Prospectus

Select a section:

Aims | Buildings | Helping | Organisation | Governors | Teaching Staff | Support Staff | Starting School | The School day | Curriculum | Excellence and Enjoyment | Homework | Reading | Parents’ Evenings | Secondary Transfer | Pastoral Care | Lunchtime | Dress | Exclusions | General | Medicines | Insurance | Charging | Parents | Child Protection | Special Educational Needs | Sport | Absence | Bullying | National Curriculum Test Results

Aims

Our aim is for all the children at the school to feel secure and happy and to fulfil their potential. To achieve this we are striving for the school to provide a stimulating and aesthetically interesting environment where all the children will feel valued and appreciated. The children will be involved in actively learning, having to work out for themselves how to accomplish any given task rather than being passively directed, the aim being to develop the children’s ability to think for themselves. Quality and depth of investigation in the work of the children is actively encouraged.

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Buildings

This school was founded in 1675, the original school room in the school house is used along with the main stone building, built in 1867 and later Victorian times, for the infant (KS1) class, and also a meeting/resources room.  There are indoor toilets for children's use in the old building.  The School House has for many years been rented out as a private residence, the school have been liaising with both the Edward Lewis Trust, who manage the property, and the Local Authority with a view to leasing the School House so it can become part of the school giving us the opportunity to have a designated library, art and music rooms plus much needed storage space!  The juniors (KS2) are taught in the two classes in the demountable, which was erected in 1995 and is situated across the playground from the older part of the school; this is a double classroom unit with indoor toilets.  Shropshire LA extended the school in 2001 adding a hall, storage and office accommodation to the double classroom unit and also improved the car parking.  The play area consists of a small area behind the old building, which now has an 'outdoor classroom' for the children in Class One, and the playground.  The Authority have leased a playing field near to the school grounds where we have recently installed a 'Tyre Park'.   PE sessions during the winter are held in the village hall and our new school hall; we also go swimming at Bishop's Castle.  As part of our security policy the school buildings are locked during teaching sessions, and visitors during this time need to report to the school office.

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Helping

There are always ways which you, as parents, can help in school. Most important is establishing a link with the school so that your child feels that school is an extension of the home. Your child will learn and work well in the secure and happy environment that such a link will provide.
Close contact between home and school makes our understanding of your child much easier and helps us provide a programme of work suited to the needs of your child.
Any problems which may arise with your child's education can be solved much more easily if the school and the home are able to take joint action.
We welcome help with a wide range of practical activities, it is self-evident that the more adult support children have the better will be the quality of their work.
If you have any special skill you can offer when helping in school, please let us know about it.

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Organisation

Our aim is for Class One to be as small as possible, ideally about fifteen to twenty children; children transfer from one class to another when they are ready to do so, possibly during the academic year. Thus the ages of the children in each class overlap, as well as being dependent on when during an academic year their birthday falls.

From September 2011 we anticipate the classes will be as follows:

Class One

11 pupils

Reception, Year 1

Class One A 15 pupils Year 2, Year 3

Class Two

18 pupils

Year 4, Year 5

Class Three

14 pupils

Year 6

All our teachers are specialists and to use the expertise of the teaching staff to the greatest advantage of the children, we plan the work of each class together and on occasions two teachers will teach one class.

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School Govorners

County Council

Mrs Heather Kidd - Chairman

 

Foundation

Rev Robert Leach

Rev Pam Bickley

 

Parents

Mrs Rachel Evans

Mr Gary Holloway

Mr Simon Pearson

Miss Carol Evans

Mrs Maxine Hall

Local Council

Mr John Jerman

Community

Mr Chris Haycock

Mr Jerry Hughes

Headteacher

Site Head

Staff

Mr Timothy Roberts

Mrs Susan Cooke

Mrs Rachel Roberts

Mrs Rachel M Roberts

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Staff

Headteacher

Mr Timothy Roberts

Class 3

Mr Crowe - guitar

Teachers—full time

Miss Sarah Williams

Class 2

Mrs Jones - brass

Teachers-part time

Mrs Catherine Lewis and Mrs Anna Owen

Class 1A

Mr Maher - percussion

Teachers-part time

Mrs Sarah Weston and Miss Charlotte Protheroe Class 1

 

