Athersley North Primary School
phone: 01226 288674
headteacher: Mrs Margaret Newcombe Bed Hons
280 pupils capacity: 112% full
180 boys 57%
135 girls 43%
Last updated: June 20, 2014
Primary — Community School
- Education phase
- Establishment type
- Community School
- Establishment #
- Open date
- Sept. 1, 1997
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 434362, Northing: 409864
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 53.584, Longitude: -1.4824
- Accepting pupils
- 3—11 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- Dec. 13, 2012
- Region › Const. › Ward
- Yorkshire and the Humber › Barnsley Central › St Helens
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- Free school meals %
- Lawrence Briggs Infant School S713NB
- 0.2 miles Athersley North Infant School S713DH
- 0.4 miles St Hilda's Junior School S713AF
- 0.5 miles Richard Newman Infant School S713AF
- 0.5 miles Richard Newman Primary School S713AF (286 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Athersley South Junior School S713TP
- 0.6 miles Athersley South Primary School S713TP (337 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Mapplewell Primary School S756BS
- 0.7 miles Mapplewell Primary School S756BB (320 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Wellgate Infants' School S756BE
- 1 mile Wellgate Primary School S756HR (372 pupils)
- 1 mile Dove School S756PP
- 1.1 mile St Dominic's Catholic Primary School S712BE
- 1.1 mile Edward Sheerien School S712BB
- 1.1 mile St Michael's Catholic High School S712BD
- 1.1 mile St Helen's School S712BB
- 1.1 mile Spring Wood School S712AZ
- 1.1 mile St Michael's Catholic and Church of England High School S712BD
- 1.1 mile Holy Trinity S712LF (1150 pupils)
- 1.2 mile Holy Cross Deanery Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School S712AY
- 1.2 mile Crevesford School S712AY
- 1.2 mile Barnsley PRU S712AY (71 pupils)
- 1.2 mile Springwell Community Special School S712AY (79 pupils)
- 1.3 mile Wilthorpe Junior School S751EG
Athersley North Primary School
Lindhurst Road, Athersley North, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, S71 3NB
|Inspection dates||13–14 December 2012|
|Overall effectiveness||This inspection:||Outstanding||1|
|Achievement of pupils||Outstanding||1|
|Quality of teaching||Outstanding||1|
|Behaviour and safety of pupils||Outstanding||1|
|Leadership and management||Outstanding||1|
Summary of key findings for parents and pupils
This is an outstanding school.
| The school pays extremely close attention to |
A major success of the school is the
Creative and high quality teaching makes
Pupils are very enthusiastic learners with an
the needs of all its pupils and provides them
with a high quality education. As a result,
pupils of all ages and abilities make
outstanding progress in their learning and
achieve extremely well.
confidence it gives pupils that, with regular
attendance and hard work, they can and will
succeed. This, along with the many skills
pupils acquire during their time at the school,
prepares them extremely well for the next
stage in their education.
learning fun and inspires pupils to do their
absolute best. However, while pupils’ work is
marked regularly, teachers do not always
make sufficiently clear what pupils have done
well and how they can make it even better.
extremely positive attitude to school. They
welcome visitors with smiles and friendly
greetings and take great pride in what they
are able to achieve.
| Provision in the Early Years Foundation Stage |
Leaders and managers have an extremely clear
Systems for checking and promoting the
Highly skilled senior staff regularly share their
is exceptionally well planned and provides
children with an excellent start to school.
vision of what the school is capable of and how
to get it there. The drive for further
improvement is relentless and generates a very
rapid pace of development.
quality of teaching are extensive and highly
effective. Rigorous evaluations of performance
coupled with regular opportunities for staff
training ensure the quality of teaching goes
from strength to strength.
expertise with other schools, helping to raise
standards and improve the quality of education
for pupils in different parts of the local
Information about this inspection
- Inspectors observed 18 lessons of which two were joint observations with the headteacher and
deputy headteacher. In addition, inspectors made other short visits to lessons and listened to
pupils from Years 1, 2 and 6 read.
- Meetings were held with pupils from Years 2 to 6, the vice chair of governors, a representative
from the local authority and school staff with management responsibilities.
- Inspectors took account of the 22 responses to the on-line questionnaire (Parent View), the 28
staff questionnaires and the views of parents they met informally, in planning the inspection.
- They observed the school’s work and looked at a number of documents including the school’s
own data on pupils’ current progress, planning and monitoring documentation, records in
relation to behaviour and attendance, and documents relating to safeguarding.
|Keith Bardon, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
|Mark Randall||Additional Inspector|
|Peter McKay||Additional Inspector|
Information about this school
- Athersley North is a little larger than the average sized primary school.
- A very large majority of pupils are of White British heritage.
- The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for the pupil premium is well above average.
- The proportion of disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs supported
through school action is well above average. The proportion supported through school action
plus or who have a statement of special educational needs is also well above average. These
pupils experience a range of difficulties including learning, behaviour, emotional and social, and
speech, language and communication.
