Briar Hill Infant School
phone: 01926 422834
headteacher: Mrs Bryony Meek
270 pupils capacity: 100% full
145 boys 54%
120 girls 45%
Last updated: Sept. 17, 2014
Primary — Community School
- Education phase
- Establishment type
- Community School
- Establishment #
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 432639, Northing: 263168
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 52.266, Longitude: -1.5232
- Accepting pupils
- 4—7 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- Feb. 26, 2014
- Region › Const. › Ward
- West Midlands › Warwick and Leamington › Whitnash
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- Free school meals %
- 0.1 miles St Margaret's CofE Junior School CV312JF (353 pupils)
- 0.2 miles St Joseph's Catholic Primary School CV312LJ (210 pupils)
- 0.5 miles Whitnash Primary School CV312EX (182 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Whitnash Nursery School CV312PW (81 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Campion School CV311QH
- 0.7 miles Campion School CV311QH (591 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Shrubland Street Community School CV312AR
- 0.9 miles Shrubland Street Community Primary School CV312AR (189 pupils)
- 1 mile Central Area Pupil Referral Unit CV312AR
- 1 mile Sydenham County Middle School CV311SA
- 1 mile St Patrick's Catholic Primary School CV313EU (202 pupils)
- 1 mile Sydenham Primary School CV311SA (249 pupils)
- 1.1 mile Cashmore Middle School CV313HB
- 1.1 mile Kingsway Community Primary School CV313HB (145 pupils)
- 1.2 mile Clapham Terrace Community Primary School and Nursery CV311HZ (214 pupils)
- 1.2 mile Sydenham First School CV311PA
- 1.3 mile Radford Semele CofE Primary School CV311TQ (201 pupils)
- 1.3 mile St Anthony's Catholic Primary School CV311NJ (225 pupils)
- 1.3 mile The Terrace School CV311LW
- 1.4 mile St John the Baptist First School CV313HW
- 1.6 mile Bishops Tachbrook CofE Primary School CV339RY (203 pupils)
- 1.7 mile St Peter's Catholic Primary School CV325EL (117 pupils)
- 1.8 mile St Paul's CofE Primary School, Leamington Spa CV324JZ (359 pupils)
- 1.8 mile Round Oak School and Support Service CV346DX (154 pupils)
Briar Hill Infant School
Coppice Road, Whitnash, Leamington Spa, CV31 2JF
|Inspection dates||26–27 February 2014|
|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.
| Achievement is outstanding in all subjects. At |
Pupils achieve exceptionally well because
All groups of pupils make outstanding
Attendance is above average because pupils
Teachers and other adults have a strong
the end of Key Stage 1, standards in reading,
writing and mathematics are well above the
national averages. Increasing numbers of
pupils reach standards which are higher than
those expected for their age.
teaching is consistently at least good and
much is outstanding.
progress because of the high-quality and
well-timed support they receive from their
teachers and other adults.
enjoy coming to school. They behave
exceptionally well and feel safe. They show
interest and concern for one another, where
they live and the wider world.
team approach, work effectively together and
show that they have high expectations of
what pupils can achieve.
| Parents are very positive about the school and |
Pupils have many memorable learning
The school’s leaders frequently check the
The school provides high-quality training and
The acting headteacher works closely with a
praise the staff’s commitment to their children.
experiences and opportunities which prepare
them well for the future.
quality of teaching and learning. They have an
accurate view of strengths and areas to be
developed further, and are constantly striving
to improve the quality of teaching and ensure
that standards continue to rise.
support for its staff, resulting in continuing
high levels of achievement.
strong team of governors who are very
knowledgeable and fully involved in the school.
They have very clear ideas about what they
need to do further to improve their
|Inspection report:||Briar Hill Infant School, 26–27 February 2014||2 of 10|
Information about this inspection
- The inspectors observed 22 lessons, including four seen jointly with the acting headteacher. In
addition, inspectors listened to pupils read and observed a number of groups receiving additional
support from teachers and teaching assistants.
- Meetings were held with pupils, a range of staff, the Chair of the Governing Body and two other
governors, the school improvement partner and a representative of the local authority.
- The inspectors took account of the 80 responses from parents and carers to the online
questionnaire (Parent View), along with the school’s own feedback from parents and two letters
received during the inspection. They also met with parents and carers informally during the
- The inspectors observed the school’s work and looked at a number of documents, including the
school’s own data on pupils’ attainment and progress, safeguarding documents, and records
relating to attendance, behaviour and bullying. They also met with pupils and talked with them
about their views of the school.
|Elaine Long, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
|David West||Additional Inspector|
|Renee Robinson||Additional Inspector|
|Inspection report:||Briar Hill Infant School, 26–27 February 2014||3 of 10|
Information about this school
- Briar Hill Infant School is an average-sized school.
