Sinai Primary School in Kenton has been congratulated by the government for its teaching of reading.
In a letter to headteacher Juliette Lipshaw, Schools Minister Damian Hinds said Sinai was in the top three per cent of primary schools in the country for teaching phonics, with 97 per cent of its pupils achieving the expected standard.
“We want to ensure every child develops a firm grasp of phonics as the basis on which to improve standards of reading,” Mr Hinds wrote. “As such, I was delighted to see your results.”
The school was giving children a firm foundation “from which they can become increasingly fluent and develop a lifelong love of reading,” he said.
The results of the reading check revealed that 83 per cent of those reached the expected standard in that had gone to meet key stage 2 expectations last year, underlining “the importance of developing the ability to decode words effectively at an early age,” the minister said.
Teachers are trained in phonices and for the statutory schools check, a Sinai spokesperson explained, “children sit one to one with a teacher and have to read 40 unknown words – made up of real and nonsense words. The scores are then submitted. This shows we prioritise early reading and have a good phonics scheme in place.”
Congratulatory letters are sent out when schools satisfy a number of criteria, including when 95 per cent of students reach expected standards in phonics checks. Last year, 737 letters were sent.
Meanwhile, Mrs Lipshaw was recently awarded her National Professional Qualification in Executive Leadership — the most widely recognised leadership scheme in the education sector.