A CHESTER primary school has been named the top performer in England by the Department for Education.
St Oswald’s C of E Aided Primary School, in Grove Road, Mollington, came out top among more than 15,000 primary schools which had their results scrutinised, with 100 per cent of pupils achieving level four in reading, writing and maths – with the national average standing at 63 per cent.
The school, which has about 130 pupils, also scored a 100 per cent success rate for level five and a 75 per cent success rate at level six maths, putting it top of the league tables with an average points score of 35.4 per cent, calculated from the results of pupils in English and maths SATS tests.
Chris Timm, deputy headteacher at St Oswald’s, said: “It is a fantastic achievement for us as a school to have come top in these tables and represents the enormous amount of hard work that goes in from teachers and pupils alike.
“The key thing for us that has been successful is our implementation of effective teaching. We try to engage children in the learning process and don’t simply stick to paper tasks.
“We take the children on trips as well as the time we spend in the classroom. We have a balance of working and play, and I think that is very important.
“We are a very family-orientated school. The children really enjoy learning here and we have excellent feedback from parents.”
According to the government, in order for children to thrive in secondary school, they must be achieving ‘good level four’ grades, which 100 per cent of St Oswald’s youngsters achieved, something which Mr Timms believes is down to the hard work of pupils and the smaller classroom numbers.
“I think that one of the biggest factors to our success here has been that we are able to get to know the pupils well and aid their development in certain areas much better,” said Mr Timms.
“You get to know their strengths and weaknesses in certain areas and you get to know them as individuals. I think that the children respond to that. It gives us the ability to tailor their learning to their needs.”
While the school only found out about their success this week, the excellent results of the children during 2013 had given them reason to believe that they would be well represented on the league table.
“We had an inkling that we may do quite well, but to come out on top is something that I don’t think any of us were expecting,” said Mr Timms.
“We had 100 per cent of pupils achieve level four, 100 per cent of pupils achieve level five and 75 per cent of pupils achieve level six in maths, which is a phenomenal achievement for the children and for the school.
“That means that they are, in effect, working three years ahead of themselves to a year nine level.
“There is no secret formula. It is a case of the children enjoying coming to school and we have created an environment in which they can thrive.
“Our focus moving forward will be to ensure that we do everything that we can to keep on improving.
“The way that we can do that is by continuing to identify areas that certain children may need help with. If we can continue to do that successfully, then we will be doing well.”