School recognised as achievement champion

By Barrie Hudson - 13 May 2021

PrimaryCommunity

Royal Wootton Bassett’s Noremarsh Junior School has been awarded the Achievement for All Quality Mark.

  • The new status is a major achievement for pupils and staff. Front: Holly. Rear: Alfie, Jo Ballinger, Ryan, Lacey, Rooney, Andy Simpson, Toby

    The new status is a major achievement for pupils and staff. Front: Holly. Rear: Alfie, Jo Ballinger, Ryan, Lacey, Rooney, Andy Simpson, Toby

The accolade is in recognition of the success of work to ensure that all pupils progress to the best of their potential.

Since 2017, Noremarsh has been part of the Achievement for All ‘Achieving Schools’ coaching programme, which works with schools across the country to help all children learn, regardless of their background, challenges or needs.

Through building the bonds between school and home, and working closely in partnership to support learning in both places, as well as other changes that impact on learning, Noremarsh Junior School has now closed the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers – with the pupils classed as disadvantaged now making the most progress of their cohort.

Jo Ballinger, Noremarsh Junior School’s Achievement for All Champion and Assistant Headteacher, said: “This Achievement for All Quality Mark is the culmination of hard work from everyone across the school to improve prospects for all of our children.

“We’ve been working with our Achievement for All Coach, Liz Bannister, to implement strategies across the school to make a difference to our disadvantaged pupils.  

"These are mainly pupils who experience a barrier to learning, which could be as a result of attendance, limited support at home or many other reasons.

“Through the programme, we build the relationships with parents in order to put school-based and home-based plans in place, and we work together to hold each other to account for the benefit of the child.  

"The strategies also have school-wide benefits too and improve the quality of teaching and the relationships teachers have with all of the children.”

However, the school has been focusing on more than just what happens in lessons.  

Jo said: “Another change has been to the school timetable to make learning easier with shorter stretches between breaks, and we have introduced ‘10p Toast’, where all pupils have the option to pay 10p for wholemeal toast at break time, as having eaten something warm and filling helps concentration and learning in class too.  

"For pupils identified through the Achievement for All programme, this is free.

“We also now have a Link Up Learner Teaching Assistant who works with the children across different lessons to focus on the areas they may struggle with, such as mathematics or spelling.  

"This Teaching Assistant also acts as their advocate at school and a link to home to help build their self-esteem too.”

The programme continues this term, with the focus moving onto wellbeing and supporting the link between emotional wellbeing and progress and attainment.

The school's website is www.noremarsh.wilts.sch.uk

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