Renfrewshire Council

St Anthony's

Five facts about Renfrewshire's Attainment Challenge

As part of Scottish Attainment Challenge Week, we look at what the Attainment Challenge has meant for Renfrewshire schools.

Renfrewshire became one of nine local authorities in the Scottish Government's Attainment Challenge in June 2016.

We are making excellent progress in improving learning, raising attainment and closing the poverty-related attainment gap. We are delivering high quality professional learning approaches in partnership with Stanford University and the University of Strathclyde to improve literacy and numeracy.

Here's a quick look at what we are focused on.

1. Raising attainment for all pupils

Our attainment trends show that we have increased attainment in literacy and numeracy across primary and secondary.

The percentage of learners in primary stages achieving expected level for their stage in literacy was 76% in 2018/19, an increase of three percentage points since 2016/17.

In numeracy, the percentage of learners achieving the expected level for their stage was 84% in 2018/19, an increase of four percentage points since 2016/17.

Within the senior phase, there is a positive trend in the percentage of school leavers achieving SCQF level 5 in literacy and numeracy.

2.Reducing the poverty-related attainment gaps

The attainment gap between primary pupils living in SIMD quintile 1 and SIMD quintile 5 has reduced by five percentage points in literacy and 2 percentage points in numeracy over three years. These reductions are due to increased attainment of pupils living in most deprived areas.

The attainment gap between the percentage of school leavers achieving SCQF level 5 in literacy and numeracy has also continued to decrease. The gap between quintile 1 and quintile 5 has reduced by 14 percentage points in literacy and numeracy since 2014/15. 

3. Supporting literacy and numeracy teaching through professional development

For Literacy, we have supported:

  • 54 teachers, transition teachers and leaders from 22 schools to participate in the second cohort of Dive into Writing training.
  • 86 Literacy Champions, representing 88% of primary schools, have been able to regularly attend support meetings.
  • 33 classroom assistants from 22 primary schools to complete a programme of professional learning with the University of Strathclyde exploring effective support of learners and classroom pedagogy in literacy, numeracy and mathematics.

Teacher confidence in teaching writing has increased from 29% to 84%.

One teacher said: "I have a different approach to the feedback I give ensuring I comment as a reader, both on productivity but more importantly on the content. I am much more confident in teaching editing of writing and using this as an assessment tool to teach areas that children are not automatic in with their writing."

For numeracy, we have:

  • 46 Numeracy Champions representing 92% of Primary Schools.
  • Four Modelling and Coaching Officers to support Numeracy and Maths Learning and Teaching.
  • 18 staff members from seven schools trained at Stanford University in developing Mathematical Mindsets.
  • 172 children from six primary schools took part in an immersive Maths Camp.
  • 110 practitioners enrolled in the Winning Scotland Foundation Mathematical Mindsets course.
  • 77% primary schools engaged in career long professional learning (CLPL) so far this year (academic year 2019/20)

Feedback indicates increased confidence in planning and delivering maths using effective pedagogy.

Class teachers have said:

  • "Very well presented with lots of practical advice ... chunked up into manageable steps."
  • "Good seeing and explaining the concrete materials and learning corresponding vocabulary to help follow and implement Stages of Early Arithmetical Learning (SEAL)."
  • "Practical and realistic ideas to use in the classroom."
  • "They provide school staff with tailored support in line with our improvement plan targets to raise attainment and work with children to foster a love of Numeracy and Mathematics."

4. Supporting children and young people through transitions

Our teachers and parents have said:

  • 84% of secondary teachers agree that transition teacher support positively impacts the engagement of target learners in learning and teaching.
  • 74% of primary teachers agree that transition teacher support positively impacts establishment transition processes.
  • 92% of parents of target children agree that the transition teacher post is valuable and should continue.

One headteacher said: "It's the difference of actually having a teacher working side by side with other teachers, sharing ideas in real time, day to day, and helping shape the curriculum. You could have as many twilight development sessions as you liked, but you get so much more from having someone who is just part of the team."

A teacher added: "The change in teaching approaches of colleagues due to transition teacher support has made the biggest difference."

A nursery manager also said: "Nursery management feel much more of a link with school because of the transition lead's role."

5. Improving professional dialogue and moderation

Trends for Renfrewshire in academic year 2018/19 showed improved consistency in primary Achievement of Curriculum for Excellence Levels (ACEL) data both within and across schools.

  • 92% of primary practitioners agreed that the professional dialogue/moderation process allowed them to reflect on their own learning, teaching and assessment processes.
  • 33% increase in agreement of standards between Renfrewshire and The West Partnership, following primary sector professional learning.

One education professional said: "A variety of examples encouraged me to reflect on my own strengths and development needs."


Published on Thursday 27 February 2020

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