THE headteacher of a primary school in Basingstoke is celebrating the school's latest 'outstanding achievements' in two key areas. 

Rucstall Primary School, in Holbein Close, is celebrating its achievements in the 2023 Phonics Screening Check and the 2023 Multiplication Tables Check.

In letters from the Minister of State for Schools, Damian Hinds, the school was congratulated for both awards.

The phonics screening check assesses children on how well they can decode certain words. Decoding means sounding out an unfamiliar written word. To do this, children will need to be able to recognise letters and the sounds that they represent. This is an important part of achieving reading fluency.

The multiplication tables check is statutory for all Year 4 pupils registered at state-funded maintained schools, special schools or academies, including free schools, in England.

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Basingstoke Gazette: Rucstall Primary School in Basingstoke

Ruth Griffiths, the school's headteacher, said: "At Rucstall Primary School we pride ourselves on the support every child is provided with to achieve well. These letters are a fantastic recognition of the hard work from the school community, parents and teachers working in partnership, to ensure every child has the skills they need to succeed.

"We are particularly pleased that the support we provide means success for every child, including those who face specific challenge when learning. We currently have a few places for children in Early Years, Years 1 and 3, for any parent looking to join a school where standards are high to ensure every child achieves their potential."

The purpose of the check is to determine whether pupils can recall their times tables fluently, which is essential for future success in mathematics. It helps schools to identify pupils who have not yet mastered their times tables, so that additional support can be provided.

In the letter regarding the multiplication check, Mr Hinds said: "Your average pupil score of 24.9 out of 25 makes Rucstall Primary School one of the top 200 performing schools in England for the multiplication check. The excellent achievement of your pupils is something the Government hopes to see replicated in schools across the county.

"Knowing time tables is vital for school and day-to-day life. Recalling multiplication and division facts up to 12x12 is important for progression in maths."

He continued: "I would like to congratulate your staff and pupils for their hard work and to thank you for your leadership in continuing to promote the important subject of mathematics."

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In the letter regarding the phonics screening check it is stated that 100 per cent of pupils in Year 1 meet the expected standard.

In the letter, Mr Hinds said: "Your particular success in teaching phonics and early reading so effectively means your pupils are developing a firm, foundation, from which they can become increasingly fluent and develop a lifelong love of reading. 

"I would like to thank you for your commitment and success in this vital area of a child's early education and congratulate you, your staff and pupils again on all you have achieved."