County’s test scores show rise in pupils’ progress

Herald Series: Watlington Primary School headteacher Andrew Markham celebrates with pupils. Picture: Denis Kennedy Buy this photo » Watlington Primary School headteacher Andrew Markham celebrates with pupils. Picture: Denis Kennedy

TEACHERS across Oxfordshire have welcomed a steady improvement in children's’ test scores.

As revealed in yesterday’s Oxford Mail, the Key Stage 2 results show that the county has slightly improved on its results last year, with 78 per cent of students achieving the Government benchmark of level four or above in reading, writing and maths.

Last year, 77 per cent of pupils hit the target and this year, nationally, 75 per cent made that grade.

Boys and girls are running fairly equal, but girls did fare better in reading and writing.

Both genders were above the national average in all areas, but girls made steadier progress with 95 per cent.

Primary schools in rural locations are generally achieving better results, with a number of village schools getting 100 per cent of pupils hitting the benchmark.

In 2012, 20 schools in the county hit the benchmark, however, this year only 12 made the grade.

They included Bladon Church of England Primary School, Brize Norton Primary School, Clanfield CofE Primary School, Combe Church of England Primary School and Little Milton Church of England Primary School.

No city school had a 100 per cent pass rate.

Little Milton Primary headteacher Eve Hunter said: “We are a small school and this year we had a very good year who worked really hard and we are really proud of them and the teachers.”

Speaking on Wednesday, county council education chief Melinda Tilley said the Oxford-Mail backed Oxfordshire Reading Campaign had had a knock-on effect on results.

She said: “I really do think this is a result of the reading campaign. Although it wasn’t KS2, it was KS1, I do think it has had a knock-on effect.

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“It has given schools a culture of reading.”

At Watlington Primary School, which was rated as outstanding by Ofsted at the end of the last school year, results have this year improved by 12 percentage points. from 74 per cent making the benchmark to 86 per cent.

Headteacher Andrew Markham said the school has been putting on events to help pupils’ progress in the key areas.

He said: “A lot of effort has gone into improving this year’s results. The students have been asked to put on events where they are asked to use the skills they have used in the classroom to do events.

“For example recently they were asked to buy and then market chocolate. It is a valuative process and the children made a profit.

“It is all about economics and problem solving which helps them with their studies.”

Comments (2)

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4:01am Sat 14 Dec 13

Severian says...

I think Melinda Tilley's comments show some serious wishful thinking. She says the Oxford Reading Scheme was for Key Stage 1 kids, and that somehow that magically made the kids in Key Stage 2 better at reading?!
I think Melinda Tilley's comments show some serious wishful thinking. She says the Oxford Reading Scheme was for Key Stage 1 kids, and that somehow that magically made the kids in Key Stage 2 better at reading?! Severian

4:04am Sat 14 Dec 13

Severian says...

And can I take this opportunity to congratulate Glory Farm on a great set of results in this league table. It is one of the best primary schools in Bicester, and well above the county and national average. Which makes it all the harder to understand why the Ofsted inspection a few weeks ago said that it "requires improvement", yet Glory Farm got the same league table results as Watlington which is rated as "outstanding". It's hard for parents to understand who to believe these days when the government says League Tables are really important, but they directly contradict Ofsted's rankings.
And can I take this opportunity to congratulate Glory Farm on a great set of results in this league table. It is one of the best primary schools in Bicester, and well above the county and national average. Which makes it all the harder to understand why the Ofsted inspection a few weeks ago said that it "requires improvement", yet Glory Farm got the same league table results as Watlington which is rated as "outstanding". It's hard for parents to understand who to believe these days when the government says League Tables are really important, but they directly contradict Ofsted's rankings. Severian

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