- The school meets the current government floor standards, which set the minimum expectations
for pupils’ attainment and progress.
- A children’s centre is based on the school site and is managed by the local authority. This will be
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Improve the quality and effectiveness of teachers’ marking by:
ensuring pupils receive the right amount of praise for what they have done well and clear
guidance on how to make the work even better
encouraging pupils to check for themselves that they have made full use of the advice and
guidance they have been given.
|The achievement of pupils||is outstanding|
- Most children start school with skills and abilities that are typically well below those expected for
their age. Many are not yet speaking clearly, have difficulty using simple equipment and lack
experience of playing together. Lively and colourful activities, led skilfully by experienced and
well trained staff generate high levels of interest and enthusiasm so that children make excellent
progress in the Early Years Foundation Stage.
- This rapid rate of progress continues through Key Stages 1 and 2 and by the end of Year 6
pupils’ attainment matches national averages. The substantial gains pupils of all ages make in
their knowledge, understanding and skills represent outstanding achievement.
- Although a minority of pupils in Years 1 and 2 do not yet read fluently, most pupils of this age
read story books with confidence and understanding. All pupils, irrespective of their ability, use
letters and sounds very well to help them identify unfamiliar words. For example, after correctly
reading the word ‘dough’, one Year 2 pupil explained she was able to work it out because she
knew the ‘ou’ letters made an ‘o’ sound.
- Older pupils build well on this secure start. Year 6 pupils recognise and know a wide range of
words and apply effective methods to identify those that are new. Although lower-ability pupils
do not always make full use of punctuation as they read, they are given very clear advice on
how to improve and make quick progress.
- The content of pupils’ written work improves at a fast pace and by Year 6 they are writing
stories, factual accounts and persuasive argument of the quality expected for their age. The
solid foundation for this achievement can be seen in the younger-age classes. For example, Year
2 pupils label a fire-fighter’s uniform with flair, adding ‘to keep your head safe’ to the helmet and
‘warm black’ to the gloves, to provide detail for the reader.
- Year 6 pupils use well chosen strategies when working in mathematics. While calculating the
difference a percentage reduction makes to an amount of money, pupils combined division and
subtraction competently to arrive at accurate answers.
- Disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs are taught and supported
extremely well. Very detailed planning to meet their individual needs coupled with rigorous and
continuous monitoring of the outcomes ensures this group of pupils maintain an excellent rate of
progress and achieve as well as other pupils.
- Pupils who are eligible for pupil premium funding make excellent progress in line with that of all
pupils and their attainment is often above that of similar pupils nationally.
|The quality of teaching||is outstanding|
- The highly effective teaching stimulates a very strong desire to learn by providing pupils with
motivating lessons which engage and enthuse. In a lesson for Years 3 and 4, pupils were
rehearsing a shadow-puppet play they, with help from the teacher, had written and produced
themselves. English, science, music and design and technology combined cohesively to provide a
highly enjoyable lesson from which pupils gained much.
- Using their detailed knowledge of each pupil’s abilities, teachers plan tasks that enable each
individual to get the most from the lesson. Work for disabled pupils and those who have special
educational needs is very closely matched to their targets.
- New work is introduced very thoroughly, often through lively discussion combined with carefully
structured questions. As a result, pupils start tasks with a very clear understanding of what they
have to do and what they are expected to achieve. This makes for highly productive lessons
which move along at a good pace.
- Relationships in classrooms are excellent. It is rare for teachers to have to issue any reminders
about behaviour and any minor problems are quickly and very effectively dealt with.
- The teaching in Early Years Foundation Stage is outstanding. Exceptionally clear routines, very
warm relationships and a vibrant and well resourced classroom ensure children settle easily at
the start of each day and involve themselves quickly in the many well planned activities staff
have prepared for them.
- While there are times when pupils’ work is marked very well, this is not always the case. On
occasion teachers write too much information for pupils to absorb. At other times what pupils
need to work on next in order to improve their work is not precise enough and does not
encourage them to check for themselves how well they are using the advice and guidance they
have been given.
- The teaching of sounds and letter (phonics) is very effective and provides pupils with a very
clear understanding of how letters blend together to make words. This helps to stimulate
excellent progress in both reading and writing.
- Teaching assistants make an excellent contribution to pupils’ learning. They have clear roles and
responsibilities which they carry out with considerable skill. They are an integral part of the
teaching team, working closely with class teachers to provide pupils with high quality support
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are outstanding|
- Parents, pupils, staff and governors share the same, very positive, views of pupils’ behaviour.
Pupils are very happy in school and readily described the fun they have while learning. Parents
value the extensive help, support and guidance their children receive and would have no
hesitation in recommending the school to others.
