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League table results..(15 Posts)
Am new to all this so please forgive me if I ask a silly question.
How much one should believe in league table results for primary state schools?
We are in a fortunate situation to relocate anywhere in London near an ‘outstanding’ performing school.
Through recently published league tables and other search websites, we have come across two outstanding schools ‘Thomas Jones Primary school’ in Ladbrook grove and ‘Grafton Primary school, Islington.
Are there any mums whose LOs are going to these schools? Any feedback on any of these schools or their catchment areas (in terms of living there) would be greatly appreciated xx
Also, I know we have to live really really close to the schools but what happens if the school is too oversubscribed like these ones are probably likely to be!? Thank you in advance for your advice.
Ps: perhaps I know the answer to the last question- the LA will allocate perhaps the next closest school. Perhaps what i am worried about is even if you live right next door to the school, are there chances that your application not be successful for these schools, being so popular due to their results? Thanks
One thing to be wary of is schools in good areas where the kids are extensively tutored (I'm not talking about just before 11+ exams even). Some near me do very well in SATs for exactly this reason. Personal recommendation is best..
Welcome. I assume from your post that your child isn't in school yet. There are many threads on applying for primary school on this board, do have a read.
Personally, I wouldn't move near a school just because it had extremely good SATs because:
- As FantasticMrMouse says, some kids are tutored
- Some schools have an intake of well-off kids, who have a better chance of doing well than deprived kids, and their good results aren't really down to teaching
- Schools have been known to cheat
- SATs (and Ofsted ratings) can change a lot year by year
Also, schools in London don't have catchments. This is the best website I've found for working out your chances of getting into a particular one:
Grafton has a good reputation in Islington but I don't have any personal experience of it. Visiting the schools you're interested in is the way to go.
Thank you Terentia and Fantastic.
We did have a look at track record of these two schools and found that they have been consistently performing well.
What I fail to understand is how do they manage it if it down to private tutoring?
Please could you elaborate on extensive tutoring? So far i have only heard of people tutoring kumon lessons since about 2.5 yrs age!..
Unfortunately we dont have personal recommendations. But would love to have some recommendations here from you lovely lot mainly for north/north east/north west/central london. Thank you xx
I don't live in London, but MN tells me that parents tutor their children in upper primary school to enable them to get into very selective independent schools.
The issue with league tables at primary level is that they tell you more about the children at the school than the actual school.
For example, if I tell you that
School A consists of children who are from deprived backgrounds, have SEN, move home a lot, have parents who left school with few qualifications
School B consists of middle class children with educated parents
School C consists of middle class children with educated parents, who have tutored since year 4, and are heavily invested in their children's education
... you can probably predict the league table positions with no knowledge of the schools at all.
(ok an extreme example, but you get the idea)
How does a school maintain consistently good results if it is not down to the school/if it is down to tutoring?
Well look at yourself. You are informing yourself as best you can, because you apparently really value your child's education. You have the choice where to move to, so you choose to move into catchment of a school that achieves great results.
Now assume you start to realise that the school isn't actually very good. Your child is being let down in that they are clearly underachieving. Whenever you try to raise anything with school, they are defensive, because after all they must be doing something right, or they wouldn't be getting the results, no?
Because you cared about your child's education, you moved there and chose that school. Because you still care, you do not now resign yourself to the fact that you may have made a bad decision. No, you support your child at home and send them to a tutor in order to assure that they get the grades you think they should.
Funnily enough, most of their classmates are also being tutored. Their parents chose the school for the same reasons you did. They too are going to do whatever they can to make up for the sub-par teaching at school.
End of Y6, the class gets superb SATS results, as they have been tutored to the hilt and also intensively prepared for the actual exams, because, as it turns out, the school is a bit of an exam factory.
A new 'you' looks at the exam results and figures, it must be a good school, how else could they sustain such great results? And spends time and effort moving into catchment. And so it continues.
Oh this sooo well explained. Such an eye opener! Thank you Redsky and brilliotic, thank you! xxx
I live in south Islington and the best regarded school in the area is William Tyndale. We live too far away to get in but I know people there who are very happy with it.
In other areas, some schools with good reputations are: William Patten in Stoke Newington, Eleanor Palmer in Tufnell Park, Christopher Hatton in Clerkenwell, Queensbridge in Haggerston and Coleridge in Haringey,
Terentia, that’s incredibly helpful. Thank you. We had Grafton or hugh myddleton in Islington and courtland/northside in barnet in our list too . Any feedbacks on any of these schools..anyone? Thanks
It's not just tutoring though, great sats results can be because of extensive sats prep though out upper primary. You read about some poster talking about sats prep in Sep in yr6 or even in yr5, while others haven't even started until way after new year. You also read in secondary that inflated sats results due to so much sats prep made a average child in top sets and struggling, etc.
I know a couple who has a child at Hugh Myddelton and they like the school. Its Outstanding rating is recent and rather amazing considering it was Requires Improvement in 2015.
If you're seriously considering a school, make a new thread with its name in the title, or search for any mention of it in the archives and bump that thread. Otherwise people who do know the school will miss it.
I think the results are useful but not the be all and end all. If you look at the tables I would look for consistency across the results. A school could have a particularly strong cohort one year which can skew results. Visit the schools to get a feel for them.
Grafton is an excellent school with a very mixed intake socially and culturally. The children achieve well, the head is fantastic however I am sure she will retire in coming years. The school do well in the basics but there is a big focus on the creative stuff too-there is an artist and writer in residence who work with the children.
Thank you all thats very helpful x