Time to celebrate BEST EVER RESULTS. The Learning Trust celebrating education in Hackney. Autumn successinthemaking.co.uk

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1 The Learning Trust celebrating education in Hackney successinthemaking.co.uk Autumn 2011 Discover more success inside... P02 Primary results continue to rise P03 Hackney s record exam results P06 Schools Music Festival P07 The next big name in jazz Making an exhibition P08 Pupil power at De Beauviour Going for maths gold P09 Autism - a personal story Disability - How it is... P10 Reading success for Hackney Short novel awards P11 Choosing a secondary school University Technical College P12 Lessons from London 2012 Sporting triumph for Burbage Time to celebrate BEST EVER RESULTS Hackney is top of the class once again after schools celebrated their best ever GCSE and A level results. This year, 58% of students achieved five good GCSEs including English and maths a rise of almost three percentage points on last year. Yet again, this places the borough above both last year s national and Inner London averages. 75% of students secured five good GCSEs, a rise of over four percentage points on last year. The Learning Trust runs the schools in Hackney on behalf of the council. When the Trust first took over education in 2002, the number of pupils getting any five good GCSEs stood at just 31%. The upward trend continues at A Level, with initial indications suggesting that these are the borough s best results yet. Last year there was a significant point score rise in A/AS levels and equivalents and Hackney was the most improved area in the country on point score per student over the last two years. Acting Chief Executive of The Learning Trust Steve Belk said: Yet again, Hackney schools have made exceptional progress. These are very strong results and a credit to the students and teachers who have worked incredibly hard. There s been a complete turnaround in Hackney s schools since 2002, exceeding all expectations, and that s thanks to well-led schools and hard working pupils. I d like to congratulate our students. We are immensely proud of them and wish them all the best for the future. Asked about the recent riots, Steve said: I hope today s figures will help to counter the recent negative portrayals of our young people. This is one of the many opportunities we have to shout out loud about Hackney students and their successes and get behind them as they continue their journey. Jules Pipe, Mayor of Hackney, said: I m extremely pleased to see another great year for GCSE results in Hackney. This is testament to the hard work and dedication of our pupils and teachers, and proves how ambitious, motivated and successful our young people are. To read more about Hackney s record-breaking exam results, go to pages 3-5

2 Primary RESULTS continue to rise Pupils results in English and maths have risen again as Hackney primary schools record their best ever Key Stage Two results. The percentage of pupils achieving the target Level 4 or above in both English and maths before they leave primary school has risen from 71% to 76%. This is one of the biggest improvements in the country, a 17 percentage point rise since 2007, and puts the borough above the national and London average. Mandeville is one primary that previously had some of the poorest results in the UK. This year, 90% of its pupils achieved Level 4 or above in English and maths a massive increase on last year s result of 68%. Headteacher Emma Penzer said: I m delighted for my teachers and staff that we can celebrate together these fantastic results. Everyone in the school has a clear purpose and that s to improve teaching and learning. As a member of the Best Start Federation, we ve been able to offer our teachers the opportunity to learn from others and this has enabled them to become outstanding very quickly. Our children have worked extremely hard. They ve seen lots of changes at the school and have been very positive about this. They enjoy coming to school and that s evident in these excellent results. Orchard Primary is celebrating phenomenal results with 96% of pupils reaching or exceeding the target, including 100% of all girls! Headteacher Stephen Hall said: The children and staff have worked incredibly hard to get these results and we are all extremely proud of their achievements. One primary school to watch is Colvestone, which saw results shoot up eleven percentage points in the last year with 79% of pupils achieving Level 4 or above in both English and maths. Headteacher Caroline King, a former Hackney pupil herself, commented on the rise in standards: I m over the moon with our results. We ve been applying a consistent, daily approach so that, from an early age, our pupils have a range of skills in order to decode reading. On being from Hackney, she added: It s a real leverage to be able to say to kids and parents that I ve been there and don t let anything hold you back. Gainsborough Primary also saw grades improve dramatically, with 83% of pupils gaining Level 4 in both English and maths compared with 66% last year. Headteacher Clare Pike said: We are very excited about the progress our children are making and the improved life chances these results offer for them. This could not have