Sunderland school’s children are under-achieving

Southwick Community School.
Southwick Community School.
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STAFF at a Sunderland school have vowed to tackle issues surrounding low achievement.

Southwick Community Primary School has been given a notice to improve by Ofsted inspectors, due to the pupils’ levels of attainment in Key Stage 1 and 2.

Trish Stoker, headteacher at the school, which two years ago moved into a new £6.5million building, said many of the children are far behind where they should be when they start and do make good progress at the school.

However, they are not progressing fast enough against national benchmarks and this is what the school needs to address.

The Shakespeare Street school has the highest level of disadvantaged children in the city, with more than two thirds eligible for free school meals and a higher than average number of children with special educational needs.

Mrs Stoker said: “It is a tough challenge for us to meet these national benchmarks, but everyone at Southwick Primary will be working together to meet these challenges.”

Margaret Ferries, Sunderland City Council’s chief inspector of schools, said: “We are already working closely with the school to provide additional help and support to address the concerns of the Ofsted inspectors.

“The hard work of the staff and children combined with supportive parents is a hallmark of the school, which will successfully achieve and exceed the improvements being called for.”

The report from Ofsted inspectors said: “Significant improvement is required in relation to pupils’ levels of attainment at the end of Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, to ensure they are better prepared for the next stage of their life in their basic skills and in improving their attendance.”

However, they added that although attainment is low, it is improving quickly in Key Stage 2 and actions already taken by school leaders are having a significant impact on improving progress in the Early Years Foundation Stage.

The Ofsted inspectors praised other areas of the school and the report said: “Pupils are proud of their new school building and appreciate the improved climate for learning. They have positive attitudes to learning and behave well in and around the school.

“They have a good understanding of what constitutes a healthy lifestyle. Pupils say they feel safe and enjoy coming to school.”

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