Top marks herald major turnaround made by Bradford school

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: An inner-city school that was told it had to seriously improve just a few years ago is now among the top five per cent of best-performing primaries in the country. In 2007, Atlas Community Primary School on Lincoln Close, Manningham, was told by governmen An inner-city school that was told it had to seriously improve just a few years ago is now among the top five per cent of best-performing primaries in the country. In 2007, Atlas Community Primary School on Lincoln Close, Manningham, was told by governmen

An inner-city school that was told it had to seriously improve just a few years ago is now among the top five per cent of best-performing primaries in the country.

In 2007, Atlas Community Primary School on Lincoln Close, Manningham, was told by government examining body Ofsted that it was on notice to improve after finding many aspects of the school were “inadequate.”

Many of the pupils only spoke English as a second language, and inspectors said their language development was weak. Until recently the school suffered from vandalism and regular burglaries, and there was a period where staff regularly had to remove needles and discarded cannabis from the school grounds.

But the school has enjoyed a major turnaround – in the latest school league tables released last week the inner city primary was ranked the eighth best in the district, with 94 per cent of pupils achieving level 4 in reading, writing and maths. And every pupil progressed two levels in the three subjects between the ages of seven and 11.

In its last Ofsted inspection, in 2011, the school was judged to be “good with several outstanding elements” and it has continued to improve since.

And in recent years the school has worked closer with police and community groups, which has seen crime and vandalism around the school fall.

Head Caroline Carr, who took over in 2010, said the turnaround in standards was due to staff working hard and making a real effort to engage with both pupils and their families. She added: “The latest results were the best we’ve ever had. Standards have been rising over the last few years and we have done really well this year and are in the top five per cent nationally for students getting level 4 in reading, writing and maths.

“I think it’s just down to the hard work of the community, children and staff. We are quite a small school so we have a really good relationship with local families.

“When I started here the school had been issued with a notice to improve. We worked exceptionally hard to turn things around.

“We do lots of weekend classes and events and after school learning – we really try to engage with families. Staff put 110 per cent in to help these pupils.”

After school groups at the school include art football and drama, and there are coffee mornings and events for parents.

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