been achieved without the commitment of a staff team who are dedicated to providing an exciting learning offer in a secure, safe and emotionally intelligent classroom, combined with a determination to raise standards. The highest performing school was Lauriston with 97% of pupils making the grade. Commenting on the results, Acting Chief Executive of The Learning Trust Steve Belk praised Hackney s headteachers, teachers and staff. He said: We ve never had a stronger group of primary headteachers in Hackney and their leadership has shone through in these results. Together with their staff, they have shared our commitment to raising standards even further so our pupils go up to secondary school with a strong set of literacy and numeracy skills on which to build. I m extremely proud of them all. Was your child born between 1 September 2007 and 31 August 2008? If yes, you need to apply for a reception class place now! Closing date 15 January 2012 Apply online at For help and enquiries call us on / successinthemaking.co.uk

3 Leading the way to SUCCESS Our Lady s Convent High School achieved more top grades than ever this year at A level with the school s student leaders amassing a fantastic 14 top grades between them. The school captain and three vicecaptains achieved a massive two A*s and 10 A grades collectively. Nancy Adimora, who got AAA, said: I am very happy! This means I will be going to Queen Mary University where my sister is already studying. Keziah Arthur who got A*A*A said: I feel like I m floating. It s good to know all my hard work paid off. I ve been accepted to Sussex to study psychology. Lady-Namera Ejaimike, who featured in our Spring edition, secured three As in biology, double business and physics and her place at UCL to study medicine. I m absolutely ecstatic. It s really good news. I m a little lost for words. Thank you to Our Lady s for all your help. Lady-Namera Ejaimike. Headteacher Jane Gray said: This is a very proud day for our school. All the effort student and teachers have invested over the past two years of their Sixth Form education has been rewarded. Receiving results like this will help to ensure our students go on to fulfil their goals. We are very proud of them and wish them every success in the future. high-flying Clapton students... Le My Dang, of Clapton Girls Technology College, achieved the best results in Hackney at GCSE after securing 12 A*s. I m ecstatic! My target was 12 A*s but I thought I d only get eight as the exams were so hard. She said. The talented student is staying on at Clapton to study A levels in French, maths, economics and English literature. She added: My aim is to get into one of the top 10 universities and eventually work in Paris. Cheryl Day said: Le My is a wonderful student. Not only is she focused and hardworking but given her immense talents she is completely unassuming and is always ready to help others. Students in Clapton s sixth form also received top marks, securing places at some of Britain s best universities including Bristol and Kings College. Victoria Kehinde secured an A* in maths and As in chemistry and biology. She said: I m delighted with these results and weighing up my options now because I did so well in maths I might do this now instead of neuroscience. Headteacher Cheryl Day said: I am absolutely delighted that our students have achieved so highly this year. Overall the school has yet again improved its performance, with the Clapton GTC Sixth Form becoming more and more successful, and more and more popular. First year brings first class results At Skinners Academy, 29% of students secured three or more A* and As at GCSE. Chaya Khanna was the highest achieving student with eight A*s and five As. She said: I m really pleased with what I ve achieved despite the challenge of my long commute amongst other things, it s all been worth it! When you are determined, you can achieve, no matter what happens. I achieved my aim! This is the first year of the Skinners Academy, after it opened in September Jenny Wilkins, Principal, said: I am delighted with the exceptional individual success stories that we are celebrating, which is testament to the hard work and commitment of both staff and students during the first year of the academy. autumn newsletter 03

4 Turkish student overcomes language barriers to excel at GCSE A Hackney Free student who arrived at the school four years ago without a word of English has achieved 10 A and A* grades at GCSE. Once again, Mossbourne students have achieved a highly impressive set of results at GCSE. 82% of Year 11 students achieved 5+A*-C grades at GCSE, including English and maths. Top grades were secured by Suraiya Hussain with 10 A*s and two As, and by Massimo Monks with 10 A*s and three As. These results prove that we can sustain our success year on year and are also a testimony to the hard work and dedication of the students and staff. A very high proportion of our students are returning to the Clivebourne Sixth Form Centre in September and we look forward to seeing them achieving equally well at AS and A2. Alice Painter, Acting Principal, Mossbourne Community Academy. At A Level, more than one in ten students were awarded an A* with all sixth-formers going to university. Megan Goldman Roberts, who