Relaunch for Tangmere school that ‘lost its identity’

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The headteacher of a school which was told it needed to improve said he was confident he and his staff had turned things around.

Paul Turney, of the Tangmere Primary Academy, in Bishop Road, said he felt the school had “lost its identity” within the community after it performed poorly in last year’s SATs – something he was keen to rectify.

Changes ahead - Tangmere Academy head Paul Turney with members of the school council.LA1500119- SUS-150518-210451008

Changes ahead - Tangmere Academy head Paul Turney with members of the school council.LA1500119- SUS-150518-210451008

Now the school, which is part of The Kemnal Academies Trust (TKAT), plans to relaunch and rebrand itself from the ground up with everything from a new badge to a new curriculum.

Mr Turney joined Tangmere Primary in November 2013 and, three months later, was presented with a damning Ofsted report which highlighted inadequate teaching, poor behaviour among some older children and lower than average achievement by pupils.

While the report noted the work Mr Turney had carried out to significantly strengthen the leadership and management at the school as well as the performance of the students, there had simply not been enough time for his efforts to make a real impact.

A second bombshell came in the summer when the school’s Key Stage 2 results showed only 35 per cent of children were achieving the required level of competence in reading, writing and maths – a result Mr Turney said was “unacceptably low”.

All indications are it’s going to be a massive improvement

Paul Turney, headteacher

Since then, the school has been developing its new “vision” and held a two-day consultation with parents, asking their opinion on the planned changes.

Mr Turney said: “Our SATs results were unacceptably low so we had to put a lot of measures in place in the school. It was all about targeting the children and getting them to where they needed to be. Our whole, concentration had to be on the teaching and learning side for a long while.”

Regarding this year’s SATs, he added: “All indications are it’s going to be a massive improvement - though you never know how the children will perform on the day.”

Mr Turney said the curriculum had required a “major overhaul”, ensuring their were no overlaps between the year groups and making use of local resources, such as the Aviation Museum and the Roman walls at Chichester, to make it uniquely ‘Tangmere’.

With the focus of the curriculum previously centred on English and maths, staff wanted to ensure there were opportunities for the children to use those core subject skills in all subjects.

He said: “The staff are excited about the new curriculum and this will carry through into the classroom and ensure that the children are learning through a curriculum that will build upon their skills, knowledge and understanding and will enable creativity and the development of the child beyond their academic achievements.”

Mr Turney ensured pupils were fully involved in the regeneration of their school, even down to the design of its new badge, which will be unveiled at the Tangmere Village Day on Sunday July 12.

Two children came up with the idea of designing the badge on a propeller theme – the school’s badge used to be an aeroplane – and three final designs were drawn up before staff, pupils and parents were called on to pick their favourite.

Mr Turney said: “We wanted to really make sure it was Tangmere and not just some generic badge that any school could have.

“The feedback has been quite positive. The time was right to do this because we had got the inhouse things up and running better.”

The introduction of the new badge will be phased in so parents do not have to fork out immediately for a complete new uniform.

The new intake of children, though, will wear the new design with pride in September.