Experienced West Midlands based speech & language therapy

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

This is the story of a little primary school in B31

2019 is the year when all the effort has been officially recognised by Ofsted who considered The Orchards to be a good school with ‘aspirational’ leadership.  One of the key points they noted was the raising of attainment.  The Head recognises that attainment is rising because pupils’ language skills are improving.  Children at The Orchards make significant gains in terms of their language skills. 

This isn’t just a feeling or a supposition, but is supported by hard evidence.  At the time of writing, The Orchards’ impressive data collection shows that ‘the children entering Pre-School in the Autumn of 2018 have made good progress and the percentage of children presenting with age appropriate speech and language development has risen from 0 to 36.5%’.  This year’s Reception has, by Summer 1, 96.5% of children whose language skills are age appropriate or just below.


School staff know that the excellent language levels in this year’s Reception class are as a result of the support they have received since arriving as pre-schoolers. 

School are able to track 21 children who began in pre-school, only 38% of those children had language skills in line with their chronological age.  Now, in Summer 1 in Reception, only one child is slightly behind chronological age.  Head teacher Hayley Carrier says ‘I am absolutely over the moon with the figures.  I think they demonstrate better than any other data how much progress the children make with us in our Early Years’.


At the Orchards, early language gains are sustained.  This year school are predicting that 83% of children will achieve GLD, which is 9% up on 2018.

KS1 SATs: predictions are also very encouraging with age-related expectations for reading at 79%, writing at 76% and maths at 80% (did you know that good language skills are essential if children are to succeed at maths?  Click here for more information.   ‘Greater depth’ percentages are well into double figures.

Congratulations to the staff at the Orchards.

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