we featured in our last edition, secured Necati Tosun, who came to England from Turkey in Year 7, will now study maths, physics, history and politics at A-Level following his impressive results. He plans to pursue engineering or law at university. I m so happy that all the effort I put in paid off. I owe a lot to my teachers who have worked so hard to support me to achieve these grades. Necati Tosun. Richard Brown, Headteacher, said: Over a three year period our GCSE results have more than doubled. We are becoming one of the most improved schools in the country. This is a great achievement for our students and the staff who have given up many Saturdays and holidays in order to do extra classes. Hackney Free and Parochial School has changed its name to The Urswick School. Mossbourne makes headlines with impressive results one A* and two As and is off to student natural sciences at Newnham College, Cambridge. The teachers here said there s no reason you can t go to Cambridge so just go for it. She said. Cycling TO SUCCESS Stoke Newington School pupil Tao Geohegan Hart is celebrating after adding an impressive 5 A*s and 5 As to a raft of cycling achievements in the UK and overseas. It s a bit unexpected I m just back from six weeks racing overseas. It s been challenging juggling studies with my training but I m delighted with these results. Tao Geohegan Hart. Tao is a member of Hackney Cycling Club and recently competed in the European Youth Olympics. He hopes to become a member of Team GB for the 2020 Olympics. The trend for success at Stoke Newington continues at A level, with more than half (55%) of Year 12 students achieving A*, A or B grades up from 33% in Graham Hodges-Smikle got AAA in biology, chemistry and economics. He goes on to a paid gap-year with KPMG before studying medicine at UCL. He said: I m very happy! I have been bouncing off the walls all morning since I found out. I want to say thank you to Stoke Newington for helping me get where I am. Headteacher Annie Gammon said: We are proud of all our sixth form students who have deservedly achieved great things this year across our wide range of A level and vocational courses. Well done to students and staff and thank you to all our parents for their support. We have an ambitious sixth form which aims to provide high-quality teaching and outstanding progress for all students. Our staff give each sixth form student individual attention to ensure their success. Photography 04 successinthemaking.co.uk

5 Speaking OF SUCCESS... Haggerston School pupil Mae-Li Evans adds 10 A*s and one A to her success in Jack Petchey s Speak Out Challenge last year. I was quite worried about one of my grades but it s turned out well so I m proud of that. Next year I m going to do A levels and hopefully continue on to university and maybe do English, I think. She said. Headteacher Dr Jane Keeley said: We are delighted with the outstanding results of Mae-Li and with the results of all Haggerston students, which are even higher this year than all previous years. It s a tribute to the hard work of all the students and staff. The growing sixth form and our second year of admitting boys into the school makes for an even more exciting year ahead. Mae-Li impressed judges at the 2010 Speak Out Challenge with a speech on procrastination. Paul Boldeau, Programme Director of Jack Petchey s Speak Out Challenge, said: We would like to congratulate Mae-Li on her amazing success. We fully support young people through programmes such as Jack Petchey s Speak Out Challenge, which Mae-Li participated in and became the 2010 regional winner for Hackney. New Academy celebrates first GCSE results The Petchey Academy is celebrating its first set of GCSE results after it opened in Principal Olivia Cole said: The Governors and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our staff for the time and commitment they have generously given in our quest to provide a high quality, stimulating and challenging education for our students. Student Esme Kirk has overcome her dyslexia to excel, achieving a raft of good grades including an A* in history. A talented textile artist, she will be spending next summer on a textiles project in Kerala, India. I m delighted with my results, and particularly my maths grade B. Having dyslexia, I ve found numbers and spelling difficult but I ve had a fantastic maths teacher who has spent hours with me. I m thrilled. Esme Kirk. Fellow student Jabedur Rahman has his sights on a career in medicine after securing As and A*s in his GCSEs. I m really happy and I m off to college I m going to study biology, chemistry, maths and psychology. Jabedur Rahman. Cardinal Pole CELEBRATES best results yet Cardinal Pole Catholic School has received its best ever GCSE and A level results this year. Friends Georgina Appeagyei, Nneoma Nwaosu and Aminat Oladipupo were described as a credit to the school by their teachers after achieving 18 A*s and nine As between them at GCSE. Nneoma, who received seven A*s, two As and one B said: I m really surprised with my results I didn t expect that. I put lots of hard work into my GCSEs, and it s now paid off! One of the success stories at A level was that of Melissa Zaman, who notched up AABB in biology, chemistry, psychology and maths. She is going on to study neuroscience at Kings College London. I am really relieved; I thought I was going to cry with joy when I opened my results! It s great that the pressure has been lifted now. Melissa Zaman. Headteacher Kath Hartigan said: I m so proud of our students and of their hard work and dedication. I m delighted that they have done so well and I would like to applaud the success of our students and the commitment of their teachers. This year s results are a clear indication of the potential we have as a school to continue to improve even further. This comes at an exciting time for us as we prepare to move to our new school building in September autumn newsletter 05