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Support Staff

School Business Manager

Mrs Rachel Roberts

Full time

Teaching assistants

Mrs Tracey Dunham

Mrs Jane Haycock

Mrs Kate Puplett

Mrs Louise Parry

Mr Andy May

Miss Jen Poole

Part time

Cleaner in charge

Ms Vivien Meredith

 

Assistant cleaner

Ms Katie Adams

 

Dining assistants

Ms Vivien Meredith

Lunchtime Supervisors

Mrs Tracey Dunham

Mrs Jane Haycock

Mrs Louise Parry

Mr Andy May

Miss Jen Poole

Always two on duty each day

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Starting School

The school’s current admissions policy is operated by Shropshire Local Education Authority (LEA), which is the Admissions Authority for all Community and Controlled Schools within Shropshire.  Full details of the policy, together with information about the arrangements for admission, are set out in the “Parents’ Guide to Education in Shropshire”.  Any specific requests for information on admissions should be directed to the Admissions Team on telephone number 01743 254368.

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The School Day

Should your child need to be absent for any reason, it is more convenient for us if you could telephone the school to let us know between 8.30 a.m. and 8.45 a.m.

8.45 am
Please make sure that your children are not left unattended on the school premises before this time as we cannot accept responsibility for them.
Registration takes place at the beginning of each school day and an assembly lasting approximately 15 minutes is held daily (at various times during the day).

 

10.30-10.50 am Morning break
The children are supervised by members of the school staff.

12.00-1.15 pm Lunch break
The children are supervised by the school staff. We feel it is extremely valuable that children are encouraged to remain in school at lunch time as all of the school clubs and extra-curricular activities take place during this time.

3.30 pm End of the school day
The school staff will ensure children being taken home on the school transport board safely. We would appreciate it if parents who collect children from school are ready for their children at 3.30 p.m.

 

The County Council has a responsibility to transport children who live more than two miles from the school, or who live on a dangerous route, to and from their own homes, and issues travel passes for contracted routes. Children without passes are not eligible to travel on school transport and passes are not transferable. If children are not going by the usual route please let us know so we do not put children on the wrong bus etc.

Assemblies last 15 minutes. The children, therefore, spend 4 hours 35 minutes per day working (22 hours 55 minutes per week) and 1 hour 15 minutes per week in assemblies.

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Aims of the Curriculum

Our aim is for all the children at the school to feel secure and happy and to fulfil their potential. To achieve this we are striving for the school to provide a stimulating and aesthetically interesting environment where all the children will feel valued and appreciated. The children will be involved in actively learning, having to work out for themselves how to accomplish any given task rather than being passively directed, the aim being to develop the children's ability to think for themselves. Quality and depth of investigation in the work of the children is actively encouraged.

The governing body of the school have agreed to adopt the local authority's policy on the aims of the curriculum. This document is available at the school for your information.

Through thematic and integrated activities children are encouraged to acquire skills and knowledge relevant to adult life in a fast-changing world, and as members of a wider community.

Children are encouraged to develop experiences in a wide range of activities designed to fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum both in core and foundation subject areas.

All areas of the curriculum, whether the core subjects (English, Mathematics, Science and ICT), the foundation subjects or RE, are taught to mixed ability groups using a thematic approach wherever possible within their classes. We intend to continue using our thematic content for the literacy work publicised as the National Literacy Hour. All teaching at the school is based on the needs of the individual child and so being in a class with younger or older children will enhance the education of all the children. In this way we meet the needs of both exceptionally able children and children with special educational needs. Children with special needs are catered for in a caring and sympathetic manner, in the surrounds of a normal classroom environment. Close liaison between school and the County's Learning Support Service ensures careful monitoring.

