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School Performance Tables: Dedication led to `perfect' score of Midlands' best.

The head teacher of the school ranked best in the Midlands yesterday praised the effort and dedication of her staff and pupils.

Margaret McConnell put the success of St Nicholas Roman Catholic Primary School in Sutton Coldfield school down to a binding team spirit that has everyone working for each other. With a ``perfect'' aggregate score of 300 in the tests for English, maths and science, St Nicholas is placed an impressive sixth in the Government's table of the country's best primary schools.

``I cannot praise my teachers or pupils enough,'' said Mrs McConnell. ``We had an exceptional year of pupils last year and their determination twinned with the efforts of the staff produced wonderful results.

``The results are the culmination of work that starts right down at the reception year and we have a team of pupils, teachers, parents and classroom assistants that work so well together.

``I'd love to be able to put my finger on one thing that has produced such good results but it really is the result of so many things.''

Mrs McConnell said all 236 pupils at the school in Jockey Road work hard at the Three Rs, but enjoy extra curricular activities that add to their all round education.

She said the school's results are often dependent on the pupils, but she added that every year tries as hard as the last. ``The league tables can often be a little unfair,'' she said. ``As every year tries as hard as the last but some years are better than others through no fault of their own or the teachers.

``As long as we can maintain the effort of teachers and pupils then I think we are doing the right thing and going in the right direction.''

St Nicholas prides itself on its broad and balanced approach to teaching and Mrs McConnell believes the core subjects of English, maths and science are not the be all and end all of school life. ``It is wonderful to be praised for our work in English, maths and science but we think of it as only one part of school life and try hard not to neglect things like art and drama and sport,'' she said.

``We want to make sure our pupils have a good all round education and that is what we shall continue to strive for. By working hard from the reception year right through the school we hope we can continue the success we have seen this year.''

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Margaret McConnell
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Dec 5, 2001
Words:418
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