Priority 2: educational excellence

Our aim: Every child in West Somerset to begin school with a strong start having achieved a good level of development at the end of the early years foundation stage.

Why is this an issue?

  • too many children in West Somerset start first school with a limited vocabulary and do not meet the expected standard at the phonics screening check
  • West Somerset performs below both Somerset and national averages for the percentage of pupils who reach the expected standard in maths at the end of key stage 1. This pattern continues in key stage 2, as West Somerset is below the national average for key stage 2 attainment, both for all pupils and for disadvantaged pupils

We will:

  • introduce a West Somerset maths intervention which will improve maths attainment at key stages 1, 2 and 4, drawing on the Boolean Maths Hub resource and developing a mastery approach that helps schools achieve excellence in maths
  • provide specialist phonics expertise to improve phonics outcomes and provide continued support for speech, language and communication
  • provide additional support for children and parents during transition between schools, and facilitating co-ordination between schools
  • use SEND consortium to help schools improve support for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)  by reviewing their own practice and developing collaborative learning
  • implement a continuing professional development (CPD) through the Teaching and Leadership innovation Fund (TLIF) for phonics and science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) learning
  • support a high quality bid to the Strategic School Improvement Fund, aiming at improving maths practice across at least 6 schools

Our targets

  • at least 85% of children will meet the expected standards in phonics in all schools in West Somerset. Based on current numbers this would mean up to 30 more children reaching the standard
  • the proportion of children reaching the expected standard in reading, writing and maths outcomes at key stage 1 will put West Somerset in the top half of the country, and the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and all pupils will be half what it was in September 2017
  • outcomes at key stage 2 will be in the top half of the country and we will close the gap in West Somerset between disadvantaged pupils and all pupils as for key stage 1
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