ALSTON SCHOOL PRAISEDFOR IMPROVEMENT RATE

Date: Friday 2nd March 2007
left to right..Head teacher Maurice Peddelty watches an electricity experiment performed by Dean Green with Lesley Adamson,Keith Adamson chairman of the rural academy,Anne Ross school governor and chairman of governors Chris Reed.
left to right..Head teacher Maurice Peddelty watches an electricity experiment performed by Dean Green with Lesley Adamson,Keith Adamson chairman of the rural academy,Anne Ross school governor and chairman of governors Chris Reed.

FOUR of Eden’s schools made the top 10 of all Cumbrian secondaries in their improvement rating for their key stage three results, with one achieving the sixth best in the country.

Samuel King’s School, Alston, was singled out for its improvement, which jumped from a score of 188 in 2003 to 267 in 2006 a mark out of 300 reflecting the percentage of 11-14-year-olds achieving a set standard in each English, maths and science.

Headteacher Maurice Peddelty (pictured) said he was delighted with the results, particularly following on from a good Ofsted report.

He said: “We do have a lot to celebrate. The children and the staff have worked very hard. We do give the children a lot of individual attention and that is one of the benefits of being a small school.”

Samuel King’s also achieved the second best “value added” score in the county, which marks improvement from keys stages two to three, coming second only to Cockermouth.

Keswick School and Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Penrith, were also in the top five valued added schools, while Appleby and Kirkby Stephen grammar schools made the top 10.

All of the area’s schools are achieving the national median value added score or higher. A mark of 100 reflects the national median score. Samuel King’s achieved a value added score of 101.9; Keswick School 101.7; Queen Elizabeth Grammar School 101.5; Appleby and Kirkby Stephen grammar schools 101.1; and Ullswater Community College, Penrith, 100. This compares with a county score as a whole of 99.7.

According to the DfES, 78 per cent. of Cumbrian key stage three pupils are achieving the marker level of 5+ in maths. This is a three per cent. improvement on last year’s figures for Cumbria and puts the county’s rate one per cent. higher than the national average. In English, 75 per cent. are achieving level 5+ down two per cent. on last year. This also fell nationally, by one per cent., but Cumbria’s score remains higher than the national average.

At the higher benchmark of level 6+, Cumbria has also outperformed the national average. And nationally, the proportion achieving level 6+ in English fell by one per cent., but in Cumbria this increased by two per cent. to 35 per cent., which now exceeds the national average.

Maths level 6+ results have increased by four per cent. to 59 per cent. and are two per cent. above national averages, while science level 6+ results also increased by four per cent. to 45 per cent. and are four per cent. above national averages.

Philip Chappelhow, Cumbria County Council spokesman for children’s services, said: “These results show that we are continuing to improve and clearly delivering a better standard of education for 11 to 14-year-olds than the national average. This is evidence that school children entering secondary education in this county are getting a better and better foundation in the core subjects that set them up for future learning and development.

“But we are not complacent, we are setting challenging targets for the future and are continually striving to aspire further in the coming year.”