Website builder - Build your personal space

First Tower Primary School - Headteacher's Annual Achievement Report 2014-15

The context of our school

First Tower Primary School is a two-form entry primary school that mainly serves families in the parish of St Helier, both from the town and First Tower area. 

The school has a diverse population and welcomes a higher than Island average percentage of families with English as an additional language (EAL)(37%) and a broadly average proportion of pupils with Special Educational Needs (22%). The school is situated on the edge of town and has very close relationships with the local community. We value our achievement in a wider sense as well as working very hard to target the basic skills that come from the low starting points that are evident as pupils enter the school.

We aim to inspire our pupils in as many ways as possible and classes frequently use the parks, beaches, town and Island resources that are easily accessible in order to develop pupils’ knowledge, skills and their respect for the wider community, which we value highly. We spend a considerable amount of time engaging in community events and in raising funds to support local charity initiatives that are priorities to our School Council.

Our school has a Nursery and also hosts the staff of the Early Years Support Service (Education Support Team) that make a difference to the lives of Island-wide pre-school pupils with Special Educational Needs (0-3yrs) and their families who benefit from additional support before they reach school age.

The majority of pupils in our school Nursery move into the Reception class and have traditionally been recorded as having low starting points on entry to Nursery, particularly in the areas of the English curriculum.

In the academic year 2014-15 the outcomes by the end of the year for the Nursery were, on average, above the standards expected and a large majority of pupils in the Reception classes reached a good level of development across the curriculum according to the new ‘Development Matters” Curriculum. Notable improvements were made in Communication and Language (a school focus), where the attainment was broadly in line with the UK and pupils exceeded this in Maths.  This indicates that through Early Years the gap is already beginning to close on the starting points and this is a very positive sign for future achievement in Key Stage One and Two.

In the Foundation Stage, staff and pupils have made a positive start towards taking on the new curriculum this year. In line with the UK, girls at First Tower tend to perform better than boys from their starting points on entry and this gender gap remains a challenge throughout the school, despite the normal child developmental differences. The whole school will be working on this for the forthcoming year and into the future.

The current attainment in Key Stage 1 reflects the low starting points of this cohort of pupils on entry; the rolling averages show that the data has stabilized in the past four years compared to earlier data and this reflects a growing diversity of intake, but also an increasing stability in the assessment processes and policies within the school which have improved standards of teaching and learning. When comparing the initial entry starting points of the 2014/15 cohort with their outcomes, the comparison indicates that pupils added significant value to these; substantial gains were made in Maths, English and Science across the Key Stage.

Pupils in Key Stage 1 continue to perform most strongly in Maths and Science, which improved by 9%  and 20% respectively in the last year, compared to a fairly static performance Island wide and the school is now broadly in line with the UK average in these areas. This is reflective of the continuous drive to raise standards within the school. First Tower improved upon the Non Fee-Paying Sector Average  in Writing, which has been a focus target over the past academic year.

Key Stage 1 Attainment

 

2014

2015

Reading

75%

80%

Writing

73%

83%

Maths

73%

85%

Science

71%

91%

In 2015, Key Stage 1 pupils showed very good levels of achievement with significant improvements being made on the previous year in all areas.  Pupils with English as an Additional Language (EAL) exceeded the Island and UK averages in all areas.

Reading will remain a strong focus in Key Stage 1 for 2016. Staff and pupils should be justifiably proud of their achievements in 2014-15, which shows that they have continuously built on the previous years’ outcomes and are committed to driving forward and raising standards.

Key Stage 2 progress is very strong in Mathematics and equals the Island average in 2015. The data overview shows a dip in the progress in Reading and Writing between 2014 and 2015, despite the fact that 58% of pupils made above expected levels of progress in Writing, which is a very positive achievement and shows accelerated learning. This needs to be celebrated as an achievement when considering the starting points of these pupils in the school. 

The dip in progress between 2014 and 2015 is reflective of two very different cohorts of pupils, the latter of which overcame some significant challenges in their levels of engagement with learning as they left Lower Key Stage 2. Many pupils went on to make significant progress in Upper Key Stage 2 and several pupils on the Inclusion Register were managed down the system from School Action Plus to School Action, as a result of very successful behaviour intervention systems being developed within the school over the last two years. This allowed pupils to focus more effectively on their learning.

Attainment in Key Stage 2, continues to be reflective of the school strengths (Mathematics) and its challenges (Reading and Writing), however over time this has remained steady as reflected by the rolling averages. Work will continue on targeting these areas for improvement in the future.

 KS2 Outcomes 2014-15

 

2014

2015

Reading

77%

84%

Writing

71%

76%

Maths

88%

93%

Science

75%

89%

 

In 2015 there was evidence of systematic overall improvement in the percentages of pupils attaining at Level 4+ in all core subjects when compared to the previous year. The school currently performs more securely at this level in Maths for Level 4 (93%) than the Island and UK.

Attendance at First Tower has been outstanding for the last two years and parents and pupils are to be commended for this. Pupils are well engaged in school life and there are close relationships with parents regarding any attendance or punctuality issues that may exist.

First Tower is a dynamic and busy school that recognizes its starting points and the wider achievements of its pupils; it continually provides them with an engaging curriculum and wider opportunities to interact within the community to develop a sense of respect and self-esteem. The school has high expectations of its pupils and a drive to continuously improve outcomes at all levels.

The school’s main focus areas for 2016 are:

  • To reduce the gender gap across the school

  • To maintain a focus on Reading and Writing.