend, St George’s, and St Mary’s Broughton Gifford all performing well above both the Wiltshire average and the national average. However, we refuse to rest on our laurels and will continue to improve outcomes for the schools’ pupils, staff, and communities.
“Although Bowerhill, Forest & Sandridge, and The Manor are shown in the performance table to be just below the national average, we have seen significant improvements at all three of these schools since we started working with them last year, and we will continue to work closely with them to further their progress across all areas.
“Since The White Horse Federation was given the privilege of working with the Melksham schools, we have been developing deep and rich curricula that effectively prepare pupils for the next step of their education. In addition, we have established positive learning environments conducive to pupil progress and high achievement.
“Our Melksham primary schools, as with all those within the trust, have the advantage of working collaboratively to disseminate best practice with their neighbouring White Horse Federation schools, as well as trust schools in different local authorities. The distribution of good practice and innovative techniques is accompanied by access to shared resources, which gives our schools the opportunity to utilise facilities and materials beyond those at their immediate disposal.
“As part of The White Horse Federation, our schools are able to achieve much more together than they would alone. As we continue to work closely with our Melksham schools, we remain intent on further raising standards at each and every setting.”
At River Mead School, which has a high level of special needs pupils, 31% of its year 6 students met the expected standards in reading, writing and maths. Headteacher Karen Austin, told Melksham News, “We are very proud of our pupils at River Mead School, and the progress they have made in their education. Disappointingly our published data does not reflect the fact that we have a high level of special needs pupils at the school because we have a complex needs resource base. The published results for River Mead School include the data of our high needs children. The children are placed by the local authority in the base. We are the only school in Melksham and the surrounding area to offer specialist provision which affords local children the opportunity to attend a school with specialist teaching.
“We value having resource base pupils at River Mead School; they are very much an interwoven part of our school family. Last year a high number of pupils from the cohort moved on to special and residential special schools, for their secondary education, with 46% of the total cohort(including the complex needs resource base) having an identified special need.”
60% of year 6 students at Aloeric Primary School met the expected standards in reading, writing and maths. Headteacher Rebecca Clifton said, “Whilst we are aware our results are still just below national, we are very pleased that outcomes have improved this year and we are on an upward trend.
“This has been achieved due to the dedication, commitment and hard work of all our children, parents and staff at Aloeric Primary School. We are looking forward to seeing results improve again next year.”
81% of year 6 students at Holt Primary School met the expected standards in reading, writing and maths. 70% of year 6 students at Churchfields Primary School in Atworth met the expected standards in reading, writing and maths.