School in Forest Gate wins country's best state primary school accolade

St Antony's Catholic Primary School in Forest Gate

St Antony's Catholic Primary School in Forest Gate has won a national award - Credit: Google

The headteacher of a Forest Gate school named the country's best state primary school of the decade believes the accolade comes from "the magic of hard work".

Angela Moore leads St Antony’s Catholic Primary School, in Upton Avenue, which The Times’ Parent Power School Guide named as the best primary school of the last 10 years.

The newspaper said the school had “a keen sense of social justice as well as plenty of academic ambition.”

Ms Moore took over as head of the school in 2014, when St Antony’s was the lowest-rated school in Newham.

Since then, the primary has become one of the strongest schools in the country, with well above average reading and maths scores.

Ms Moore said: “The parents, the children and the staff are elated. They are elated because they know we don’t work for awards, we just work. 

“And we work to ensure that our children are achieving at the best that they can and to the fullest potential. 

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“Our secret is the ordinary magic of hard work – we believe that consistent hard work will beat natural ability and talent any day.

"We have children with natural ability, gifted and talented staff, but we say behind that use the engine of hard work.

She added that one of the school’s key strengths was its performing arts, which she said grows pupils’ confidence in and out the classroom.

Newham Council's cabinet member for education, Councillor Sarah Ruiz, also welcomed the award.

She said: “We have some really, really good schools in Newham and it’s great that it’s been recognised. 

“It’s really good for Newham who are seen as this really down and out borough in London that we actually have some of the best schools in London – for every St Antony’s we’ve got others that are probably just as good but haven’t necessarily been recognised.

“I would like to think that it isn’t just about SATs and the qualifications, although obviously they matter to a lot of people, but it’s actually about a more rounded education – having our kids fit for life rather than just fit for an examination board.”