When It Happens Panel Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting 'OXFORD NEWS' to 80360 or email
KEY STAGE 1: Improved results for county's schools
THE true impact of the Oxford Mail-backed Oxfordshire Reading Campaign can be revealed today.
Key Stage 1 results for seven year olds — the age group targeted in the campaign — show the proportion of children achieving expected levels has exceeded targets.
With 81 per cent of children achieving the higher Level 2b or above in reading, Oxfordshire was above the national average of 79 per cent and only 25 places fared better.
The reading campaign sees teaching assistants work with pupils in small groups to boost literacy levels, along with one-to-one volunteers.
The National Literacy Trust aims to raise proportions of children making Level 2b or higher in reading in the county from 74 per cent in 2011 to 86 per cent in 2014.
The goal was for it to hit 80 per cent this summer – meaning the targets are beaten.
That success is in contrast to three years ago, when Oxford city was the worst district in the country for reading and writing.
Oxfordshire County Council children, education and families cabinet member Melinda Tilley vowed that Oxford would never again fall to the bottom of the pack.
She said: “I am thrilled. It will continue to improve as it gets embedded in schools and schools that weren’t involved use the books.
“It would be over my dead body that Oxford would slip back to where it was.”
Last year’s Key Stage 1 results were at a five-year high, meaning the results this week set a new record.
There were improvements in all subjects with 89 per cent of children getting a Level 2 in reading, 86 per cent in writing, 93 per cent in maths and 92 per cent in science.
In 2010, only 76 per cent of youngsters achieved a Level 2 in reading, compared with 85 per cent this year, and in writing, the proportion making the grade rose from 71 per cent in 2010 to 83 per cent now. While Oxford was still five percentage points behind other parts of the county, it was well above the bottom in all subjects, with 15 areas faring worse in reading.
Mrs Tilley said: “I am disappointed Oxford was behind the other areas because quite a few schools didn’t come into the reading campaign.
“The results would have been better if they had. For Oxford to catch up I believe more city schools need to get involved.”
A total of 56 schools took part in the scheme last year while a further seven have signed up this year.
Among the schools to take part was St Christopher’s Primary, Cowley.
Reading results improved dramatically, with the proportion achieving a Level 2 rising from 69.5 to 83 per cent.
Head Alison Holden said: “The children made accelerated progress in a short time.
“For so long, Oxfordshire was always at the bottom. It’s brilliant that that is no longer the case.”
Rachel Crouch, head at St Nicholas Primary, Marston, called the results dramatic. She said: “We have now become a school that reads for pleasure.”
St Leonard’s Primary, Banbury, was the first school in the county to sign up. Head Sally Godden said results were “much better”.
Comments are closed on this article.