The school has a Christian ethos and the assembly themes are wide-ranging aimed at promoting a thinking, caring attitude to others.  Areas such as RE, Sex Education, Information Technology, Equal Opportunities and Economic Awareness are dealt with in all areas of the curriculum where relevant and appropriate.  RE is provided in accordance with the recommendations of the LA's agreed syllabus, a copy of which is available in school, and is taught both as part of the children's termly topic and separately in a daily act of collective worship.  Parents have the right to withdraw their child from the collective worship element of assemblies, and provision would be made for the class teaching assistant to work with any withdrawn children.  Sex Education is an integral part of the school's Health Policy and as such is taught to the younger children in the school.  In the final two years the sex education is more specialised.

A variety of teaching methods are used: whole class, a small group of children of similar ability, or individual children.  We choose the method which will be best in meeting the needs of the curriculum area being covered and the abilities of the children involved.

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Excellence & Enjoyment

Our aim is to provide a primary curriculum that offers 'Excellence and Enjoyment'; children working collaboratively at open ended challenges or tasks where they need to show creativity and ingenuity.  We have a statutory requirement to teach the National Curriculum (1988), which has been revised and updated on a regular basis, until the National Literacy and Numeracy Strategies were introduced with formal hour long timetabled sessions each day - these were not statutory and despite several updates found to be ineffective in raising standards, so a return to more innovative teaching was recommendedin the recent 'Rose Report' which was for us an endorsement of what we had continued to offer the children all along. 

We have been awarded 'Quality Mark' certificates by our Local Authority for 'interesting and innovative practice in the effective use of cross curricular planning' and 'value added', which is the measurement of the children's progress in school, for 2008 this was excellent, the best we have ever achieved.

 

We maintain a balance between teaching each area of the curriculum separately or as part of a topic or theme. We find the most successful way for the children to learn effectively is for them to work in ability groups, often working together, on a topic or assignment covering several subjects at once. We have a planned framework of topics, ensuring we cover the National Requirements, but allowing us to choose the most appropriate broad subject of study for each group of children.

We regard educational residential trips to be an essential part of the children's personal and social education; Year 2 pupils have the opportunity to go on an 'adventrue' two days and one night to Llangollen, children in Class Two have the opportunity to go away for two days and one night to somewhere fairly local, for example Borth or Ironbridge, whilst the children in Class Three have the opportunity to go away for three days and two nights to places such as Edale, or York.

School Travel Plan and Eco School Awards

We were awarded a 'Green' Travel Plan Award in June 2006 which gained the school a DfES grant of £4205, this money was used to build our 'waiting area/outdoor classroom' adjacent to the old part of the school.  We have recently achieved the 'Silver' Travel Plan Award, part of the criteria for this was to promote the STP to all new parents/carers; the scheme aims to raise awareness of the impace on the environment of travelling to school, with the help of the LA, we carried out a survey amongst both parents and pupils and as a result we actively encourage car sharing and wherever possible walking to school.

We also participate in the Eco School Award scheme which ensourages children to actively participate in becoming an environmentally friendly school, we have recently achieved the 'Bronze' Award and are working towards the 'Silver' Award.

Extended Schools

As a small rural school we offer a range of after school clubs; a variety of sport activities, Art and Music clubs, details of which are sent home via our 'red letters'.  We also, as part of the extended school programme, act as a 'sign post' to other agencies and child care facilities, for further information please call into the school office.  We have strong links with both 'Busy Bees' nursery and Marton Youth Club.

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Homework

The children in Class One start out with small amounts of homework such as reading, spellings and maths games; in Class Two the children have reading, spellings and tables, plus finishing off work started in school; in Class Three the children undertake a wider range of activities, such as reading, spellings, tables, research work, completing work, mind-benders and word-searches.

