A BARROW primary school has been named in the Sunday Times’ Top 250 State Primary Schools in England for 2020.

Yarlside Academy was placed in joint 17th position.

This was an improvement on the school’s 2019 ranking when they finished joint 38th.

The table was based on reading, grammar and maths.

The academy scored best in the grammar section.

Yarlside Academy’s head teacher Janine Pierce has expressed mixed feelings in what has been a very difficult year for the education system.

“We are always a forward-thinking school and look at how we can improve,” she said.

“We always have high expectations of ourselves as staff and also of the children.

“The children get a really broad balance of learning that prepares them for secondary school.

The Mail:

“It is a lovely position to be but to be thinking about celebrating that position is a bit strange.

“We’re now facing a very unprecedented situation in education.

“A lot of headteachers are under enormous pressure at the moment and we are now hoping our children can sit a test at the end of this academic year.”

Mrs Pierce has been a headteacher for 16 years but revealed that 2020 has been the hardest in her career.

In March, the UK entered its first lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

This resulted in primary and secondary schools closing their doors for over five months.

Following this, schools were permitted to reopen in September.

Mrs Pierce added: “We are trying to get children back into learning and catching them up on what they have missed.

“We worked really hard during lockdown to provide home learning but it is a really difficult time.

“My concerns are with new headteachers in their career having to learn the job and deal with the pandemic at the same time.”

Furthermore, Mrs Pierce believes that schoolchildren will find this year’s tests more difficult than ever.

She said: “We have had no notification yet from the government that the children are not going to take their tests at the end of this academic year.

“The tests will still go ahead which doesn’t seem right at the moment, when class bubbles of children are missing so much learning because they are self-isolating.”