These are the best primary schools in Doncaster, according to 2019 league tables

The most successful primary schools in Doncaster have been revealed in new league tables.

Tuesday, 31st December 2019, 10:32 am

And developing a love of reading in youngsters is a key to improving their performance, according to some of the schools that have nurtured the biggest improvements in their pupils.

Tables which have just been published by the Department for Education – DfE) identified St Mary’s Church of England Primary School as the outstanding school in the borough in terms of the proportion of pupils passing their key stage two SATS tests at the expected standards.

But Crookesbroom Primary Academy, in Hatfield, and Woodfield Primary School, in Balby, appeared to rate highest in the government's value added measures, with well above average improvements in reading, writing and maths.

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Pupils reading in the quad at Woodfield Primary School

Progress scores shows how much progress pupils made in between the end of key stage 1 and the end of key stage two, compared to pupils across England who got similar results at the end of key stage one.

A score above zero means pupils made more progress, on average, than pupils across England who got similar results at the end of key stage 1.

The DfE says a negative progress score does not mean pupils have made no progress, or the school has failed, but means pupils in the school made less progress than other pupils across England with similar results at the end of key stage 1.

Janet Sanderson, headteacher at St Mary's Church of England Primary School, Tickhill, said being a small school was probably helpful in its success. It saw 93 per cent of pupils meet expected standads.

Pupils celebrate after Woodlands Primary School was awarded a Bronze Philosophy for children award. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP Woodlands MC 2

She said: “We are naturally delighted with our league table position which is the culmination of lots of hard work from the staff and children alike. We are a relatively small school and so we all know each other really well. This helps us to develop excellent relationships with our children which, together with quality first teaching and their outstanding learning behaviours, mean that lessons are fun and engaging.

“We have developed a curriculum which includes elements such as Forest School, Godly Play and a residential experience for all children in KS2. We are also proud to be a church school and our relationship with St Mary's Church is strong. All in all our children enjoy their learning. Our staff team and governors are united in trying to provide the best for the children at St Mary’s.”

But both schools which produced the most outstanding progress scores cited instilling a love of reading as vital to what they had achieved.

Woodfield Primary School in Balby notched improvement scores of 5.2 for reading, 3.5 for writing, and 3.9 for maths. Crookesbroom Primary Academy, in Hatfield, recorded scores of six for reading, 3.1 for writing and 3.5 for maths.

Kate Hope, headteacher at Woodfield, said: “We were thrilled to see the fruits of our labours when our children achieved outstanding progress in reading, writing and maths in the key stage two statutory tests.

“The hard work, dedication and passion from both staff and pupils have led towards this fantastic achievement. We truly believe that reading is the cornerstone of our success. We instil a love of reading in our children and promote reading for enjoyment both at home and at school on a daily basis. Our staff are excellent role models and can be seen reading their own novels during reading time.

“Our pupils have access to high quality literature during their English lessons as well as wonderful stories from renowned authors to take home and enjoy. We guarantee that our novels expand our children's vocabulary and therefore their understanding of the wider world.

“Our staff share the common aim of ensuring that all children leave Woodfield as fluent readers and active life-long learners.”

Associate executive principal at Crookesbroom, Lisa Hillyer said: “We are highly delighted with the performance of our year six pupils. This is testament to the hard work of all of the staff, who are involved in the learning journey of Crookesbroom children. We would also like to thank parents and carers for the terrific support and the support and challenge provided by Delta Academies Trust.”

Head of academy David Longley added: “We encourage a love of reading, writing and maths from an early age.

“The well above average progress figures are evidence that our determination to do our best for each child is paying off.

“Those children who need extra support are identified and we ensure they receive it.“

Doncaster’s lowest score for the proportion of pupils reaching the expected standards was recorded at Woodlands Primary School, based in one of the most deprived parts of Doncaster. Its score was 21 per cent. It was also one of four schools rated as well below average for value added in reading, writing, and maths.

But work has already started to turn things around, say education bosses.

Assistant director for education, skills, culture and heritage at Doncaster Council, Leanne Hornsby said: “We are working with staff at Woodlands Primary School and are committed to improving their position and the outcomes of the pupils.

“The good work that has already been put in place has led to improved outcomes for early years, and phonics at Key Stage 1 are now in line with the national average. At the end of key stage one, results showed improvements and are also in line nationally. We are continuing to support the school with leadership and governance to ensure that outcomes improve in future years.”

Top 10 primary schools in Doncaster for percentage of pupils meeting expected standard:

Tickhill St Mary's 93%

Crookesbroom Academy 88%

Thorne Moorends West Road 86%

Barnburgh 83%

Owston Park 83%

Hooton Pagnell All Saints 82%

Copley Junior 79%

Barnby Dun 78%

Hill Top 78%

Rossington St Michael's 78%

Successful primary schools in Doncaster for value added:

Hooton Pagnell All Saints: Reading well above average 6.1; Writing average 1.1; Maths average 1.2

Crookesbroom: Reading well above average 6; Writing well above average 3.1; Maths well above average 3.5

Woodfield: Reading well above average 5.2; Writing well above average 3.5; Maths well above average 3.9

Kirkby Avenue: Reading well above average 4.4; Writing average 1.7; Maths well above average 3.4

Armthorpe Shaw Wood: Reading well above average 4.2; Writing above average 1.8; Maths average 0.2

Highwoods: Reading well above average 3.7; Writing well above average 3.6; Maths above average 2.8

Thorne Moorends West Road: Reading well above average 3.3; Writing average 0.5; Maths average 0.9

Conisbrough Ivanhoe: Reading well above average 3.2; Writing above average 2.5; Maths well above average 3.1

Tickhill St Mary's Church: Reading above average 2.5; Writing well above average 3.7; Maths average 0.5

Owston Park: Reading above average 2; Writing average 1.2; Maths average 0.6

Warmsworth: Reading above average 1.9; Writing average 0.9; Maths well above average 5.7

Park: Reading average 1.8; Writing average 1.3; Maths above average 2.8

Hatfield Woodhouse: Reading average 1.5; Writing average 1.8; Maths well above average 3.6

Lowest 10 primary schools in Doncaster for percentage of pupils meeting expected standard:

Woodlands 21%

Atlas Academy 22%

Highfields 30%

Denaby Main 32%

Askern Spa Junior 34%

Castle 38%

Windhill 38%

Hexthorpe 40%

Plover 41%

Intake 43%

Schools rated as well below average for value added in reading, writing, and maths:

Woodlands Primary: Reading well below average -5.2; Writing well below average -4; Maths well below average -6.3

Askern Spa Junior: Reading well below average -5; Writing well below average -4.5; Maths well below average -6.1

Balby Central: Reading well below average-4.4; Writing well below average -2.8; Maths well below average -3.6

Denaby Main Primary: Reading well below average -3.8; Writing well below average-3.2; Maths well below average -4.3