Children’s Readiness for School – (Early Years)

Overall 

2009 and 2010 saw improvements across the range of Early Years Foundation measures. The following graph shows this progress and how Bristol’s progress relates to other authorities with national indicator 72: the percentage of pupils achieving at least 78 points across the foundation stage and with at least 6 points in each of the scales. 

Percentage of pupils achieving at least 78 points across the foundation stage with at least 6 points in each scale (2005 – 2010) 

Source: Bristol City Council

Bristol is now ahead of all the other core cities in two key measures, namely the percentage of pupils scoring at least 78 points across all 13 scales, and the percentage of pupils achieving the 78 points and scoring at least 6 in every one of the scales. 

Percentage of pupils scoring 78 points or more across the foundation stage (Core Cities): 

Source: Bristol City Council

Percentage of pupils scoring at least 78 points or more across the foundation stage (Statistical Neighbours): 

Source: Bristol City Council

Another important national indicator measures the gap between the lowest achieving pupils and the rest. NI92, defined as the gap between the median Early Years Foundation Stage Profile score of all children locally and the mean score of the lowest achieving 20% of children locally, as a percentage of the median score of all children locally, has also shown steady improvement: 

NI92 – the gap between the median and bottom 20% (2005 – 2010) 

Source: Bristol City Council

Return to top

Black and minority ethnic pupils 

A familiar pattern of under-achievement within the Black or Black British population is evident even from an early age. Conversely, and also a theme of educational attainment in general, the Mixed/Dual Heritage population achieve better than average results. Both these facts are seen in the next two charts:

Percentage of pupils scoring 78 points or more, by Main Ethnicity (Bristol, 2010) 

Source: Bristol City Council

Percentage of pupils scoring 78 points or more and at least 6 in all scales, by  Ethnicity (Bristol, 2010) 

Source: Bristol City Council

As with most gap comparisons, reading comes out as being the largest gap between White and BME groups, followed by space, shape and measures, knowledge and understanding of the world and emotional development.  The gap is narrowest for physical development and dispositions and attitudes.  Gaps between White and BME have widened for most areas of learning: a notable exception to which is that for writing, which has closed 2 percentage points since 2008. 
Return to top

Gender difference 

The gap between boys and girls at the Early Years level is substantial. In Bristol in 2010 64% of girls scored 78 points or more and at least 6 in all scales, against only 46.6% of boys. Girls outperform boys in every one of the thirteen scales (see next chart) and most startling is the disparity in writing ability, where girls are 17 percentage points ahead of boys. Nationally this gap is even wider, at 19 percentage points. 

Percentage of children achieving by gender who are working securely in each assessment scale. 

Source: Bristol City Council

The reasons for the difference in attainment are many, but studies suggest (for example: http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/education/eurydice/documents/thematic_reports/120EN.pdf that the fact that boys and girls learn differently is not sufficiently recognised by teachers. It is also certainly true that there are insufficient numbers of male teachers at primary level. It is worth noting that over the last three years the gap between the sexes has closed in almost every one of the areas of learning. 
Return to top

Free school meal eligibility 

Because free school meal eligibility is means tested it can a helpful proxy for socioeconomic status. Pupils who are eligible for FSM on average do less well at each key stage than non-FSM pupils: 

Attainment and Free School Meal Eligibility (Bristol, 2010)

  78+ points 78+ and 6 in all scales
FSM (Yes) 65.10% 43.30%
FSM (No) 82.50% 61.30%

With respect to the thirteen individual areas of learning, those with FSM eligibility are outperformed in all of them, though the gap has been closing in all of them over the last two years. 
Return to top

Special educational needs 

Of the 370 pupils with Special Educational Needs, only 80 (21.6%) scored 78 points or more and at least 6 in all scales. Of those without SEN 60.1% achieved the target, making the non-SEN cohort almost three times as likely to hit the target as the SEN group.  

The gap between SEN and non-SEN children has narrowed across all 13 areas of learning, but despite this, gaps remain large.  Reading, writing and calculating show the largest gaps, of around 36 percentage points.
Return to top 

English as a second language 

Internal migration over the last decade has witnessed an increasing number of pupils whose main language is not English. Attainment scores for this cohort are unsurprisingly worse than for their English-speaking counterparts. Of those whose main language is English 60.7% scored 78 points or more and at least 6 in all scales, whereas for those for whom English is an alternative language only 37.2% met the milestone. Only 27.9% of Somali speakers, an increasingly large cohort of pupils, meet the target. The average point score for English speakers is 89.4 – Somali speakers averaged 77.1.
Return to top
Return to the main ‘Enjoy and Achieve’ page.

This entry was posted in Enjoy & Achieve, Readiness for school. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s