Bramley Sunnyside, Rotherham

From ‘Special Measures’ to top 2% of schools nationally 

  Written by Joanne Maxwell (March 2018) 

The Challenges faced by the School 

Bramley Sunnyside Junior is a three-form entry school with a predominately white British population. Over the last four years they have made significant improvements. The school have faced the following challenges following a ‘Special Measures’ judgement in 2013 

  • progress for all pupils was inadequate
  • high staff turnover and difficulty in recruiting staff
  • inadequate teaching
  • inadequate curriculum 

How the SfA Programme addressed these challenges 

 The newly appointed head had used SfA in a previous school so was confident that the programme would have immediate impact. The implementation of SfA provided a robust English Curriculum and improved teaching and learning across the board. 

The Impact of the SfA Programme 

 Bramley Sunnyside first implemented SfA in September 2014. The school’s average reading scores have improved by 30% and writing by 20%. On average all year groups are now making an additional 6 months progress in 2 months. 

For 2017’s results the school was ranked in the top 2% of schools nationally for reading, writing and mathematics. Results have risen over the last four years and improvement has been sustained. In 2014 only 72% of children in Y6 were meeting the expected standard. In 2016, 99% were at age related standards and 45% were above the standard. 

 The schools progress measures for 2017 were: Reading 4.3, Writing 4.9 and Maths 4.8. All are ‘Green’ and ‘Well Above Average’. 



“SFA has been a powerful tool as our school’s strive for a profound, systematic change, contributing greatly to our sustained improvement over time, working together towards a well-defined goal.” 


 H. Headland, Head teacher


“Through embedding the programme’s consistent and dynamic approach, SfA has secured our children’s love of reading through a highly co-operative ethos, creating meaningful links between SPaG and writing, including a rich diet of quality texts. SFA has empowered our staff to progress learning for all children, meeting individual needs, as well as opening doors beyond 


 L. Robson, Deputy Head teacher

 Fig 1. shows the % of Y6 cohort reaching expected standards in reading (as defined in that academic year) to demonstrate progress following national assessment changes. 

10th March 2018

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