School Priorities 2016/17
After 4 years of improving SATs results from 2011 to 2014 (with a levelling-off of results in 2015) we were disappointed to see that we dipped significantly in some of our results last year. In Maths, we moved from being above national averages to 3% behind. In Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar, we improved from 2015 but were still 5% behind national averages. However, in in Reading we dropped from in-line with national averages to 20% behind, whilst Writing results were better than national averages. For our highest attaining pupils - a group of pupils who have done exceptionally well at Brumby over previous years - we were behind national averages too.
After a great deal of analysis of results and teaching over the last year, the conclusion is that this drop in results is due to our pupils’ reading skills. More specifically, the “dip” is centred around our pupils’ ability to read a text or question on a deeper level and understand the meanings of more complex vocabulary, such as that which is in the new, harder SATs tests. Further evidence to support this is our maths scores: 86% of pupils reached the “pass” mark in arithmetic skills (pure calculations) but only 54% reached the pass mark in “reasoning” (written questions which the pupils have to read, understand and then choose the correct mathematical method to solve).
So, what are we going to do about it?
We have already made a series of very positive changes:
· We have asked staff to plan lessons with a greater focus on the pupils being able to produce detailed, written answers to questions.
· We have embedded more reading into other lessons.
· We have asked teachers to focus much more on reasoning in maths.
· We have encouraged pupils and families to read and discuss written texts much more at home.
We have further, powerful and necessary improvements to make during the Autumn term too. We do not need to wait for an Ofsted report to see that we should make some improvements - we are already helping our staff and pupils to have much more productive lessons. 2016/17 should be a very positive year for us.