6 Hackney youngsters shine at music festival Children from schools across Hackney raised the roof at the Round Chapel in a series of performances to mark the annual Hackney Schools Music Festival. Over 4000 pupils took part in the fortnight-long festival, now in its 14th year. This year, there was a full house for almost all of the performances with parents, members of the community and fellow pupils enjoying a selection of dancing, singing and instrumental playing. The festival programme also featured a special percussion event Borough Beats, a collaboration with Tower Hamlets which featured 160 young percussionists. Taylor, 6, from St John of Jerusalem CE Primary School took part in the Infant Singing event where the audience were treated to songs such as Two Little Boys and World in Union. She said: I really like singing, it s good and I enjoyed practising. I enjoy music and the songs we have learnt. Fellow performer Marvellous, 7, and from Princess May Primary School, said: I m a little bit nervous. I like singing as it makes my voice sound better and I have to remember lots of words. Year 2 teacher Emily Fetton of Baden Powell Primary was one of the many who worked hard to get the children prepared for their performances. She said: The children have been extremely excited about the festival and their enthusiasm has been infectious. A lot of hard work has gone into the performance and we have practised in school assemblies. Audience member Blessing Odukoya, former pupil at St Monica s RC Primary School and once a festival performer herself, said: It s been nice to come back and watch the pupils perform, having been there myself. I was really impressed with the infants; you could see how much they were enjoying themselves. We are extremely proud of our young musicians, teachers and all the people who have helped to make this year s Music Festival such a resounding success. The festival provides a snapshot of the range and quality of music that goes on in Hackney schools all year round and we hope that our audiences and other children will be inspired by what they have seen and heard from our young performers. James Thomas, Acting Head of the Music Service. Earlier this year, the Hackney Music Service was rated as outstanding in an external review by the Federation of Music Services. 06 successinthemaking.co.uk

7 AND ALL that jazz... Hackney could be the birthplace of the next big name in jazz, if one determined trumpeter has anything to do with it. Matteo Fernandes, 11, wowed the audience in a performance with the newly-formed Hackney Creative Jazz Ensemble (HCJE). Matteo, who has just left Lauriston Primary School for The City Academy, started playing in Year 2 after seeing a demonstration by Hackney Music Service teacher Tom Hewins. I also had a friend who played the trumpet and I really liked the sound he made, he explains. Matteo recently passed his Grade 5 with distinction and plays with the Hackney Training Orchestra and the Young Music Makers Big Band based in Camden. Of the big band, he says: We re going on tour to Finland and recently performed in a jazz cafe. Talking about his time with the Hackney Music Service and the Barbican, he says: Last year I got to play with the New York Lincoln jazz band which was brilliant. Jazz can be hard there are tricky time signatures and lots of notes, but I love it. Amongst his musical influences, Matteo names his dad for buying me lots of jazz CDs, his mum for making me do my practice and his teacher Tom. His favourite jazz musician is legendary trumpeter Miles Davies. In the future, the young musician plans to get his Grade 8 and continue with his jazz. He also wants to write his own music. I d like to learn other instruments like the French horn or violin. But as a keen footballer, swimmer and tennis player in addition to his music, this might have to wait... for now. Hackney Music Service The Music Service offers a range of provision including instrumental lessons at all Hackney s schools. Lessons include guitar, piano, cello, saxophone, percussion, flute and much more. Pupils can also join ensembles and orchestras and take part in holiday courses. For more information contact the Music Service on , or MAKING an exhibition Bridge Academy students have joined the likes of Tracey Emin, LS Lowry and David Hockney after having their art displayed at the Whitechapel Gallery. The 14 Year 10 BTEC Art and Design students teamed up with Whitechapel s resident artists Junto:Projects to produce a series of video clips, live performances and photographs based on their identity and experiences as students at