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Posted on 12th February 2018
The journey of improvement continues at Little Parndon, spurred on further by it being confirmed as one of the best in the country.
Little Parndon Primary Academy was placed sixth nationally in the latest Department for Education school performance tables for its Key Stage 2 achievements, with it taking the top spot for reading results, where 96 per cent achieved national standard.
The table shows 84 per cent of pupils at the school are meeting the national standard expected of them in reading, writing and maths. Reading and maths progress is well above average and writing is considered to be above average.
The overall results mean the school is in the top ten per cent of schools nationally and the third best in Essex.
When the Burnt Mill Academy Trust took control of the school in 2015, it had been given a Requires Improvement grading by Ofsted.
Sophie Laing stepped in as head of school and set about turning the situation around.
She said: “The school was ranked below 300 on the table previously; it was near the bottom. We have taken the school from the bottom to the top in a couple of years. The school has never been near the top, nationally or in Essex.
“The turnaround has happened through developing excellent teaching, by carefully crafting a bespoke curriculum, by creating a sense of comradery across the school and in Year 6, particularly by adopting the Incredibles theme. We finely tuned each child’s curriculum timetable and became acutely aware of the various needs of those individuals.
“It has been a three-year process to get to this point.”
New leaders were brought in to focus on improving teaching, children’s progress, attainment, reception and Year 6 transition, early years, literacy, numeracy, Key Stage 1 and special educational needs.
Mrs Laing, now executive headteacher of Little Parndon and Freshwaters Primary Academy, said: “Expectations were raised, the quality of teaching was improved and children’s needs were met which resulted in these wonderful SATs results. Progress has always been good at the school, but now with the change in culture the attainment is where children are making headway. The model we have implemented is sustainable and will see these standards continue.
“I am proud and blessed to have such highly skilled and dedicated staff who bring the very best out of all the children. I am immensely pleased for the children and their families.”
With the school having now also secured a Good Ofsted rating, next on the list of improvements is the school environment.
Mrs Laing said: “Now we are going in the right direction with our parents behind us, I am going to focus on creating an outstanding environment for our children.”
“Our vibrant PTA are devoting the year to fundraising for new outside play equipment and I am researching sensory rooms to install in the school next year.”
An additional classroom, which will be freed up when the large Year 6 group move on next year, will become the new library and ICT suite and the existing library will be used for the sensory space.
The kitchen is also being developed into the Little Parndon Pantry.