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Suffolk: Good news for many schools in SATs tables

07:53 14 December 2012

St Mark's Primary School is the best school in Suffolk in the primary school league tables. Headteacher Theresa Barker with the children.

St Mark's Primary School is the best school in Suffolk in the primary school league tables. Headteacher Theresa Barker with the children.


IT was celebration time for many Suffolk schools after they performed well in the primary school league tables.

St Mark’s Catholic Primary in Stone Lodge Lane West, Ipswich, has been ranked the best performing school in the county, with 100 per cent of its pupils achieving at least Level 4 in both English and Maths.

Also in Ipswich, The Oaks Community Primary School in Aster Road has been listed as the most improved in the county, with scores improving by 37% between 2009 and 2012.

Theresa Barker, headteacher of St Mark’s Catholic Primary School, said: “The success of the school is a tribute to the whole school community. Firstly the children, but also the staff, the governors, and the parents. We try to make St Mark’s as special as possible for everyone including the local community and the parishioners.”

Jeremy Pentreath, headteacher at The Oaks, was thrilled at the news, and insisted it was down to a team effort.

He said: “This is the reward for everyone’s efforts. It has been a team effort of teachers, teaching assistants, office staff- everyone works very hard.

“We really try to hone in on every child’s progress, particularly in reading, writing and maths. Every half term I sit down with the teachers and we review each child’s progress and look forward to what we need to do. We discuss how we are going to overcome any barriers. We try to look at the whole child from an academic point of view, and then getting them ready for learning.”

Kyson Primary in Woodbridge is among England’s 200 most improved schools.

Headteacher Libby Brown said: “Around 28% of our children are what is called hard pressed – they come from a less affluent background. So we are hugely proud of the success we achieve here on a number of levels.

“The reason for all our success is the brilliant teaching for each individual child. The teachers know exactly where they want each child to be every single week – it makes a massive difference. And our parents are superb as well. It is a two-way street with parents – it has to be a partnership and here at Kyson it definitely is.

“Although this recognition is welcome I am sometimes dubious of league tables. The way we quantify success is the journey each child makes from when they arrive to when they leave.”

In Bury St Edmunds there was good news for Horringer Court Middle School and St James Middle.

Tania Johnson, head teacher at Horringer, said great efforts had been put into maths with specialist teachers and consultants being bought in which resulted in an 18% improvement in Level 4.

“We are extremely pleased with how things have gone and our efforts have been really worthwhile,” she said.

“We have got some really good teachers and we have been putting in more maths subjects to raise levels and it has really worked.”

It has resulted in the school being raised from a position of 112 last year to 91 for 2012.

On the other side of town at St James, headteacher Paul Elstone, was equally buoyant with the figures.

It led to them being raised from 73 in 2011 to 63 this time round.

“It might be only a few places but it’s very positive for us,” he said.

“We have had improvements right across the board and have created additional lessons and after schools lessons for pupils to improve standards.”

In English 89% of pupils attained Level 4 and 84% in maths. While at Level 5 the figure was 47% for English and 52% for maths.

“We are pleased that the additional support that we have put in for individuals and groups has been such a success,” he added.


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