School with majority of South Asian-origin pupils tops UK league 

School with majority of South Asian-origin pupils tops UK league 
Highlights

A state-funded school in east London with majority of its students from South Asian background has beaten the UK\'s best known private institutions to top a prestigious primary schools league table released on Sunday. 

London: A state-funded school in east London with majority of its students from South Asian background has beaten the UK's best known private institutions to top a prestigious primary schools league table released on Sunday.

St Stephen's Primary School in East Ham, which has mostly pupils from Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi backgrounds with English not as their first language, was listed as the best in the 'Schools Guide 2018' released by 'The Sunday Times'.

The Indian-origin head-teacher of the school Neena Lall, said her school's "mantra" is "every child can". "If they can't, why can't they," she said, adding that good manners and respect were equally valued.

According to the league table, at the age of seven, St Stephen's pupils know all their times tables up to 12 and read "hard" books such as Anthony Horowitz's Alex Rider series. By the time they are 10, they have finished the national curriculum and are ready to spend a year problem-solving.

Therefore, the 11-year-olds at the school were found to be the best at reading, spelling and doing their sums. "It is about expectation. I was privately educated, so was my chair of governors. Everyone sits the [Scholastic Assessment Tests - SATs] tests when they are 11. There is a no excuses culture; every day counts," Lall said.

Lall said she was shocked three years ago when she asked in an assembly how the children thought of themselves. Many answered "Indian" or "Pakistani". Since then, the school has pushed the idea that they are British too, the newspaper reports.

"Everything we do here comes from our vision that every St Stephen's child blossoms into a confident, respectful, modern British citizen prepared to be an aspirational contributor in the global community," she said.

The annual 'Schools Guide' identifies the 650 highest achieving junior schools in the UK, ranked by their recent examination results, as part of a 'Parent Power' series that will cover secondary schools next week.

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