Abbotskerswell Primary School
This case study explores how, through working collaboratively, Abbotskerswell Primary School gained recognition as one of the top 1% primary schools in the country for Key Stage 2 SATs results in July 2019, with 100% of pupils achieving the expected standards in Reading, Writing and Maths.
Kev Martin joined the school as Acting Head Teacher in January 2019.
Two key challenges quickly became apparent:
- Within six days of joining, Kev was advised that an Ofsted Inspection was to take place;
- The previous summer, only 46% of the then Year 5 children were judged to be on target to achieve their KS2 SATs – a significant gap between the national average of 65% and the outstanding performance that same summer of the school’s Year 6 cohort of 85% in Reading, Writing and Maths!
Kev first encountered Scomis as a Deputy Head at Topsham Primary. He met with Scomis Education Specialist Anita Belworthy, who invested time understanding the school’s challenges. Kev’s key priorities were to track evidence whilst reducing teacher workload. Scomis was instrumental in helping the school transform the use of SIMS from an administration tool to an invaluable strategic resource, with information tailored to specific roles and easily accessible.
"A light bulb moment came when we realised that by using SIMS, staff would be able to fully understand the achievements and progress of their pupils. As a result, the quality and effectiveness of our pupil progress meetings improved dramatically. By reducing the time spent preparing documents, teachers were empowered to actively analyse the data and tailor their support and interventions to achieve a marked improvement in outcomes for pupils".
When Kev was faced with his first challenge of an Ofsted Inspection at Abbotskerswell, he applied the knowledge and experience gained from Scomis to interrogate SIMS and quickly gather valuable data about the school. This meant that he could fast track the development of his own school development strategies as well as generate evidence for the inspection. When he needed help, Kev knew he could rely on the Scomis Service Desk to point him in the right direction:
"The service provided by the Service Desk is outstanding. The speed and quality of their support is exceptional. I have no hesitation to call them as I know they will provide me with a prompt response. This is a significant time saver, thus reducing workload for myself."
After only 8 working days in post as Head, Abbotskerswell retained their ‘Good’ Ofsted rating. The Ofsted Inspector acknowledged the impact that Kev had already had:
“Although you have joined the school only recently, you have quickly gained an accurate view of the school’s strengths and areas for development and are implementing new strategies, particularly to develop pupils’ writing further.”
Raising Attainment Levels
Kev could now turn his attention to his second key challenge – improving the expected outcome for his current Year 6s. Whilst the teachers could demonstrate that they had a good understanding of each child, substantiated by a record about each individual in MS Word, they were struggling to identify strategies to bridge the attainment gap.
At our Showcase event for education, Scomis Live, Kev listened to sessions presented by other senior leaders about how we have worked with them to improve standards in their schools. This inspired Kev to fundamentally transform the school’s approach to assessment. To enable this transformation, Scomis created a solution in SIMS Assessment which allowed the school to have visibility of all pupil data in one place, track trends in pupil progress and identify the specific areas where not only individuals, but also cohorts of pupils, were challenged. We then looked at how we could help the school improve attendance levels by using SIMS to identify persistent absentees so that targeted strategies could be implemented. Although the school had good attendance levels, by using SIMS, Kev was able to identify that 13% of pupils were persistent absentees, with less than 90% attendance. Consequently, the school were able to track and use the evidence produced from SIMS to have discussions with parents. By July 2019, persistent absentees had fallen to 6% demonstrating a marked improvement.
As a result of our combined efforts, every child in Year 6 achieved their KS2 SATs results in Reading, Writing and Maths. The 100% attainment rate and strong standardised score of 107 across all subjects placed Abbotskerswell Primary School in the top 1% of primary schools nationally.
"Our collaboration with Scomis has helped to introduce and embed new and innovative ways of working across the school. This has improved pupil outcomes and reduced teacher workload. We are grateful to our partnership with Scomis -we couldn’t have achieved this without them!"