Minister for Schools congratulates 5 Flying High Partnership schools for ‘outstanding achievement in the 2023 Phonics Screening Check’

  • News
  • Posted on: February 8, 2024
  • Partnership: Flying High Partnership

Pride as schools in Pinxton, Arnold, West Bridgford, Nuthall and Hucknall are amongst the highest achievers in the country.

Five schools within our Flying High Partnership multi-academy trust, have received letters from the Minister for Education congratulating their schools on their 2023 Phonics Screening performance.

Damian Hinds, Minister for Schools, said in letters addressed to the five head teachers, “I am writing to congratulate you on your school’s outstanding achievement in the 2023 Phonics Screening Check…We want to ensure every child develops a firm grasp of phonics as the basis on which to improve standards of reading. As such I was delighted to see your results.”
The letters go on to reveal where the schools appeared in the 2023 data tables. Schools congratulated were Horsendale Primary School in Nuthall, Longwood Infant Academy of the Pinxton Village Academies, Hillside Primary & Nursery School in Hucknall, Ernehale Flying High Academies Arnold, and Greythorn Primary School in West Bridgford.

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Longwood Infant Academy, one of the three schools making up Pinxton Village Academies, were informed their results hit the top 1% in the country, and Head Teacher, Anne Ingle said, “We are very pleased to have received this recognition. We have a robust and systematic approach to phonics using the Department for Education (DfE) approved No Nonsense phonics. It is a fantastic programme which ensures our children have a secure understanding of phonics. We have always had good results, but we wanted the very best for our children so actively sought the expertise of the Flying High English Hub. We are incredibly proud of all of our children.”

Pupils at Longwood shared their thoughts on their phonics lessons. Sienna Byard age 7 said “I love phonics because learning new codes is fun.” Finley Burns, age 7 said he loves phonics ‘because it helps me to write,’ and fellow pupil Carter Busby age 6 said he thinks phonics ‘makes me smart!’ Jaylen Gregory age 6 said, “It makes me fluent to read books like Beast Quest by Adam Blade.” Violet Hallam age 7 commented, “I love phonics because I can move onto new book bands.”

Hillside Primary & Nursery School in Hucknall came in the top 3% per cent in the country. Head Teacher Rhian Richardson said, “We couldn’t be more proud of our wonderful phonics results. It is all thanks to the hard work from the children, the staff and the support of our families. Learning to read is essential for children and we place that importance at the heart of what we do. Our consistent and robust approach with coaching from our reading lead ensures the children are successful and flourish when learning to read.”
Year 1 Hillside pupil Martha said, “We learn a new sound every day and the teachers help by using ‘Fred fingers’ to say the sound, and the Read Write Inc. phrases that we practice help us remember the sound!”

Greythorn Primary School in West Bridgford came in the top 5% in the country, and Head Teacher, Tae Carpenter said, “We are extremely delighted and proud to receive this letter of achievement from the Minister for Schools. It recognises the hard work and dedication of our Key Stage One team along with our amazing children and supportive parents. At Greythorn, all our children love reading and they are highly engaged in their Phonics sessions.”

Ernehale Flying High Academies, Arnold, came in the top 4% per cent in the country. Carmel Atkinson, Head Teacher, said, “This is wonderful news! I am overjoyed and so very proud of the children, staff and our supportive parents in attaining this excellent standard in phonics. The dedication and hard work of all involved is evident in the outcomes of all our children. The emphasis on phonics at our school reflects our commitment to providing a strong foundation in literacy skills, which is essential for building academic success and lifelong learning. We are proud of the achievements of our children and their progress in mastering phonics. Our Ernehale community work hard to support all of our children to succeed.”

Horsendale Primary School in Nuthall, were told they had achieved results which placed them in the top 3% in the country. Amanda Smalley is Head Teacher at the school and said she was delighted with the news. “As the home of the Flying High English Hub, phonics and early reading is a high priority here at Horsendale. We have a systematic approach using a DfE approved scheme called No Nonsense Phonics. Our approach combines quality first teaching with rapid intervention to maximise learning. In daily lessons across Reception and Key Stage 1, the children work hard as a whole class; every moment is grasped, and the concentration of the children is wonderful to see as they try to do their very best.”

Year 2 Horsendale pupil Isaac said, “Phonics is really fun. I enjoy reading the words and trying to work them out. Phonics helps me to read and use the words in my writing too. The teachers give us time to do phonics every day.” Hattie in year 2 agreed saying, “You can learn all sorts of new codes. It helps with my reading and spelling. The teacher tells us what the code is and other sounds it can make. Our phonics books help us too.”

Head Teacher Amanda Smalley said phonics is of fundamental importance to support children’s progress. “We are so proud of our children’s achievements in this vital aspect of the curriculum. Phonics is the key to reading, which then unlocks learning across the whole curriculum.”

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