School Priorities 2017/18
After a number of years of improving SATs results from 2011 to 2015 we were disappointed to see that we dipped significantly in some of our results in 2016. We improved in almost all areas in 2017. In Maths, we moved from being above national averages historically to 6% behind. We have identified "mathematical reasoning" as our area for improvement and have made (and are making) many improvements to our teaching and training of staff. In Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar, we improved and are now 2% ahead of national averages. However, in Reading we dropped from in-line with national averages to 20% behind in 2016, but closed this gap by 12% this year. Writing results were better than national averages and we feel that our writing is better overall in 2017, despite a drop in pass marks. 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. 2017 to 2018 should be a very positive year for us.