Pupils beat tough targets – but boys’ literacy is ‘unacceptable’

Children in St Helena’s primary schools have beaten a challenging target for improvements in English and maths. Figures for science are still being finalised.

But three pupils did not take the Standard Assessment Tests (SATs) because of their “low current attainment”.

Education director Colin Moore said he was deslighed, but added that girls were still out-performing boys.

“There are a small but significant group of boys who have yet to reach any real standard of literacy that would be acceptable,” he said. “For these children we must do better.”

Thirty four children took the tests, out of a possible 40. Pilling, Harford and St Pauls schools all achieved “significant improvements”.

In English, 68% of pupils reached the benchmark, level 4. Last year the figure was 46% and the target was 60%. In maths, 55% of pupils achieved level 4, against a target of 50%.

A government statement does not give the numbers of children achieving the hard-to-reach level 5, or falling below level 3. Full details will be presented to the education committee in September.

Colin Moore said: “The children and teachers have worked very hard over the past year and we should all congratulate them on achieving the best set of results that the island has seen in many years.

“There are some individual children who are performing very well indeed.

“The number of children at level 5 is the highest we have seen. These children are potentially the future leaders of the island and it is important that we enable them to realise their ambitions by building on their current success when they transfer to secondary school.

But he said: “Our standards still need to rise further. In the UK last year, just over 80% of children achieved level 4. That is what we must aim for.

“I would also point out that the achievement of boys is still significantly below that of girls.

“Nevertheless, there is much here to celebrate and we now have a foundation of good results upon which we can look to improve further.  I am delighted that these targets have been exceeded.”

SEE ALSO:
Education

LINK:
Sustainable Development Plan (Education: see page 7)

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