Bridge and as young people living in Hackney. Their inspiring artworks were then showcased at an exhibition at the Gallery in July which the students organised. The pieces included short video clips titled Junto is in Reception, Grey Black and Yellow and Square Burger. Student Kelvin Okeke said: It was a positive experience, I ve learnt that art is more than drawing and we can use other artistic skills to express our views. Kirby Williams N Dure agreed: I feel very proud of my classmates and the Junto team. I was happy to see my work displayed it looked really professional. The exhibition, in partnership with the Whitechapel Gallery, was part of Time Out First Thursdays, where every month the galleries and museums of east London open their doors late showing amazing art culture and events after hours. The exhibition looked, sounded and felt amazing The live performances added dramatic effect and a real sense of anticipation. I have watched the student/artist films many times now and they still continue to amuse, thrill and impress me. The Bridge Academy students were definitely transformed into confident performance artists. Annabel Johnson, Curator at Whitechapel Gallery. autumn newsletter 07

8 Pupil power at De Beauvoir Primary Pupils are finding their voice at one Hackney primary school, thanks to a range of innovative projects to ensure children s views are heard. In June, ten pupils from De Beauvoir Primary took on the role of Anti- Bullying Ambassadors after being nominated to act as spokespeople for an anti-bullying campaign. The pupils attended a Speakers Trust training course where they learnt how to deal with bullying, shared their experiences and discussed what had worked best in their school with other young people. Back at school, the ambassadors have been presenting their views and projects to others during assembly. The Ambassadors programme, which is the basis for this scheme, was launched by The Diana Award. The pupils are amazing antibullying ambassadors and excellent role models to other children. The Ambassadors programme has made a real difference to the children s confidence, through their newly developed skills to speak out against bullying and ensure children s voices are being heard by everyone. Gracinda Vieira, school council coordinator. This is the latest creative project to develop and enhance the student voice at De Beauvoir. Last year, members of the school council attended an awards ceremony at the Houses of Parliament as one of 20 finalists in the Speaker s School Council Awards. They fought off competition from 2000 schools across the UK with their project, which involved sharing skills, knowledge, and experiences between young and old in our community. For more information on the awards go to GOING for Maths Gold The City Academy, Hackney has been demonstrating its strengths in maths this term by competing in mathematics competitions. The first competition was the UK Junior Maths Challenge multiple choice question papers which are designed to stimulate interest in mathematics in large numbers of pupils. Students across the country sit the same papers simultaneously. The City Academy, Hackney pass rate overall was 8% higher than the national average this year, a brilliant achievement and reflective of students attainment levels compared to the national average. Overall 40 City students achieved an award: 14 students achieved a gold certificate, 10 achieved a silver certificate and 16 achieved a bronze certificate. Thomas Willingham, Nuradin Farid and William Bradford all scored over 100 and qualified for the next round of the challenge, the UK Junior Maths Olympiad, for which they are currently awaiting their results. The second maths event was a team activity The Hackney Maths Challenge at Queen Mary, University of London. City sent two teams, one from Year 7 (De-Andre Omoregie, Felix Feldman, Benny Londja, Ishaq Miah) and one from Year 8 (Thomas Willingham, Jiangpei Chen, Nuradin Farid, Tarik Clavier), to compete and showcase their maths skills. The Year 7 team, in their first ever maths team competition, did brilliantly, coming just three points behind the teams who placed joint first. The Year 8 team placed a clear first ahead of three other brilliant Hackney teams, an amazing accomplishment. Both teams thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and cannot wait to compete again next year! 08 successinthemaking.co.uk

9 disability HOW IT IS... The Hackney Schools Secondary Forum, for students with a range of disabilities, meets to discuss issues such as independence, making new friends or asking for help. They have come up with ideas which have been implemented by The Learning Trust, Hackney Council, schools and other settings, including their thoughts on short breaks for children and their carers and awareness raising programmes aimed at other students. Forum members also made a film How it is... which can be viewed at Some forum members are leaving school and were invited to a final meeting to share memories and receive a certificate for their work. I will miss the forum and I would like to come to meet the new members and help them out. I m proud to say I ve been part of it. Rajan, aged 16. I have enjoyed listening to the speakers and other students and making