SATs an improvement

SATs an improvement

Many congratulations to primary school teachers and pupils across the country on this year’s set of excellent SATs results – your hard work has paid off!

It is also very rewarding indeed to see that the improved, knowledge-rich and more demanding curriculums in maths and English bear fruit.

The new curriculums were designed to raise standards – and they appear to be doing just that.

This year’s results – which were published today – reveal that a higher proportion of primary school pupils in England have reached the expected standards in maths and English.

In reading, 75% reached the expected standard, compared with 71% last year.

And in maths, 76% reached the expected standard, up from 75% last year.

Overall, those reaching the expected standard across the board; was 64%, compared to 61% last year.

This is the most welcomed news as the UK must raise standards if it is going to compete internationally and maintain its economic position. Our children have to compete in a global market particularly in the light of Brexit.

And it is crucial we get it right at primary school because if children have not grasped the basics by age 11 they are going to struggle at secondary level.

If we get it right at primary level we’ll have children far better equipped to deal with secondary school and ultimately GCSEs, A-levels, NVQs, the new T-levels when they come in and degrees – not to mention the workplace.

Nothing can be achieved without pressure and greater application and these tougher SATs are beginning to prove that.

The new curriculum, of which I was one of the advisors, provides a more structured and technique based approach in maths and a focus on the learning of grammar, syntax and spelling in English.

This is the right approach. Foundational work must be prioritised. Fun activities, pupil-centred learning and other progressive approaches can be used but only if the core teaching methodologies are more traditional and ensure the key elements of the curriculum are delivered.

There’s still a long way to go and room for improvement but I am optimistic we’re on the right track.