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Reading

Helping your child read at home will accelerate their progress in school. We run a regular book club and a yearly visit by the Book Fair whereby your child may select books; the benefit of this to your child is that we get free books for the school. The current curriculum requires that children frequently read a set text in class as a group – rather than reading their reading books individually.

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Parent's Evenings

We hold termly parents’ evenings, these differ slightly each term; the Autumn term is a private timetabled discussion; the Spring term is an informal open evening where your child can show you their work; in the Summer term we hold an evening to present the children's reports. As well as these reports we also spend a lot time formally assessing the children's work.

Parents with particular concerns and worries should contact the school and make an appointment to discuss these matters with the Headteacher or with the child's class teacher. Please share these concerns with us as soon as possible - the sooner we know about things that are worrying you the sooner something can be done about it.

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Secondary Transfer

At the end of year six, your child will transfer to the local secondary school, the Community College at Bishop's Castle. In the Spring Term you will be sent details of the transfer scheme. This enables you to see the local secondary school during the evening.  If you wish to consider any other secondary school, you must make your own arrangements.

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Pastoral Care & Discipline

We regard each child as part of a small caring community where the needs of others are considered. Our aim is for children to be self disciplined. To achieve this it is necessary to allow them a degree of freedom to exercise their own discipline. There are, however, occasions when a child's behaviour will require adult intervention. Such rules as we have are concerned with reasonable social conduct and the safety of everyone at school.

Compliments, complaints and concerns

Parents with particular concerns and worries should contact the school and make an appointment to discuss these matters with the Headteacher or with the child's class teacher.  Please share these concerns with us as soon as possible - the sooner we know about things that are worrying you the sooner something can be done about it.

If you would like to compliment any of the staff in school we are always happy for you to do so, if however you feel there is cause for concern and consider the school is not fulfilling its obligations under the Education Reform Act, there are four stages of procedure:

  • Informal discussions regarding the concern with the Headteacher/Staff
  • Formal complaint to the Headteacher or Governor's Complaints Officer
  • Appeal to Governors' Complaints Committee (the final stage of any complaint)
  • Ask LEA to determine if the school's complaints policy has been followed

The full version of the Schools Complaints Procedure is available from the School Office.

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Lunch Time

A mid-day meal is available at the school. The meals are cooked at Bishop's Castle Primary School and delivered to Chirbury School just before they are due to be served. If you would like to join us to sample a meal, you may do so providing the school has at least a full day's notice. The cost of an adult meal is £2.73.

If you wish to change from dinners to sandwiches or vice versa we need to know on the Friday of the week before at the latest. To help in the administration of school meals, we would ask that the exact dinner money of £9.75 per week, £1.95 per day be sent on Monday mornings; it takes us time, and therefore costs us money, that could otherwise be spent on educating children to bank it on other days. Cheques or dinner money should be made payable to Shropshire Council. If you wish to pay for a term or a half term, please send this in a clearly marked envelope.

If you think that your child may be entitled to free school meals, please do not hesitate to contact us.

You may wish to provide your child with a packed lunch. We will provide your child with a place to sit and eat this in comfort.

In the interests of safety would you please make sure that drinks are not sent to school in glass containers. We do ask all the children to bring a water bottle into school for them to have access to at any time during the school day.

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Dress & Possessions

Children are expected to wear clean clothes that are suitable for the activities they will be undertaking at school. Physical education is an important part of the school curriculum and the older children will require socks, shorts, T shirt, jersey or other top, as well as suitable footwear; principally so that if their clothes get wet when outside for whatever reason, they have something dry to change into when they come in as a matter of basic hygiene.

It would be wise to label anything your child is likely to take off, as they do seem very vague about what belongs to them after it has been removed.

It is not necessary to wear any jewellery to school, and we do limit the number of toys children are allowed to bring to school to one a day, for playtime use only! Please don't let them bring in anything precious as things do get lost, or any toy that could be used for stabbing, shooting or fighting.

