The challenge and support from St Ann’s School Committee, and through the way in which they hold leaders to account has resulted in strong pupil achievement. Although the end of year SATs did not take place in 2020-21 due to Covid-19, standards at the end of KS2 have not declined, with 90% achieving the expected standard in Reading, 87% in Writing and 89% in Maths. In fact, the percentage of pupils achieving RWM combined increased to 87%, the highest it has ever been, and the percentage working at Greater Depth in Reading and Maths significantly increased when compared to the previous year. There is also no attainment gap in any subject between PP and non-PP pupils at the end of Y6. Progress was strong at the end of KS2 with between 92-97% of pupils making at least sustained progress and between 23-33% making accelerated progress. At the end of key stage 1 standards in Reading and Writing have remained roughly in line with previous years despite the pandemic and the vulnerabilities within this cohort. 92% of Y2 achieved the expected standard in the Phonics Screening Check by the end of the year (of the 5 that did not pass, 2 were SEN, 2 were PP & SEND and one was a poor attender). It is likely 1 of these 5 will pass when they are in Y3. 85% of Early Years pupils achieved GLD, which is the highest in a five year period.
The two-day external review in April 2021 recognised that leaders have responded rapidly to areas of underperformance since the previous review in September 2019 This included reviewing the curriculum and staff roles, and coaching and mentoring staff. The shared sense of responsibility and accountability for all aspects of educational provision, including the effectiveness of the wider leadership of the school was acknowledged and praised. The strategic dialogue during School Committee meetings has ensured a relentless focus on school improvement, despite the global coronavirus pandemic.
Together with the senior leadership team of the school, the School Committee have protected pupils’ full educational entitlement whilst ensuring the health and safety of the community during the pandemic. They have regularly reviewed the Covid19 risk assessment which has involved critical thinking and debating ways to mitigate risk of transmission and engaging with parents/ carers and the wider school community. In addition to this they have had courageous conversations about the Recovery Strategy, challenging leaders to ensure our most vulnerable pupils (inc pupils in receipt of pupil premium and SEND pupils) performed in line with the pupils of a similar starting point. The School Committee have also monitored and evaluated the Catch-Up Premium strategy. The impact of which can be seen in the percentage of pupil who have made sustained progress, accelerated progress and achieved ARE as a result of catch up lessons, daily reading and participation in therapeutic intervention.
Equality & Diversity
This year, there has been strong focus on ensuring St Ann’s is fully inclusive by promoting equality and diversity. The School Committee have made a valuable contribution to upholding this ethos by pursuing clarity of vision and by agreeing the equality aims, objectives and scheme. They have shown curiosity and challenged the status quo to ensure the school fully equips children to gain an understanding of the world they are growing up in, and learn how to live alongside, and show respect for, a diverse range of people. The School Committee are committed to developing children’s understanding of the protected characteristics across the entire curriculum, including during PSHE and RSHE lessons, and have made the recommendation that this is highlighted further through next year’s Home School Agreement.
Impact of School Budget
Through its delegated responsibility of overseeing the school’s budget, the School Committee have been instrumental in guaranteeing monies spent have been linked to the school improvement plan and demonstrate impact. Through effective spending, a high-quality Design Technology curriculum has been developed, the percentage of pupils achieving age related expectations in Phonics at the end of the Early Years, Year 1 and Year 2 has at least been maintained or increased despite lost face to face learning time due to class closures and lockdowns, and remote education was highly effective and feedback from parents/carers was overwhelmingly positive.