new friends. I enjoyed all the activities, like line dancing and drama and visiting the Olympic Park. Satpal, also aged 16. Lizzie Yauner, head of the Inclusion Team at the Trust, said: It s been fantastic getting to know the students. Their views have gone all the way to the top and helped change perceptions of disabilities right across Hackney schools and settings. Aneurin Wood, principal disability and equalities policy officer at the Trust, added: The Forum has been a great success, providing both teachers and Trust teams with invaluable information. Lesley Little of Horizon School said: The Schools Forum has brought together students from all different backgrounds, ages and schools. Our students have become more confident and independent by taking part. Autism David-Anthony s story There are over half a million people with autism in the UK. Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them. In Hackney, there is a range of support on offer to parents of children with autism including a training programme developed by the National Autistic Society (read on for details). We also have Family Intervention Workers who work closely with specialist teaching teams and other professionals. David-Anthony Oyenuga is 6 and attends St John and St James Primary School in Hackney. Here, his mother Ola tells their story: David-Anthony was diagnosed with autism when he was two and a half. When you first get the diagnosis, it s a real shock. I didn t know how to take it. I was worried about the future what lies ahead? I was put in touch with the excellent Hackney Portage Service. They helped me to find ways to manage the challenges of my son s autism and maximise his talents. The team showed real empathy and set the tone for a great relationship between my son and professionals. I took the helpful Early Bird programme from the National Autistic Society. It broke everything down and helped me understand David-Anthony s behaviours. I became a detective, piecing things together to find a solution or strategy. There can be a fear factor for parents when a child can t do something but you just need to persist and find another way. It s important not to try to deal with everything all at once. Focus on managing one or two of the challenges. For example, children with autism can have obsessions and David s was shapes. It was because of this that he was reading adverts on the bus at the age of three! I used this obsession in a positive way to help him develop his reading skills. At three and a half, David went to Wentworth Nursery where they really took him under their wing. He learnt so much, his communication skills increased significantly. As a parent who hasn t encountered autism before, you don t know what the future will bring. The professionals, knowing what they know about the condition, helped me to see the potential in David- Anthony and nurture his many skills and talents. My son is flourishing at primary school. His obsessions have transformed into useable skills for instance, reading, adding and subtracting. His listening skills are improving. He can recognise tone of voice and how it impacts on what people say. To other parents I d say: don t restrict your child from mainstream activities because you are worried of what others will think. Sometimes because a child is different a parent feels they need to hide them away. I know that because I used to do it. Not anymore. For more information, contact: Early Bird course Susan Crocker, Hackney Ark on Family Intervention Worker Robert Raby, The Learning Trust on autumn newsletter 09

10 CASTING a critical eye Reading success for Hackney pupils The Evening Standard s Get London Reading campaign may have rung a bell with Hackney residents. In 2008 The Learning Trust pioneered a community campaign called Words Unite: Get Hackney Reading which, coupled with other literacy initiatives, has led to a complete turnaround in reading standards in the borough. Here, Tricia Okoruwa, Deputy Director at The Learning Trust, looks back on the campaign and the ongoing work to improve reading and writing even further. The biggest indicator of whether a child will do well at GCSE is how they read at 7. Making sure that every child in Hackney reaches that age with good reading and writing skills is a key focus for The Learning Trust and our schools. This is a strategy that has reaped rewards. In 2009, we were the bottom nationally at Key Stage 2. We are now above the national average. We are incredibly proud of our staff and teachers for making this happen. Like the Standard, we realised that getting Hackney kids reading went beyond what schools could achieve by themselves. We needed to tap into the wider community. We were fortunate to secure funding for our community campaign Words Unite: Get Hackney Reading. The campaign aimed to reflect the diversity in Hackney and highlight the way in which words and reading can unite a community. Activities included reading buddies, dads and lads reading groups, adult literacy classes and a borough-wide marketing campaign. Voluntary community groups targeted children and adults from hard to reach groups, such as Turkish, Kurdish and Turkish Cypriot and Caribbean heritage communities. We have also provided extra support to pupils who lag behind