Federated primary schools celebrate best ever SATs results

Two Leeds primary schools under the same leadership team are celebrating after Year 6 pupils achieved their best SATs results to date.

"There are no limitations on the aspirations of our pupils."

Andy Gamble, Executive Headteacher of Windmill Primary School, in Windmill Road, and Low Road Primary School, on Belinda Street, said the record scores were a fitting reflection of the effort put in by staff and pupils.

The two schools exceeded the Local Authority’s average results and the national average in two areas: reading and maths. Overall, the combined SATs figures are now in line with the national average, which Mr Gamble hailed as a huge success.

“These results are due to a lot of hard work by a lot of people,” he says. “There are no limitations on the aspirations of our pupils. We have the aspiration of a private school, the expectations of a grammar school, whilst being proudly rooted in our South Leeds community.

The two schools joined forces in 2007 to form the Low Road and Windmill Music Federation with a tailored and music-rich curriculum that focuses on culture and the arts, a first in the Leeds area.

Thanks to a partnership with Opera North which has been running successfully for seven years, every pupil within the federation learns to play a musical instrument and joins in choir, orchestra and sectional practice sessions for more than three hours a week.

Mr Gamble says this has been a huge step towards reaching the schools’ aim: to raise the standards of achievement of all their children, and to give them the best possible life chances.

“We really feel that the partnership with Opera North has contributed massively in building society-ready children,” he says. “We’re very proud of what they have achieved.”

Mr Gamble has received praise from Ofsted for his 'inspirational' leadership of the school last year; after visiting Windmill Primary School in October, Ofsted Inspector Nicola Shipman wrote: "Windmill Primary School is a very welcoming, friendly and nurturing school where staff help pupils to develop well, academically and personally. Pupils are happy to attend. Many say that they ‘love their learning’. Pupils are cheerful and enthusiastic and show positive attitudes towards their school and each other."

She added: "The overwhelming majority of parents and carers are very positive about the school.” One parent commented, ‘My child is thriving at this school.’ Another parent stated: ‘I am proud to send my children to Windmill Primary. The staff are truly amazing and my children are excelling here. My children are happy, settled and making excellent progress.’

After visiting Low Road Primary School in May 2018, Ofsted Inspector Mark Evans said: “The school is led with vision, drive and conviction.  You, your senior team and staff are dedicated to ensuring that all pupils do well and receive the very best”.

He added: “Parents are very complementary about the school.  They are particularly positive about the length to which staff go to ensure that their children are well looked after and well educated”.

New pupils are welcome at both schools; for more information, visit www.musicfederation.co.uk