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Tuesday, 8 February, 2000, 11:16 GMT
Improved primary schools

The re-inspection of many primary schools has allowed Ofsted to pick out those which have made "excellent improvement" since they were first looked at.

It lists 40 that have done particularly well.

"The schools below stand out amongst the many that have improved the quality of education and the standards achieved by pupils since the previous inspection," says the chief inspector, Chris Woodhead.

Click here for the full list

Allanson Street Primary School, Parr. LEA: St Helens

A concerted effort to set targets for pupils has seen a marked improvement at Allanson Street.

The headteacher, Chris Maloney, took over shortly after the school's first Ofsted inspection in 1995. The quality of his leadership comes in for praise.

"Children are targeted more precisely for improvement," Mr Maloney said.

"So that we've not only got targets for all our year groups, but for individual classes but also now for individual pupils. That's the most important thing.

"It's a case of sitting down and having a discussion with each child and saying 'Well, OK, this is where we are now - what thing are we looking to improve for you?'

Attainable targets

"It might be at an individual level something like number bonds for an infant or an aspect of written work for juniors, and they knew that target and shared that with the child."

The targets are small and attainable - learning the eight times table, perhaps, or remembering always to use capital letters and full stops in sentence writing.

Each child improves, the whole class improves, and so on up.

"I think also the teachers are far more focused now - I think the introduction of the numeracy and the literacy hour have been tremendous," Mr Maloney said.

"Teachers are on their feet teaching. It's hard work and the staff are exhausted but the results are there for all to see."

As a new project, children are getting diaries in which to record their work, which are also a form of liaison between school and home.

There is also growing parental support in what is what Mr Maloney describes as a "terrifically challenging" area with a lot of social deprivation - with more than 60% of his pupils entitled to free school meals, many single parent families and high unemployment.

"A lot of the parents are very supportive once you get them across that barrier that school wasn't perhaps such a great thing for them."

Name LEA
Allanson Street Primary School, Parr St Helens
Berkley Church of England First School, Frome Somerset
Castle Hill Junior School, Winklebury Way Hampshire
Cherry Orchard Primary School, Birmingham Birmingham
Cramlington Cragside First School, Cramlington Northumberland
Crowle Primary School, Crowle North Lincolnshire
Dunstable Icknield Lower School, Dunstable Bedfordshire
Elsworth CE Primary School, Elsworth Cambridgeshire
Freemantle CE Infant School, Freemantle Southampton
Gomer Infant School, Alverstoke Hampshire
Harlow Green Junior School, Gateshead Gateshead
Haslemere First School, Haslemere Avenue Merton
Higher Bebington Junior School, Higher Bebington Wirral
Hobletts Manor Junior School, Hemel Hempstead Hertfordshire
Holy Family Catholic Primary School, Addlestone Surrey
John Rankin Infant and Nursery School, Newbury West Berkshire
Katherine Semar Infant School, Saffron Walden Essex
Lanner Primary School, Lanner Cornwall
Lark Rise Lower School, Dunstable Bedfordshire
Lumley Medway Infant School, Chester-le-Street Durham
Nettlestone Primary School, Seaview Isle of Wight
Newall Green Infant School, Wythenshawe Manchester
Oakwood Infant School, Hartley Wintney Hampshire
Park Farm Primary School, Folkestone Kent
Parson Street Primary School, Bedminster Bristol, City of
Poulton-le-Fylde The Breck Primary School, Poulton-le-Fylde Lancashire
Prees CE Primary School, Prees Shropshire
Princess Frederica CE Primary School, London Brent
South Stanley Infant School, South Stanley Durham
Sparrow Farm Junior School, Feltham Hounslow
St Brigidís Catholic Primary School, Northfield Birmingham
St Johnís CE Infant School, Dewsbury Kirklees
St Josephís RC Primary School, Maida Vale Westminster
St Peterís CE Primary School, Edgmond Telford and Wrekin
Stanley Park Junior School, Carshalton Sutton
Strand-on-the-Green Junior School, Chiswick Hounslow
Throckley First School, Throckley Newcastle-upon-Tyne
West Hill Primary School, London Wandsworth
Weston Shore Infant School, Southampton Southampton
Woodlands Junior School, Tonbridge Kent

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Mike Baker

See also:
08 Feb 00 |  Features
Some of the best schools
08 Feb 00 |  Education
School strategies 'paying off'

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