others in reading when they go up to secondary school. This involves children coming together in groups to read, ask questions about what they ve read and summarise it to others, and has seen fantastic results. At Cardinal Pole, reading ability amongst some pupils has increased from a Level 3 to a Level 5 in just one year. Many of our primary schools have success stories to share. Woodberry Down Primary School has been singled out nationally by Ofsted for its work in getting pupils reading by the age of 6. At Berger Primary School, they ve pioneered supported guided reading. The good work of all of our primary schools has lead to 88 per cent of pupils gaining a Level 4 in reading in We re now in a situation where results at every level have improved dramatically and continue to rise. This year, at Key Stage 2, we ve had our best results yet. And this has worked its way up to GCSE see page 1 for more. Despite our successes we continue to strive for further improvement. We are developing a programme to help boys with reading, using new technology such as Ipads. We are expanding our Saturday School provision for Year 6 with a focus on reading and we are continuing to provide one-to-one tuition at Key Stage 2. Help a child discover the joy of reading Get in touch with your local school or contact Move over Booker Prize judges Hackney students have been giving top authors a grilling as part of two special book events organised by The Learning Trust. At the Hackney Short Novel Awards, secondary school pupils read a shortlist of five short novels before coming together and voting for a winner - The Uniform by Tommy Donbavand. The annual awards are a collaboration between The Learning Trust, publishing house Barrington Stoke, Victoria Park Books and the Ministry of Stories. Meanwhile, writers shortlisted for the prestigious Carnegie Award met students from ten Hackney secondary schools at an Ask the Author day. Meg Rosoff, Geraldine McCaughrean and Jason Wallace were amongst six authors nominated for the Carnegie Medal, which is awarded by children s librarians for an outstanding book for children and young people. After a day of speaking to the authors and delivering presentations on the shortlisted books to fellow pupils, the students voted on their favourite choosing Jason Wallace s Out Of Shadows as the winner. Meeting the authors as well as listening to their stories will be a thing I ll remember for the rest of my life. It was very tense before the winners were announced. Gabriela Barzyk, Student from Haggerston School. All of my students enjoyed every single moment of it... Meeting the authors and hearing their stories was their favourite part as they felt they were on their journey with them whilst reading their books. Kim Farquhar, a teacher from Haggerston School. 10 successinthemaking.co.uk

11 Question Time: SCHOOL ADMISSION With Hackney schools doing better than ever, parents have lots of choice when it comes to thinking about secondary schools. Each school has its own admissions criteria which it considers when assessing applications for places. This could include distance, whether a sibling is already there and, for faith schools, religion. As parents start looking ahead to next year, we speak to Ian Hodges, the Choice Advisor for Hackney, about his role and the key things to keep in mind when looking for a school. What is a Choice Advisor? I help parents as their children move from primary to secondary school, by providing information on local schools and letting them know how likely it is that their application will be successful and which school might suit their needs best. I m constantly travelling around Hackney meeting parents and teachers so you ll often see me on my bike. What are secondary schools like in Hackney? There is a wide range of secondary schools in Hackney, from community schools to faith schools, academies and single sex schools. Most of our secondary schools have been rated Good or Outstanding by Ofsted and we ve had another fantastic set of exam results. We have schools with specialisms like music, sports, languages and the arts. We have some of the best school buildings in the country OCTOBER 2011 Free workshops and activities for you and your family. Pick up your festival booklet from local libraries, schools, museums and community centres. For more details and information visit or call Where can parents find out more? We also produce a prospectus on all schools and their admissions criteria. This also shows how many applications each school received last year and how places were offered in relation to their admission criteria. The prospectus will be sent out to parents in September; it will also be available to download from www. learningtrust.co.uk I strongly advise all parents to attend secondary school open days. Don t always go on word of mouth as this Annie Blackmore, currently Vice Principal at the Bridge Academy, Hackney, has been appointed as the Head of the proposed new University Technical College, Hackney UTC. The UTC in Hackney will be based at Hackney Community College s award-winning Shoreditch campus and will be a separate institution opening in September Students aged 14 to 19 will specialise in digital or health technologies - alongside a general curriculum - giving