- Behaviour in lessons and around school is excellent. The school has very clear procedures for
managing pupils’ behaviour which teachers follow closely. Pupils know what is expected of them
and play their part to the full. Consequently, the school is calm and orderly, lessons progress
smoothly and everyone enjoys the benefits of the school’s warm and friendly atmosphere.
- The manner in which pupils apply themselves to their work in lessons is excellent. Older pupils in
particular show a great deal of maturity, often concentrating for long periods until tasks are
- Pupils of all ages give considerable thought to the questions teachers put to them and listen very
carefully when others are putting forward their ideas. They work extremely well together in pairs
or small groups, discussing what they have to do very sensibly and helping each other over any
- The contribution pupils make to school is excellent. Playtime leaders organise games for others,
Year 4 pupils act as reading buddies for younger ones and the school parliament has helped to
improve playground facilities.
- Pupils join in school activities very readily and thoroughly enjoy social events. Singing in
harmony with their friends gave members of the school choir immense pleasure. The quality of
singing was excellent and the experience did much to boost the self-esteem of all those
Pupils express little concern about bullying and have full confidence in staff to care for them and
keep them safe. They show a very good understanding of how to keep themselves safe when
using the computer, with pupils from Years 2, 3 and 4 breaking into a rap song to demonstrate
this to an inspector.
|The leadership and management||are outstanding|
- The headteacher, ably supported by the deputy headteacher, provides the school with extremely
strong, visionary and purposeful leadership. Together they instil in all those who work at or are
involved with the school a determination that there is nothing that the pupils cannot achieve if
they are given the right opportunities. This has been central to the school’s rapid pace of
development and the considerable improvement in pupils’ achievements.
- Frequent checks of the school’s performance and of the progress pupils are making, by a wide
range of staff, provide a highly detailed and comprehensive picture of what is working well and
where the school needs to focus its efforts next.
- Management procedures are extremely well organised and function very effectively. Teachers
are set sharp and clear performance targets which have to be met before a rise in salary can be
- Leaders and managers go to considerable lengths to ensure the school is getting the very best
from its staff. Responsibilities are allocated after very careful analysis of the skills of each
individual member, and additional training made available to help them use their skills to the full.
- The mentoring of new staff, particularly those who have recently joined the profession, is very
well organised and highly effective. This ensures they quickly adopt the school’s well established
routines and become an integral part of the close-knit staff team.
- Pupils benefit considerably from the highly creative and stimulating curriculum which links
subjects together in meaningful ways. The outstanding provision made for pupils’ spiritual,
moral, social and cultural development promotes excellent personal development so that pupils
grow into sociable, well balanced individuals with a strong sense of self-worth.
- The school has excellent links with parents and works closely with them to ensure pupils benefit
fully from their education. Specialist staff, including the parental support advisor, use well
recognised and very clear procedures to make and maintain contact with parents and to give
them access to help and advice should they need.
- The attention paid to each individual pupil’s learning and development is exemplary. This
ensures that they all have the same high quality opportunities to learn and none are
- The local authority has supported the school well in its development and now provides
appropriate light touch support to help it maintain a high level of effectiveness. It encourages
senior staff to work with other schools in the authority so that as many teachers and pupils as
possible can benefit from their extensive expertise.
- The governance of the school:
The governing body is very well organised and plays a full and active part in the management
of the school. The Chair and vice chair meet frequently with school leaders to check the
school’s progress and to identify further areas for development. Other governors work in a
similar way with the curriculum teams and, together, they ensure the school is continually
improving. The school’s finances are managed very efficiently with the business manager
keeping a close watch over all spending decisions. Governors are fully aware and supportive of
the way the school uses pupil premium funding and check very carefully the effect it is having
on pupils’ progress. Governors ensure that safeguarding procedures are securely in place and
that current requirements are comprehensively met.
What inspection judgements mean
|Grade 1||Outstanding||An outstanding school is highly effective in delivering outcomes |
that provide exceptionally well for all its pupils’ needs. This ensures
that pupils are very well equipped for the next stage of their
education, training or employment.
|Grade 2||Good||A good school is effective in delivering outcomes that provide well |
for all its pupils’ needs. Pupils are well prepared for the next stage
of their education, training or employment.
|Grade 3||Requires |
|A school that requires improvement is not yet a good school, but it |
is not inadequate. This school will receive a full inspection within
24 months from the date of this inspection.
|Grade 4||Inadequate||A school that requires special measures is one where the school is |
failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education and
the school’s leaders, managers or governors have not
demonstrated that they have the capacity to secure the necessary
improvement in the school. This school will receive regular
monitoring by Ofsted inspectors.
A school that has serious weaknesses is inadequate overall and
requires significant improvement but leadership and management
are judged to be Grade 3 or better. This school will receive regular
monitoring by Ofsted inspectors.
|Unique reference number||131157|
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
|Type of school||Primary|
|Age range of pupils||3–11|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||265|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||16 September 2009|
|Telephone number||01226 288674|
|Fax number||01226 204633|