Hastings school children to ‘thrive’ in new scheme

Children from Ark Blacklands Primary School will benefit from Hastings Thrive
Children from Ark Blacklands Primary School will benefit from Hastings Thrive

A new initiative to drive up the quality of education in Hastings was launched today (Monday, October 19).

Hastings Thrives will enable schools to work more closely together by sharing ideas, training and best practice.

Its objective will be to raise the achievement of all Hastings pupils, particularly those from more disadvantaged backgrounds.

All primary and secondary schools in the town support the scheme which is one of two regions in the south east selected for a special focus on improving educational outcomes for those receiving pupil premium funding and those in the care of the council.

An action plan has been developed by the group under the supervision of one of Ofsted’s regional inspectors Alan Taylor Bennett.

“This is an exciting and potentially highly influential project,” he said.

“All local schools have joined forces to make an assertive response to the need to do more for children in Hastings, many of whom come from low-income families.

“There is absolutely no reason why children from less advantaged backgrounds in Hastings should not achieve every bit as well as any other group of children here, or anywhere else in the south east region.

“It’s great that Hastings head teachers and governors are now rising to this challenge, taking collective responsibility for this issue, and that they are now determined to make a big difference to these children’s lives and their life chances.”

The partnership has already provided training for teachers and support staff to improve the effective teaching of reading.

It is now expanding its work to focus on better maths teaching and broader pupil outcomes.

A major development will see the implementation of a cross-town initiative to address the needs of pupils who require substantial support to access learning, through a national programme Thrive.

Ark Blacklands Primary Academy head teacher Lorraine Clarke said: “We all want the best possible start in life for our children.

“Now we have an action plan to improve school standards in Hastings, with lots of activities around literacy and maths, as well as developing pupil well-being at primary school from an early age.

“We’re really looking forward to working with other schools in the area – I know we’re all committed to taking part in the Hastings Thrives programme.

“Our challenge is now to deliver on our ambitious aims for our pupils.”

The action plan focuses on five core aims; training and support for pupils who require additional nurturing and specialised intervention to develop the skills required to learn effectively.

A reading development programme which will benefit those who start their education with poor experiences of reading.

Work on raising achievement in mathematics targeted at the most vulnerable pupils.

The sharing of best practice in Early Years

And the development of leadership expertise and capacity in the town to resolve some of the current recruitment difficulties.

Schools signed up for the scheme include:

Primary Schools:

All Saints CE Junior School

Ark Blacklands Primary Academy

Ark Little Ridge Primary Academy

Castledown Community Primary and Nursery School

Christ Church CE Primary School

Churchwood Primary Academy

Dudley Infant School

The Baird Academy

Hollington Primary Academy

Ore Village Primary Academy

Robsack Wood Primary Academy

Sandown Primary School

Silverdale Primary Academy

St Leonards CE Primary Academy

West St Leonards Primary Academy

St Paul’s CE School

Secondary Schools:

Ark William Parker Academy

Ark Helenswood Academy

The Hastings Academy

St Leonard’s Academy.

The initiative also has the full backing and support of Sussex Coast College: Hastings.

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