As a sceptical and cynical curmudgeon of a head teacher of the old school, I have rejected, dismissed and binned more so-called panaceas for raising educational achievement over the past 28 years than I have had hot dinners.
Now I have to eat my words because Success for All really works and we have got the quantifiable data to prove it.
Our school is a multi-ethnic inner city school, serving the second most materially disadvantaged community in the UK. More than 90% of our 450 children are EAL, with almost half at the early stages of bilingual competence. Over 70% qualify for free school meals, pupils speak more than 40 different languages and we turn over more than 40% of pupils each school year.
Since we introduced Success for All our KS2 level 4 plus writing results have gone up by 46% and in 2006 94% of our year 6 cohort achieved level 4 plus in reading. More than a quarter of our children gained level 5.
We are now above both local authority and national averages in reading and writing and our school’s value added score of 202.2 means we the top school in Leicester and in the top 5% of schools in England.
The staff training provided by Success for All is the best I have ever experienced and the long term support is just as good.
Success for All gets our unqualified approval simply because it works for all the children, and we have a set of remarkable results, after just one year, that shows just how well it works.
Chris Hassall, Head Teacher
Taylor Road Primary School, Leicester
We are an inner city school with the children entering
on a fairly low base line. We didn't feel the literacy hour was meeting their
needs so we jumped at the chance of introducing
Success For All. The children learn co-operatively at their own level so they can become a lot more articulate
and confident. As they can all access the curriculum we have no behavioural problems at all in SFA
Pupils have been taking part in Success For All sessions since 2001, when just 40 per cent of children
aged seven were gaining the expected level 2 or above in their Key Stage 1 tests.
This year, 100 per cent of pupils gained level 2 or above.
Ebor Gardens Primary School, Leeds
It does what it says
on the packet. Thank you so much.
Kath Tait, Head
Adelaide Primary School, Hull
The SFA reading programme, which
was implemented four years ago, continues to give Adelaide's children a superb grounding in all aspects of
phonics, comprehension, discussion and writing. Parents have been invited into school to watch their
children during SFA lessons. We are very pleased that the feedback has been so positive.
Brian Roberts, Head
Adelaide Primary School, Hull
Why did we choose Success for All? Certainly, its underpinning element of
learning (based on the research that shows children learn 95% of what they
teach to someone else) was a crucial influencing factor. There are many phonics
schemes out there but this presented a major difference. In addition, the programme’s
holistic approach gave a structure that resulted in a consistency of teaching from
Nursery all the way through to Year Six. We were already aware that many children
were arriving in Year Three deficient in the strategies that they needed to become
successful readers in Key Stage Two and we were hopeful that this would provide a
structure that allowed all children to assimilate the basic ‘building blocks’ of reading
as, and when, they were ready to cope with them. A clear system of continual
assessment, analysis and diagnosis of children’s needs also gave us confidence that
we would be planning appropriately for every child.
Paul Prest, Head
Shaw Wood Primary School, Doncaster
So, what is it about Success for All that has made the difference? We feel that the activities in Nursery and Reception now catch all the children rather than just some of them. None of the activities on its own is significantly different from anything that was offered before; however, the daily input ensures a consistency of teaching and a rigorous intensity that was previously lacking. A confidence that all letter sounds are constantly revisited and a set of very clear outcomes and expectations empowers the staff that deliver it. The opportunity for able children to be ‘promoted’ into a group working a higher level also gives these children a real chance to fly.
Head of the
Shaw Wood Primary School, Doncaster
I think SFA helps all
children, not just boys. It encourages them to listen and speak
and negotiate, and it helps their confidence. It is a fantastic
way to teach literacy, though I can't pretend it wasn't hard work
at the beginning. It takes huge commitment from the staff.
Sue Clough, Head
Dorchester Primary School, Hull
We hope with Success
for All the children will achieve standards we wouldn't have
thought possible. We want this to be one of the best - if not the
best - inner city school in Leeds for standards.
David Shipley, Head
Hillcrest Primary School, Leeds
This programme is the
best thing since sliced bread. At last there is joined up thinking
regarding the teaching of literacy.
The children love it. The staff are motivated through seeing the
success the children are having.
Jack Harrison, Head
Biggin Hill Primary School, Hull
We found learning
behaviour inside schools had improved. Children were learning how
to problem solve and work in groups and were able to transfer
these skills to other curriculum areas.
One result, which has excited researchers, is that boys were
making as much progress as girls, despite conventional research
and national trends, which branded boys slower.
Hopkins, Nottingham University
is the most effective and successful teaching programme I have
used in 30 years as an educator. SFA has not only dramatically
improved our pupils' skills, fluency and confidence in all aspects
of literacy, it has also raised self-esteem, developed social
skills and established a culture of co-operative learning. The
planning, content and pace of lessons are, like the teacher and
pupil materials, excellent and easy to use. SFA has been a success
with pupils, teachers, learning support assistants and parents!!
The Head Teacher,
St Mary's RC Primary School, Tilbury
SFA has reduced our
special needs register by over 20% as every child is working and
achieving exactly at their own level every day.
Bankside Primary School, Leeds
The KinderCorner and
Curiosity Corner programmes encompass every part of the Early
Years curriculum in such a clear and developmental way that we
have been able to enhance the accuracy of our teaching like never
Foundation Stage Co-ordinator,
In 8 weeks:
61 % of year one has moved at least one sub level
93% of year two has moved at least one sub level
Around half our children in each year group have at least
doubled (if not more) the amount of progress expected.
St Marys C of E
primary School, Manchester
I would like to update you on
the great impact that Success for All is having at Richard
Atkins during this first year of implementation. The data
shows that attainment in Reading has risen in all year
groups and is beginning to close the attainment gap.
An incredible 87.5 % of the pupils we targeted with the
Success for All revision programme achieved a level 4 or
With Success for All, our
school is now achieving 75% approximately of KS2 children
achieving at Level 4 and above. If we can do this with
children, coming from relatively impoverished homes, and
working with English as an additional language, what could
be achieved in the majority of the nation's schools?
A visiting Early Years
advisor recently asked me why I was so enthusiastic about
KinderCorner. Naturally I explained the benefits to the
adults, and those I had identified for the children.
However, the following snapshots spoke much more
A small group of 4 children looking at various posters of
paintings, discussing whether they might have been painted
by Dégas or Cézanne, according to typical characteristics of
Several children collecting bugs from the playground,
looking at them carefully under magnifying glasses, then
identifying them as insects or arachnids and recording them
as drawings correct in the number of legs and body parts.
The class discussing how nerves send messages around the
body, when one child states that this is just like a
motorway, in that both nerves and motorways send messages
between important places so that they can do their work
Two children discussing whether they prefer jazz or salsa
music, and how each makes them feel.
Thank you, KinderCorner, this is how the Reception Year
St Mary’s RC
Success can be documented but
for us S.F.A. has offered our children many more skills
which officially cannot be “graded”. Their levels of
speaking and listening are extraordinary. The impact on
behaviour in the school has been very noticeable. S.F.A.
strategies are now in all our other subjects and I could not
imagine teaching in a non S.F.A. school. Most importantly
S.F.A. has allowed most of our children to realise their
The Deputy Head
Manor Oak Primary, Bromley
At Ebor Gardens we are
confident that we made the right choice for all our
children. A comment from a year five child new to our school
and at present being taught alongside Year one and 2
children, confirms our belief.
“At my other school I couldn’t learn, in SFA I’m learning”
That comment says it all.
The Deputy Head
Ebor Gardens Primary, Leeds