Ryton Park jumps to top of the table

Children at Ryton Park Primary School celebrate with head teacher Richard Lilley after being rated one of the top 25 in the country in the primary school league table (w130109-3a)
Children at Ryton Park Primary School celebrate with head teacher Richard Lilley after being rated one of the top 25 in the country in the primary school league table (w130109-3a)

CELEBRATIONS are in order at a Worksop school which has catapulted from the bottom to the top of national league tables in the space of four years.

Ryton Park Primary School is now among the top 25 schools in the country when it comes to pupils’ key stage two SATS performance.

And the latest round of results has prompted a letter of congratulations from Government schools minister David Laws.

Headteacher Richard Lilley said he was ‘justifiably proud’ of the turnaround and praised a ‘mammoth effort’ from everyone.

Ryton Park is one of the largest primaries in Notts, with 547 children on the roll. They are based at a cutting edge newly built school on Worksop’s leafy Sparken Hill.

There is boundless space to let off steam in the funky new playground, complete with amphitheatre and play equipment like scooters.

And indoors the learning environment is buzzing with the latest technology such as touch screen TVs and laptops. Mr Lilley is even planning to bring in iPads for the juniors to use and take home.

But it hasn’t always been this way. Back in 2008 Ryton Park joined forces with New Manton Primary, on South Avenue, which had been placed into special measures.

“New Manton was ranked in the bottom 0.001 per cent of schools nationally, among the 20 poorest performing primary schools in England for key stage two, where it had been for ten years,” said Mr Lilley, who has been at the helm at Ryton Park since 2004.

In 2008 Notts County Council decided to combine New Manton and Ryton Park, to work across two sites - the other being Memorial Avenue - while a new school was constructed. They moved to the new building in September 2011.

In 2009, the first year the schools were combined, just 37 per cent of key stage two pupils achieved level four or above in their maths and English SATS. In 2010 the figure rose to 49 per cent, in 2011 it was 67 per cent and in 2012, 78 per cent.

Based on sustained improvement, the school is now among the country’s top performing 100 schools. And it is ranked 21st based on points increase.

“We have a fantastic and hard-working team. We are a no excuses school and nobody second guesses pupils’ outcomes,” said Mr Lilley.

“We use a holistic approach to meeting all our children’s needs, including counsellors and parent support courses.”

“All of this ensures that pupils and parents have real aspirations for their future.”