Sheffield school defies the odds

Lowfield Primary School have been nationally recognised for it's exceptional 2015 performance by the SSAT. Picture: Andrew Roe
Lowfield Primary School have been nationally recognised for it's exceptional 2015 performance by the SSAT. Picture: Andrew Roe
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A Sheffield school has defied the odds by being ranked in the top 10 per cent nationally – despite most pupils speaking English as a foreign language.

Staff and pupils at Lowfield Primary School on London Road say they are ‘delighted’ at the accolade, which recognises their exceptional performance in 2015.

Data analysed by the Students and Teachers network shows pupils’ progress in reading, writing and maths is among the top 10 per cent in the country.

The exceptional performance comes despite the school having 88 per cent of pupils speaking English as a foreign language.

Headteacher Chris Holder said: “We are absolutely delighted. It’s great to get some recognition for all the hard work we put in.

“I think some people get the wrong impression about inner city schools. But the work that goes on inside can be truly incredible.

“Many pupils come to our school behind where they should be, many join throughout the year, but we make sure every pupil is fully prepared for secondary school.”

Mr Holder said the school has an ‘inspiring and dedicated’ staff team which gives extra attention to children a long way behind.

The school also has many pioneering initiatives, including English lessons for parents.

Mr Holder said: “There are 33 different languages spoken in our school and 88 per cent of pupils speak English as a foreign language. Many children speak two-or-three different languages.

“It’s fantastic because the pupils here are so accepting and welcoming. Children don’t see skin colour or religion – just other children.

“We are diverse, integrated and extremely proud to be recognised for the great school we are.”

Sue Williamson, chief executive of the Students and Teachers network, said it was a ‘great pleasure’ to commend the school on its ‘excellent’ performance.

She said: ‘I hope that our Educational Outcomes award will highlight the professionalism, commitment and hard work of the leaders, teachers and students at Lowfield Primary School.

“Recognising and sharing successes like this is at the heart of our mission, so I’m delighted to congratulate their achievement.”

Data shows the school has enabled children to make progress in reading, writing and maths which is significantly higher than the national average at Key Stage Two.