School goes to the top of the class for results

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A MORPETH school has received an early Christmas present thanks to its top class exam results.

The Department for Education has published the official results for the 2011 National Curriculum assessments, known as SATs, taken by year six pupils and Chantry Middle School & Technology College made a major improvement.

It had 92 per cent of pupils achieve at least Level Four — which students at age 11 are expected to attain — in English and also in maths. This was an increase from 2010 of 15 per cent and 11 per cent respectively.

A total of 89 per cent got Level Four or above in both subjects and this was the third best performance in Northumberland.

Meanwhile, neighbouring Newminster Middle School & Technology College maintained its impressive marks as 95 per cent of pupils reached the target standard or better in maths and 91 per cent did so in English.

It was fifth in the county rankings for those obtaining at least Level Four in both English and maths with 87 per cent. The national average figure for 2011 in this category was 74 per cent.

Executive Headteacher of both schools, Paul Lawrence, said: “We’re thrilled with these results, especially for Chantry as it has taken a big step forward.

“Staff and students have worked so hard to improve standards and they have done really well to bring the results up to Newminster’s level.

“We rightly faced questions from parents of Chantry pupils asking why there was a sizable gap between the two schools’ SATs figures and we put in place a range of quality assurance measures to address the situation.

“These have been carried out effectively and teachers have also been able to take on more responsibilities in their areas of expertise and I’m delighted that they have risen to these challenges.

“We’re aiming to build on this success and do even better in future years because children in Morpeth deserve to have the very best.”

One area identified for improvement is the number of pupils achieving Level Five or better in English and maths – at Newminster 29 per cent of pupils managed to do this in both subjects and it was 21 per cent at Chantry (21 per cent is the national average).

Mr Lawrence believes that becoming a hard federation along with King Edward VI High School, which had a single governing body, helped to raise standards at both schools and further benefits will come from the recent move to academy status.

The majority of pupils who achieve Level Four or better in the key subjects of English and maths in their year six SATs go on to get at least five A* to C grades at GCSE level.