Our "Coasting School" response and action plan

Dear Parents,

I am writing to inform you all of a letter, which the school has recently received, regarding the placement of Mount Street Primary School into the ‘Coasting’ category due to the SATS results at the end of Key Stage 2 between 2014 and 2016.

The definition of coasting is as follows:

In 2014 and 2015: fewer than 85% of pupils achieved a level 4 in English reading, writing and maths and below the national median percentage of pupils make expected progress in all of English reading, writing and maths.

In 2016: fewer than 85% of pupils achieve the expected standard (a scaled score of 100 in all of English reading, writing and maths) and average progress scores for pupils are below -2.5 in English reading or -2.5 in maths or -3.5 in English writing.

The school has been defined as ‘coasting’ due to the following KS2 results:

2014: The percentage of children attaining Level 4 or above in reading, writing and maths was 57%.

2015: The percentage of children attaining Level 4 or above in reading, writing and maths was 63%.

2016: The end of key stage 2 data was judged in terms of meeting a national standard. In 2016, our writing progress score was -4.8, which is below the benchmark of -2.5. Reading and maths were above the coasting benchmark.

High mobility has impacted on the data in previous years.

Having undertaken a thorough review of the school the leadership team have identified 4 main areas to focus on which are:

  • improving pupil progress in writing
  • reviewing the curriculum
  • improving attendance
  • developing a more rigorous  assessment system

The SFA approach has been implemented in recent years, grouping pupils by ‘stage’ rather than ‘age.’  The SFA approach has made a big difference to phonics learning and the development of Early reading skills so this part of the programme has been maintained for reading but the writing elements were not enabling pupils to have sufficient opportunities to write at length or under the direction of their own class teacher. Class teachers are now responsible for the planning, teaching and assessment of writing for their own class which is enabling them to more accurately focus upon the needs of the individual children within their class and to provide more opportunities for writing across the curriculum. The writing curriculum has been reviewed, a clear writing skills progression document has been created , a spelling scheme aligned to the national curriculum has been developed and the whole curriculum is now being reviewed to identify more appropriate cross curricular writing opportunities.

The changes made to the writing curriculum provide more opportunity for pupils to apply and deepen their new knowledge and skills. Children are now producing more written work.

We are currently reviewing the school assessment procedures to ensure that teachers’ accuracy and use of assessment will promote good progress for all groups of pupils: in lesson planning, during lessons and in feedback on pupils’ work.  There are increased opportunities timetabled for the moderation of pupils work with other schools to ensure accuracy of assessment.

Experienced teachers have been recruited into the Year 5 and Year 6 posts. Booster sessions for children identified as requiring additional support have been introduced and experienced teachers are planning for and teaching the booster groups and interventions across the school.

Attendance has been an issue in recent years which we are working to improve. Currently, efforts to improve attendance means that our latest attendance figure has risen to 95.47%. Our target is 97%.

The school is working with Bridge MAT, Plymouth teaching school alliance and the LA to promote best practice in writing and to move the school forwards. They have reviewed our provision and endorsed the new leadership teams identification of assessment and writing as areas for development.

You have quickly and accurately identified  the school’s strengths and areas for improvement in your self-evaluation of the school. The priorities for improvement are reflected clearly in the school development plan.’ PTSA review February 2017

‘The Acting Headteacher and Maths Leader both have an accurate understanding of where the strengths and weaknesses across the school lie. They are able to articulate what has been achieved since September 2016 and have a clear vision for improvement.BRIDGE review February 2017

I hope that this letter reassures you that although the school has been identified as ‘coasting’ due to data from recent years, actions to address this are being taken on a daily basis by a determined leadership and teaching team. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely,

Bridget Shillaber


Update to coasting school response/ action plan   Sept 2017

KS2 data shows a 12% increase on 2016 data with particular progress in writing (our priority focus during 2016-17). Average scaled scores for pupils have also increased. Writing will continue to be a key focus this year.