Primary school head commends staff after topping Worksop league table

Students at Worksop Priory Primary Academy celebrate a year of table-topping test scores at Key Stage 2.
Students at Worksop Priory Primary Academy celebrate a year of table-topping test scores at Key Stage 2.

The headteacher of a Worksop primary school has paid tribute to his staff after pupils recorded the town’s best attainment levels in a government league table for 2018.

Worksop Priory Primary Academy, on Holles Street, saw 83 per cent of pupils meet the expected standards in Key Stage 2 tests for reading, writing and maths last year.

That put it ahead of 13 other schools within three miles of the town, with the next best being Norbridge Academy, on Stanley Street, where 81 per cent met the standards.

Worksop Priory headteacher Phil Abbott said: “It’s a great achievement, particularly when you consider the high number of our children on free school meals, or on the pupil premium – who nationally tend to achieve at a lower level than others.

“These tables are only one way of measuring the success of a school but last year we scored 77 per cent, which was a big increase on 2016, so clearly we are on a very positive upward trajectory.”

He added: “We have created a lot of different kinds of learning experience outside of normal classroom time, and when you combine that with high quality teaching and incredibly dedicated staff, this is the result.

“It is a privilege to work with my staff, as well as the governors and parents who are all really engaged and contribute to the children’s education.”

The school’s progress scores, which measure against performance by similar pupils at Key Stage 1, were close to the national average for reading and writing, but its pioneering use of the Big Maths programme helped pupils perform significantly above average in that subject.

Phil said: “Many of our children arrive with low communication skills, so getting them to talk, read and write with confidence is a challenge.

“We will be looking to consolidate our success with progress and attainment in 2019 but most school budgets are not in the healthiest condition, and so it will be another challenge to finance those things which we know have the biggest impact.”

The third highest score for pupils meeting expected standards was recorded by Sparken Hill Academy on 67 per cent, while St Augustine’s School was the lowest at 30 per cent. Progress scores indicate a mixed picture across the town.

Phil said: “I think there are a lot of very hard-working teachers and school leaders across Worksop facing challenges with finance or human resources, but overall the town offers a very good standard of education for children.”

For the full table and more information on how the scores are calculated, go to https://goo.gl/jk8AkB.