them the best preparation for the robust local job opportunities in these fields. Annie helped to set up and develop the highly successful Bridge Academy and is a very experienced educationalist, having previously been advisor for The Learning Trust and deputy head at Clapton Girls Technology College. She has lived and worked in Hackney for more than 15 years. may be based on out of date experiences. The best way of getting up to date information is to visit the school. You can also look at Ofsted reports but look at the publication dates. Schools can change very quickly. What advice do you have for parents? Don t place all your eggs in one basket. In other words, widen your choices and don t just put down over-subscribed schools. The biggest mistake some parents make is just to pick one school parents believe doing this somehow strengthens their preference but it doesn t work like that. Also don t go by word of mouth - find out for yourself. What happens if I don t get offered one of my preferences? Parents will then be offered schools that still have vacancies, plus they will also go onto waiting lists for the schools they originally made preferences for. Parents also have the right to appeal against a decision not to offer their child a place. Ian can be contacted on or by at learningtrust.co.uk UNIVERSITY TECHNical COLLEGE She said: This is a unique opportunity to set up the first UTC in London. I am thrilled to have the chance to continue working to improve opportunities for young people in east London, in partnership with Hackney Community College. I am also really looking forward to working closely with our lead partners BT, Homerton Hospital and the University of East London. Current Year 10s may now apply to start at Hackney UTC in September Students may apply through The Learning Trust s admissions procedure or register their interest by ing autumn newsletter 11

12 Lessons from London 2012 Sporting triumph With the Olympics and Paralympics just around the corner, pupils have been learning about the games in their lessons, as part of an innovative curriculum pioneered by Hackney schools. The Learning Trust s 2012 themed curriculum for primary schools has been produced by a panel of teachers and is being rolled out across Hackney. The curriculum has been devised to be used alongside the national curriculum and can be used flexibly. Hackney s Schools at the Heart programme manager Steve Herbert said: As one of five host boroughs, Hackney has been maximising the opportunities that the 2012 Olympics offer our children and young people. The curriculum is a key resource that forms part of the emerging legacy for the 2012 London Games. At Jubilee Primary School, there is a 2012-inspired week every half term and students have been learning about flags, maps, the Olympic legacy and much more. They set themselves goals at the beginning of each term as part of the Personal Best programme and the school s houses are named after Olympians, including Redgrave and Grey-Thompson. The curriculum helps make pupils more aware of the Olympics and how important east London is going to be. Our children are starting to feel really proud of London and Britain and inspired by what they are learning in the classroom. Nick Cannon, deputy headteacher, Jubilee Primary School. At Gainsborough Primary, the closest school to the Olympic Park, pupils in Year 5 have been lucky enough to visit the handball arena and learn to play goal ball before taking this new skill to a school in Glenlivet, Scotland to teach the children there about the Olympic games. I think the curriculum is an excellent resource that can help develop children s understanding of the world event that is about to land on their doorstep. Clare Pike, Headteacher, Gainsborough Primary School. Burbage Primary School took the top spot at a sports event designed to promote Hackney sports clubs to children. The Year 4 pupils joined seven other local schools to take part in the Community Games, an event organised by Sports Inspired to get children engaged with sport and linked into under-used clubs in their local area. The Burbage pupils took part in eight Olympic sports, including judo, boxing and boccia, and were presented with the winner s trophy after securing the most points. After the session, pupils were asked to reflect on their experiences and were awarded a free voucher to use at a local sports club of their choice. Deputy headteacher at Burbage, Darren Clough, said: When I arrived at the school two years ago, there was no sporting activity on offer. Now all Key Stage 2 pupils have access to sports clubs and we intend to expand our after-school provision even further. It s been great to see our children s enthusiasm for sport grow; particularly the desire to take it on outside of school. There s a wide range of clubs and facilities in Hackney. The Community Games raised awareness of this and gave pupils the chance to experience different sports. Pupil Safwan tried his hand at archery. He said: I didn t know I was any good at sports, but now I know that I m the best in Year 4 at archery and if I want to be an Olympian I must join the local club. 1 Reading Lane, London E8 1GQ T E. 12 successinthemaking.co.uk

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