Faith schools excel in annual Sheffield primary tables

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Sheffield’s Catholic primary schools took top honours in this year’s SATs performance tables, taking four out of the top six places.

St Wilfrid’s Primary at Millhouses, a perennial high achiever, was rated the city’s best with every single pupil making the grade in reading, writing and maths tests.

In second place came St John Fisher at Hackenthorpe, while at fourth and sixth came St Thomas of Canterbury at Meadowhead, and St Thomas More Primary at Grenoside.

Two other Catholic schools in more challenging areas - St Theresa’s on the Manor and St Patrick’s at Sheffield Lane Top also excelled, rated in the top 20.

But schools in the south west of the city still made a strong showing, with Dore Primary ranked third, Loxley Primary sixth, Totley Primary seventh and Ecclesall Church of England Juniors in eighth spot.

Also making the city’s top 20 were Nether Green Juniors, Hallam Primary at Lodge Moor, Dobcroft Juniors at Millhouses and Shooters Grove Primary at Stannington.

Further down the rankings were Totley All Saints (29th), Lydgate Juniors at Crosspool (59th), Bradway Primary (66th), Hunter’s Bar Juniors (91st) and Norton Free (61st).

City-wide the national tables showed that over three quarters of 11-year-olds in the city are now achieving the Government’s minimum target in the three Rs.

Last summer saw 76 per cent of youngsters passing their reading and maths tests, with writing standards assessed by teachers.

That’s an improvement of four per cent on 2013 and pushed Sheffield up the national table of local authorities from 123rd to joint 117th.

It means Sheffield is performing as well as many other big cities, such as Leeds, Nottingham and Liverpool.

But there was other encouragement in that many schools rose to the challenge of meeting a new tougher ‘floor target’ - the minimum pass rate is now 65 per cent, up from 60 per cent last year.

In 2013 19 schools fell below that bar, leaving them vulnerable to an enforced conversion to academy status.

But this year the number of primaries not making the grade was down by one to 18, a picture reflected nationally allowing ministers to say that schools had succeeded in raising their game.

A Sheffield Council spokeswoman said primary school standards were continuing to rise and more children were being well taught, often surpassing national expectations.

She added that this year’s foundation stage results showed that more children than ever before were being well prepared to start primary school – with results better than ever before.