Susan Press finds out how children at a north Leeds school have managed to double their chances of top Sats results in maths.
A Leeds school is figuring out ways of achieving better maths results.
In the past 12 months, Cookridge Holy Trinity C of E Primary has almost doubled the number of children getting outstanding results in Key Stage 2 Sats tests.
In 2010, the number of Year 6 students getting the top Level 5 grade was only 26 per cent.
This year, it was up to a much more impressive 47 per cent.
And the other good news was that the number of children getting “satisfactory” Sats scores was also up to 94 per cent from 81 per cent.
Headteacher Andy Pickles, who has been at the school for four years, says the latest results are the culmination of serious attempts by staff and students to improve statistics.
He said: “These are the best Sats results we have ever had in my time at the school and I am delighted that the hard work put in by our students and staff has paid off.
“One of the things we have been conscious of is the need to provide our kids with more challenges in their studies and that is borne out in these figures.
“There was a perception by many pupils that they preferred English and reading so our plan for the year was to focus on maths.
“Our progress has been enhanced by various initiatives but all year round we are lucky to have an exceptionally talented team of teachers.”
Teachers and students followed their success in achieving the Sats results with lots of special events at a recent Maths Week - the fourth to be held at the school.
The highlight of the week-long number crunch was an attempt to create the “world’s biggest zero”.
The event was jointly organised by the school’s PTA and tutor Simon Deacon, of the North Leeds First Class Learning Centre, which is based at the local church.
It involved all the school’s 350 or so pupils, from reception right up to to Year 6.
They spent the half-term break decorating hundreds of cardboard zeroes with eye-catching designs and lined up in the playground to show them off to the local community.
Their efforts were also filmed from above with a helicopter flypast by a local aviation company and a VIP visit from the Lord Mayor of Leeds.
Other activities included lessons built around an “airport” theme – with everything from map grid references to different currencies and time zones on the curriculum.
Mr Pickles added: “Our aim is to show our children that maths is not a boring subject. It is everywhere in our lives and important in every aspect of what we do.
“And, though we know there is always more work to be done, the effort we have put into making maths a focal point of what we do here shows the strength of our school.”