Charfield Primary School celebrates outstanding performance

Gazette Series: Charfield Primary School celebrates outstanding performance Charfield Primary School celebrates outstanding performance

CHILDREN at Charfield Primary School put in an outstanding performance in national standards league tables to join the top three per cent in the country.

It was a major turn-around for the village school, which went into special measures in 2012.

But the recent publication of the primary school league tables for attainment and progress in the 2012-13 academic year revealed it was among the best of all 21,370 schools nationally, one of South Gloucestershire’s leading four primaries and one of the highest performers in the South West.

Head teacher Dafydd Lawday said: “Our progress up the league tables is nothing less than phenomenal. We have been focused on doing the right things, doing them well and doing them consistently.

“We knew that our children had performed well in the standard assessment tests (Sats) and had exceeded our targets for the year.

“When we received our ‘value added’ score of 101.9 we expected to perform well in comparison to other schools. However, to be in the country’s top three per cent is extremely satisfying.”

Jason Lugg, chairman of the school’s governors, said: “These results are a tribute to the hard work and commitment of staff and pupils who well deserve this success.”

Charfield’s pupils scored 96 per cent in achieving the expected level four in the tests, compared to the national average of 75 per cent.

They also exceeded the national progress rates, with every one of them making the expected progress in maths and writing and 96 per cent of them making the grade in reading.

Since going into special measures, the school has made good progress according to education watchdog Ofsted, who have carried out a number of follow-up visits.

A year after their damning report, inspectors said it had developed some outstanding teaching and the school was making reasonable progress towards the removal of special measures.

The primary is now an academy, sponsored by the top performing Castle School in Thornbury, which also recently achieved academy status.

Executive head teacher Melanie Warnes, speaking for the Castle School Education Trust, which manages both schools, said: “These results are the mark of an outstanding school. Charfield has well and truly shaken off the label of special measures.

“Parents know from their child's experience that Charfield is a successful school. Indeed we have received an increase in parents requesting places at the school since September. Children here have a bright future indeed.”

Mr Lugg put the school’s turn-around down to strong leadership at all levels, high expectations and investment in high quality teaching.

He said: “We have been relentless in our focus on our children achieving the very best. The school now awaits Ofsted to formally recognise that success.”

In a letter to parents, Mr Lawday said: "Whilst we should celebrate the rapid improvement the school has sustained, we can assure you we are not complacent. There is of course further work to be done to maintain and develop our success and realise our vision of being an outstanding school."

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