CHILDREN across Portsmouth have made huge strides in writing over the past year, early results show.
Provisional figures for both Key Stage 1 and 2 show improvements across the board, with Key Stage 2 writing making the biggest increase of five percentage points on last year.
The latest round of school data show standards continue to improve at Portsmouth schools – a trend that, it is hoped, will also be seen in GCSE results later this month.
A snapshot of the provisional results at Key Stage 2, which come from assessments in May, show nearly 77.2 per cent of pupils are now achieving level four or above for writing.
Provisional results at Key Stage 1 indicate that seven-year-olds in all five areas are scoring above last year’s national figure, with writing again being the area of strongest improvement.
Cllr Rob Wood, Portsmouth City Council’s cabinet member for education and children, said: ‘The schools and standard of education in Portsmouth continues to improve.
‘The work that’s being done in schools is good but there is still work to do.
‘We’ve taken the opportunity to bring national experts into our schools to work specifically on writing and it is clear that initiatives like this do translate into results.
‘Our challenge is to sustain improvements across all year groups, culminating in the best possible GCSE results for each pupil.’
A key factor in the improved writing scores has been the presence of national educational experts coaching teachers to improve children’s writing skills.
The project, Talk for Writing, is being implemented for 2,000 primary school pupils throughout the city in places like Fernhurst Junior School.
Roberta Kirby, headteacher at the Southsea school, said: ‘Since we started Talk for Writing a few months ago, we have seen increased motivation and engagement from pupils across a range of abilities.
‘Our improved scores indicate it is having a significant impact on their writing.’
Wimborne Junior School in Southsea also saw 16 per cent of the year group achieve the above average level six.
Full breakdown of 2013 provisional KS1 and KS2 results (2012 results in brackets)
Key Stage 1: Reading: 81.7% (79.4%); Writing: 69.3% (66.6%); Maths: 81.7% (80.6%). Key Stage 2: Reading: 81.7% (84.0%); Writing: 77.2% (72.7%); Maths: 81.2% (80.2%).