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Exclusions for Ill Health

It is part of the Duty of Care of Parents to look at children's hair to check for head lice as school nurses do not routinely come into school any more. Also it would be a good idea to check for threadworm from time to time. The Area Health Authority will not permit children with certain infectious diseases to attend school; chicken pox, impetigo, whooping cough to name a few. If you are in any doubt please contact the school office who will be able to help you.

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General

All the records referred to in this booklet, as well as records of governors' meetings, are available for inspection in school at any reasonable time. If you wish to see any of them, please contact the School Business Manager or Headteacher to make an appointment. If you require a copy of any of the documents for your own use, it will be possible to provide them at a small charge.

Any records concerning your child which are kept in school are available for your inspection at any reasonable time. Again, please make an appointment through the School Business Manager or Headteacher.

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Medicines & Accidents in School

Prescribed medicines. If it is necessary for children to take medicines during the school day, such as antibiotics, as they complete their recovery from an illness and are obviously well enough to return to school, then you will need to fill in a copy of the relevant form, (included with the admissions paperwork), and hand the medicine over to the Headteacher for safekeeping. The form looks daunting and it might be possible to time their doses of medicine so they have these just before school and as soon as they get home after school, thus avoiding the need for the medicine to be taken during school time. Otherwise we will administer the medicines as specified on the form. Please telephone or call into the office at 3.30 to remind us to send the medicine home with the child! (All prescribed medicines must be in their original containers.)

Paracetamol. We have for some time administered paracetamol, having first phoned for parental permission, to children suffering from such things as the sudden onset of tooth-ache or ear-ache. We now need to have your permission in writing in advance; we will still phone you to check if you have already given them some paracetamol, and also so you will then know when and how much we have given the children, as the consequences of overdosing with paracetamol are serious. Obviously the younger the child the more likely we are to suggest they are taken home.

Asthma. For those children who suffer from asthma we now need you to have filled in the relevant form, (included with the admissions paperwork), regarding the inhalers they may use during school time.

Accidents in School. For minor accidents that need medical attention, such as small cuts requiring stitching, broken fingers or rubbers stuck up noses, we will contact you so you can accompany your child to the doctors. If we cannot contact you then a member of the school staff will take your child to the doctors. For more serious accidents where in the opinion of our first-aiders it is critical how the children are transported, we will call an ambulance and contact you so you can accompany your child to hospital. Again, if necessary, a member of the school staff will accompany your child.

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Insurance

We have changed our insurance arrangements and our cover is now provided by the Shropshire Council 'Annual TRavel Insurance Scheme' which is underwritten by Chubb Insurance; the policy provides off-site and on-site cover.  Pupils, teachers and any autorised accompanying adult or child in the event of injury or loss whilst on any trip authorised and organised by teh school are covered, the benefit rate of insurance are as follows:

The benefit rates of insurance are as follows:

1. Accidental death of the insured (under 16 years of age)

£10,000

Accidental death of the insured (over 16 years of age)

£50,000

2. Scale of benefits for loss of one or more limbs, loss of sight inone or more eyes, total loss of hearing in one or more ears

 

3. Personal effects (limit £750 for any one article)

Up to £2,500

4. Money (limit £500 for coins and or banknotes)

Up to £1,000

5. Personal Liability

Up to £1,000,000

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Charging Policy

The governors have accepted the LA's recommended charging policy, a copy of which is available in school.

The governors would, however, like to point out that activities offered to the children are unlikely to take place unless sufficient parents offer the suggested level of voluntary contribution.

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Parents

A lively Parents' Organisation exists at the school, which organises many fund raising and social events during the year, providing finance vital in the provision of resources to enhance the children's education. Parents are always welcome to visit the school at any time to talk with members of staff or to see the school at work.

Any parents who have a particular talent they may like to share with the children should contact the school, as parental involvement is encouraged.

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LA Child Protection Policy

It is a part of all teachers' contracts to report any suspected cases of abuse, as part of a teacher’s duty of care towards their pupils. School staff have no discretion in having to report any concern regarding a child’s physical or emotional welfare.  We also have a duty to report to other agencies any concerns we have about a child's welfare.

