By Lotte Pegler
Pupils and teachers are celebrating a special start to the year.
Bersted Green Primary School has been placed at the top of the Gov.UK leaderboard for best school in West Sussex for Key Stage 2.
This puts the primary school in Laburnum Grove in first place, out of the 282 schools in the category. “We have a really carefully created curriculum to engage the children and do what will interest them,” said Katie Jarvis, the headteacher.
“This was a junior school which became a primary school. We put children into every year group and that movement had an effect on the pupils’ progress.
“However, with hard work, perseverance and dedication, we have got to where we are now. And that’s great.”
In 2013, the school – which at the time was called Laburnum Grove Junior School – received an Ofsted inspection concluding it required improvement.
After a couple of follow-up inspections, the school was transformed into an all-through primary school and underwent a number of changes.
In 2014, it changed its name to Bersted Green Primary School and went through a major rebuilding programme, including extra classrooms.
Almost two years later, in 2015, the school was again inspected by Ofsted, this time being awarded a Good sign-off.
Fast forward to this year, and to now be top of the league tables for West Sussex primary schools is a major turn-around.
It is an achievement that not only the school is proud of, but that members of the community are also excited about.
The headteacher said: “We started with a clear route that we were going to improve and that has pulled it all together.
“We have been quite lucky in using research practices for support. They mean we could apply for something that we wanted and they would pay. For example, we did the excelled reading project with Manchester University.
“We created a team of really dedicated people and our motto is ‘Learning Together’ on our jumpers. Our staff are really committed to pupils progress.
“We have got people who have been trained in lots of different initiatives like pupils with dyslexia and Lego therapy. We have had lots of help from schools around the area, especially the Felpham and Bognor Regis school group, FAB.”
Year 6 pupils Laurelle Broun, 10, and Charlie Dixon, 11, have been at the school since it became Bersted Green Primary, in 2015.
“I especially love sports,” said Laurelle. “Since I’ve joined we’ve got loads of new things, like the Astro patch and the trim trail, which is basically like an assault course. We go on lots of school trips now as well, it’s great.”
Charlie said the way teachers helped everyone individually was great. “If I need help, or feel like giving up, my teacher is always there to show me how I should do it, the best way for me.”