05:15PM, Wednesday 25 November 2020
Dave Rooney, executive principal of Lowbrook Academy.
Schools from around the Maidenhead area have been hailed as some of the best in the country by The Sunday Times.
The newspaper’s 28th annual schools guide, published on Sunday, named four schools from the Maidenhead area in the nation’s top 600 primary schools, with the two top performers placing in joint 12th overall.
Lowbrook Academy, in The Fairway, and Holy Trinity Primary School, in School Lane, Cookham, were named the joint 12th best primary schools in the country on the list.
Meanwhile, a second Cookham school – Cookham Dean Primary School - was placed 279th and St Edmund Campion, in Altwood Road, was ranked 405th.
For the last seven years, Holy Trinity has been seconded by Lowbrook, but since September it has been operating independently.
Dave Rooney, executive principal at Lowbrook Academy, called the result a ‘boost’.
He said: “League tables are what they are, schools are far more vibrant than what the league tables show, but it’s still nice to be recognised.
“The key thing is the holistic education, the results come because we are healthy, happy high achievers. Health and happy come before high achiever.
“We do lots of sport, healthy eating, good living and all around education.
“It’s quite bold to put mental health first when you are measured on results but that’s what we do and that’s why we do so well.”
Last year, Lowbrook Academy ranked 40th on the list, while Holy Trinity was positioned in 110th.
The schools on the list are judged on their SAT scores for 2019 and compared to the national standard expected to be achieved by pupils.
Children at Lowbrook Academy achieved 111 points for reading, 115 points for grammar, punctuation and spelling, and 114 points for maths, compared to the national standard score of 100.
Meanwhile, students at Holy Trinity achieved 113 in reading, 115 in grammar and 112 in maths.
Despite his school placing so highly on the rankings, Mr Rooney called for a change of focus on how schools are judged.
He said: “It’s time to reevaluate this way of measuring things, I don’t think children should be sitting exams this year.
“The focus should be on mental health.
“It’s not about results but from my point of view its now time for change and to put the focus on holistic education.”
A Department for Education spokeswoman said: “Exams are the fairest way of judging a student’s performance, which is why Ofqual and the Government agree they should go ahead next year.
“We are working closely with stakeholders on a comprehensive set of measures that will ensure exams can be held and students will have the best possible opportunity to do themselves justice – we will set out our plans in the coming weeks.”
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