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Children and young people, Education and learning

Lambeth school named Britain’s best

A Lambeth primary school has been named the best in the United Kingdom at a prestigious national awards ceremony.

Vauxhall Primary School came top in the Best Primary School category at the Times Education Supplement (TES) awards, after judges singled out its “extremely high expectations and ambitious and inspirational delivery of an exciting curriculum”.

The judging panel said the school’s drive to innovate and improve, despite already being at the top of its game, made it an outstanding example of excellence in education.

Edison David, Head of School at Vauxhall Primary, said the award recognised the hard work, commitment and dedication of everyone at the school in delivering outstanding education to all its pupils.

He added: “It is also a testament to our pupils and families whose loyalty and support make us reaffirm our commitment to excellence, against all odds. The Vauxhall Family remains to be a beacon of innovation and inspiration, defying the high levels of deprivation that surround us.

“Through our pupils’ determination and highly-developed intellectual stamina, and our skilful and most competent teaching and non-teaching staff, we have proven time and again that indeed ‘mind is over matter!’.”

The TES awards have established themselves as the biggest showcase of the best in education, and the ceremony is a hugely significant event. At the awards dinner, held at the Grosvenor House hotel on London’s Park Lane, teachers’ hard work and dedication was praised by comedian Dara O’Briain. The 17 different awards recognised the achievements of whole schools and the individual teachers working in them.

The awards citation pointed out that Vauxhall Primary School serves one of the most deprived areas in London, but sustained educational innovation means that pupil achievement is among the highest in the country.

Acquiring basic literacy and numeracy skills is seen as fundamental for pupils’ futures, and this is achieved through the implementation of rigorous phonics and maths programmes, and a break from traditional, whole-class approaches in favour of small-group teaching. These strategies help to close the attainment gap between disadvantaged children and their peers by the end of key stage 2.

Vauxhall Primary is committed to enhancing the curriculum by extending the breadth of pupils’ experiences – for example, attending performances at the Royal Opera House, working with mathematicians from the Royal Institution and staging Shakespeare plays at the Peacock Theatre. It also reaches out to other schools in its role as a national support school, contributing to improvement work in London, Devon and Norfolk, and hosting visits by school leaders from around the world.

The judges said: “Vauxhall Primary School stands out for its extremely high expectations and ambitious and inspirational delivery of an exciting curriculum. Children achieve highly and foster a deep love of learning.”

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