Stalybridge schools in top 500

By Jodie Saville

TWO Stalybridge primary schools have achieved top marks after being named in the top 500 state schools in the country, according to the latest Sunday Times Parent Power Schools Guide.

St Peter’s RC Primary became the 28th nationally ranked school, a rise of 188 places from last year’s position of 216th.

St Raphael’s RC Primary also featured in the ranks at 123rd, in comparison to last year’s 489th.

Richard Gould, acting headteacher at St Peter’s, said: “We’re very pleased with our results from last year, especially Key Stage 2.

“It’s our high expectations driven by our mission statement and catholic ethos that has guided our children to be the best they can be.”

The Sunday Times School Guide uses the most recent examination results to accumulate the rankings. The rankings for junior schools is drawn from SATs taken in year six.

SATs are national curriculum assessments which are taken at the end of the academic year which cover reading, maths, grammar, punctuation and spelling as well as writing, maths and science.

To satisfy the required standard, pupils must achieve a score of a hundred or more in their reading and maths. They are also be assessed to be “reaching the expected standard” or “working at greater depth” in the writing teacher assessment.

St Peter’s has been repeatedly featured in the national Sunday Times’ guide. It was one of only two schools to attain a 100 per cent achievement rate with 14 per cent reaching higher level results.

Mr Gould expressed how a collaboration of supportive parents, dedicated staff and hard-working children are key.

“All those factors and our wider curriculum has contributed to our continued success and a very happy school,” he said.

“Congratulations to our last year’s year six, all our staff and parents and it was a privilege to serve this community.”

It was also named as the best performing primary school in Greater Manchester with an outstanding Ofsted report. St Peter’s has been in the top five and 10 per cent of schools in the country for teaching maths.

As well as this, the school is an advocate for mental health and offers ‘mindfulness’ drop-in sessions, with children invited to relax in a quiet area with calming music and colouring. They also offer yoga classes in after school clubs.

Mr Gould feels this is a contributing factor to children’s results.

He continued: “It’s definitely helped to create a relaxed atmosphere.

“The children can drop in and out as and when they feel they need to. It’s another support that we can offer them.”

St Raphael’s was named as one of the top schools in Greater Manchester earlier this year, during which it celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Headteacher Lynn Lakner said: “It is a great achievement and down to the hard work of the children, staff and governors who we are proud of.

“The school continues to do well and develop and it is all done within the Catholic ethos.

“It is a partnership of everyone striving for the best for the children. We also strive to have a happy and successful school.”

St Raphael’s was earlier this month subject to an Ofsted inspection, the results of which will be published in the new year.

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