Spalding primary school joins national elite

Head teacher Joe Burns with pupils at high-flying St Norbert's Roman Catholic Primary School. SG041016-102TW

Head teacher Joe Burns with pupils at high-flying St Norbert's Roman Catholic Primary School. SG041016-102TW

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Ofted outstanding St Norbert’s Roman Catholic Primary School has proved its class yet again by joining the nation’s elite in the 2016 Phonics Screening Check.

Phonics is a method of teaching children to read English by matching sounds with symbols and the Spalding school has scored 95 per cent – six per cent above the national average.

Delighted head teacher Joe Burns said: “It puts us in the top eight per cent in the country.”

The school has had a letter of congratulations from Government schools minister Nick Gibb.

The phonics feat, like the Ofsted result, is all the more amazing as 70 per cent of pupils at the school come from families where English is not the first language.

St Norbert’s is also celebrating success in pupils’ creative skills as the school has been given an Artsmark silver award by the Arts Council England. Mr Burns said the verdict was “silver with elements of gold”, largely due to art teacher India Whyles, whom he described as an “outstanding practitioner”.

St Norbert’s was named Primary School of the Year in last month’s Lincolnshire Free Press and Spalding Education Awards.

Year 2 teacher Sharon Bools told the awards gathering: “Our school has been on a very long journey and so we felt it was time to say ‘this is how far we’ve come’.”

The school achieved Ofsted outstanding in September 2015. In April last year the school received an outstanding rating for its religious life by inspectors from the Nottingam Roman Catholic Diocesan Education Service.

Previously ...

Spalding school is “outstanding” at the double