Plans to help support literacy education among young pupils in a number of Suffolk primary schools have been backed by a £200,000 grant from the Department for Education.
The Suffolk Borders Teaching Alliance (SBTA), which is operated by the Samuel Ward Academy Trust, has been successful in its application for the money from the strategic school improvement fund – one of only 11 successful bids in the entire eastern region of England.
The SBTA, working in partnership with the charity Success for All, will use the funding to further develop the curriculum and associated staff development at four different schools, including Woodhall Primary School in Sudbury, and Bures Primary School.
Matthew Fuller, headteacher of Woodhall Primary School in Sudbury, said: “Having visited other schools where Success for All is an integral part of the curriculum, and having seen the amazing progress their children make, I am delighted the children of Woodhall have been given this opportunity.
“Research from around the world shows that lacking basic reading and writing skills is a tremendous disadvantage to life chances.
“The children of Woodhall will now be ensured of developing these skills to an even greater depth.
“This will not only enrich their lives, but provide a greater number of opportunities for them to develop further skills in the future.”
Bures Primary School headteacher Ruth Slater said: “We are very excited about the prospect of working alongside our colleagues in the Samuel Ward Academy Trust to implement the Success for All programme.
“We know that the progress children make in developing their reading and writing skills has a direct impact on their progress in all other areas.
“We are looking forward to watching their confidence and self-esteem grow as they work co-operatively, learning with and from each other.”
Three of the schools are part of the Samuel Ward Academy Trust and Bures Primary School is a member of the Suffolk Borders Teaching Alliance, which supports schools in and out of the trust.
The alliance plays a key role in leading the training and professional development of teachers, support staff, deputy heads, headteachers and governors.
Tim Coulson, chief executive of Samuel Ward Academy Trust, said: “We have seen that Success for All makes a massive difference to children’s progress in literacy.
“We are delighted to be involved in this project and are very optimistic that pupils in our schools will benefit hugely.”
Spending of the grant will be tailored to meet the needs of each school and contribute towards resourcing and training related to the Success for All programme.
Matt Ditchfield, chief executive at Success for All, added: “We are thrilled to collaborate with Samuel Ward Academy Trust to embed sustainable impact for every child within schools and communities connected to the programme.”
“This is a project of national significance in the application of evidence-based practice in education.
“We look forward to building on the already strong relationships with the trust.”