Less than half of Portsmouth schools hit targets in latest SATS results

RESULTS Schools had mixed success in the SATS
RESULTS Schools had mixed success in the SATS

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FEWER than half of primary schools across Portsmouth matched or exceeded national average SATS results.

Just 15 out of 31 junior and primary schools sent their children on to secondary schools with the expected level four standard in both English and maths, Department for Education statistics show.

While some schools recorded rises in the percentage of 11-year-old pupils achieving the combined award, others saw their pass rates drop by up to 13 per cent.

One major success story was Meon Juniors in Southsea, which was celebrating an 88 per cent pass rate for level four English and maths – the highest in the city.

Louise Linscott, head, said: ‘It’s an amazing achievement, especially as last year’s cohort was not our strongest.

‘Our success was down to rigorous assessment of every child and in addition to that, giving them a love of learning through inspirational teaching.

‘There are no “satisfactory” teachers here.’

Sandra Gibb, head of St George’s Beneficial CoE school in Portsea, was thrilled to see the English and maths level four pass rate go up from 58 to 74 per cent.

Even better was 94 per cent of all pupils making at least two levels of progress in English despite an overwhelming majority of boys – statistically weaker in reading and writing.

She said: ‘We spotted early on the cohort was struggling and our deputy headteacher, who is an outstanding teacher took them on for the last year.

‘She has a fantastic knowledge of the children and tailored the learning to suit every one of them.

‘She also changed topics to link in with things going on around the children, for example, using Aladdin that was playing at the Kings Theatre to draw comparisons with the Iron Man in literacy lessons.’

Polly Honeychurch, headteacher of Cottage Grove Primary, which boycotted the SATS last year, hit the national average of a 74 per cent expected pass rate for English and maths.

It is a big step for the school that came out of special measures in 2010.

She said: ‘It is all down to the hard work of our teachers. They are making the lessons exciting for children who now want to come to school and want to learn.

‘We have a big focus on reading, writing and basic maths, and we involve our parents at every stage.’

· For full results, school by school, see today’s News.