The school aims to help parents understand that the school, like all others, has a duty to safe-guard and promote the welfare of all pupils.  The school may need to share information and work in partnership with other agencies when there are concerns about a pupil's welfare.

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Special Education Needs and Pupil Premium

It is calculated that nationally 20% of the pupil population will need help above and beyond that which is provided as part of the daily normal classwork. We have ancillary helpers in each class who provide additional support for those children who find difficulties with various aspects of their schoolwork. These helpers work alongside the children in the classrooms, either individually or with small groups, as well as working for some of each day with other children. Thus we aim that there should be no stigma attached to those who need specific help; this is part of the school culture where we all do the very best we can, whatever that may be, and this is duly recognised for what it is. This works so successfully that the inspection team could not work out which children had special educational needs! Currently we have 16% of our pupils identified as needing specific help and we spend in excess of our budget allocation on addressing these needs which includes our Pupil Premium Income allocation.

With regard to the admission of pupils with disabilities we review our practice on inclusion prior to each new intake and act on the findings to increase the range and diversity of the pupils admitted and retained.  We ensure the full participation of disabled pupils in the school curriculum by implementing our PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) policy, reviewing resources for their suitability and nurture support groups.  We currently have access to the demountable building via a ramp; further improvements to the school will take into account the necessity to accommodate disabilities.  For further information regarding pupils with disabilities please ask in the school office for our Equal Opportunities and Special Educational Needs Policies and also our Accessibility Plan.

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Sport

We regularly take the children swimming at Bishop's Castle on a rolling programme of two classes per half-term.  Last academic year we were part of a new sports initiative which has seen a large variety of sports specialists in schools in our cluster group offering small groups of children the opportunity to do activities with their peers from other primary schools either during the school day or at after school sessions.  There is also Chirbury Celtic Junior Football Club which is run by parents one of whom has a Level One SA Coaching Certificate.

The inter school sports matches the children have taken part in have been for the development of the children's sports competence and social skills, rather than encouraging tribalism and the ethos of winning whatever the cost.

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Absence

Parents may only request permission for the Headteacher to authorise an absence for a family holiday if this cannot be taken during the school holiday, or owing to work commitments.  The total attendance rate for the last year was 95.5%, with no unauthorised absence.

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Bullying

We have developed a school culture where any form of bullying is totally unacceptable, and strategies for stepping in before minor incidents become anything more serious. The school anti-bullying policy was written by the pupils.

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National Curriculum Test Results

These tests measure a very limited range of the work and personal qualities of school children. Our curriculum gives high priority to many aspects of education that are not, and probably could not, be tested. We have modified our revision and preparation strategies for the tests each year, with the aim being for the children to achieve a level commensurate with their school work. We do not aim to offer a curriculum that has, as its sole aim, success in the narrow range of skills and knowledge tested; nor do we aim to cram the children for months before the tests so that they show unrealistically high levels of attainment.

Key Stage 2 SAT Results 2006 to 2010

Our targets for the year six children are very similar to the results achieved by the year six children previously, whose results are shown on the target table below.   The tests are subject to an ongoing programme of alteration which started in 2003.

 

2006

2007 2008 2009 2010

Level 4 and above

Level 4 and above Level 4 and above Level 4 and above Level 4 and above

English

88%

100% 100% 71% 92%

Mathematics

64%

100% 69% 76% 92%

Science

100%

100% 94% 76% *n/a

For a child to achieve a Level 5 they are notionally working at the level of a year nine (fourteen year old) pupil.

 

2006

2007 2008 2009 2010

Level 5 and above

Level 5 and above Level 5 and above Level 5 and above Level 5 and above

English

76%

63% 44% 29% 54%

Mathematics

41%

50% 25% 20% 39%

Science

41%

63% 38% 24% *n/a

*Science is no longer tested as part of the KS2 SATs.

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