- The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals or in the care of the local
authority, for whom the school receives additional funding from the government (the pupil
premium), is below average.
- About two thirds of the pupils are White British, and one third come from Indian and other
minority ethnic groups. Just over a quarter of the pupils speak English as an additional language,
though few are at the early stages of learning English.
- The proportion of disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs supported
through school action is well below average. The proportion supported through school action
plus or a statement of special educational needs is average.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Increase the proportion of outstanding teaching in all year groups so that standards rise even
|Inspection report:||Briar Hill Infant School, 26–27 February 2014||4 of 10|
|The achievement of pupils||is outstanding|
- Most children start in Reception with skills and knowledge below those typical for their age. They
make outstanding progress because of outstanding teaching where they are given many exciting
learning experiences which really enthuse them. The Reception staff keep a very careful check
on what the children can and cannot do, and ensure that they provide work which challenges
them and moves them to the next level quickly. An above-average proportion of children reach a
good level of development by the end of Reception and enter Year 1 as confident learners.
- Reading is taught very well. The teaching of phonics (linking letters with the sounds they make)
in Reception and Key Stage 1 is extremely thorough and helps pupils to develop a really good
ability to read new words. In the national phonics screening check at the end of Year 1 in 2013,
the proportion of pupils reaching the nationally expected level was above average. Standards in
reading at the end of Year 2 have been well above the national average for the last five years.
- Standards in writing and mathematics at the end of Year 2 have also been well above national
averages over many years. Increasing numbers of pupils exceed the level expected for their age,
and the school’s current data show they are on track to achieve high standards again this year.
- All groups of pupils make at least good progress, and many pupils make outstanding progress
because of the high-quality teaching and well-matched support they are given. The school is
very skilled in making sure that every pupil receives the type of support they need in order to
learn quickly. Their progress is closely followed and any underachievement is quickly addressed.
- More-able pupils achieve very high standards. In Year 1, they are five terms ahead in reading,
four terms in mathematics and three in writing. In Year 2, they are three terms ahead in reading
and writing and five terms in mathematics.
- Pupils who have special educational needs are supported well by teachers and well-trained
teaching assistants. This results in good or better progress for most pupils. The special
educational needs coordinator knows the pupils individually and uses a wide range of support
and resources to help them.
- Pupils from minority ethnic backgrounds and those who speak English as an additional language
make progress at similar rates to other pupils.
- In 2013, the small number of Year 2 pupils supported by pupil premium reached higher
standards than similar pupils nationally, and were just over two terms behind other pupils in
reading and writing and less than two terms behind in mathematics. The funding is used to
provide specific one-to-one or focused group support in literacy or mathematics, and to support
pupils who lack confidence in their own abilities. These individual sessions are leading to pupils
believing they can do well. The school’s information on eligible pupils currently in Year 2 shows
that they are all making outstanding progress, particularly in mathematics.
|The quality of teaching||is outstanding|
- Teaching in the Early Years Foundation Stage is often outstanding. Staff work well together to
provide children with an exciting range of opportunities through which they learn very
effectively. High expectations and close tracking of children’s progress, with a strong focus on
speaking and listening, result in rapid progress. Children are happy, concentrate well, try hard
and are becoming increasingly confident learners. Their relationships with one another are
purposeful and constructive. Journals, which are shared with parents, provide clear evidence
that they are learning and developing extremely well.
|Inspection report:||Briar Hill Infant School, 26–27 February 2014||5 of 10|
- In all year groups, teachers show that they have the highest expectations of what pupils can
achieve. Lessons are exciting and move quickly. Pupils are taught the skills which help them to
learn and which prepare them extremely well for their future. Teachers ask pupils searching and
challenging questions. They are always checking to see if the pupils have understood, and when
they have, they move them on quickly to the next step.
- Well-trained teaching assistants support pupils extremely well and are very skilful at asking
searching questions to develop their understanding, and then allowing them to work on their
own. For example, in a lesson where pupils were asked to write a description of Goldilocks, the
pupils, using masks and acting out events narrated by the assistant, became highly confident
about what they had been asked to do and achieved well.
- Teachers know precisely what pupils have already learned and understood. This enables them to
provide lessons where pupils are involved in their learning immediately, where they thrive and
are able to do the best. Initial tasks are stimulating and engaging. Pupils know what they are
learning and why, and they are given opportunities to apply what they have learned to new
situations in order to deepen their understanding.
- Lessons often provide pupils with excellent opportunities to investigate and solve problems. In a
mathematics lesson for more-able pupils, for example, the lesson began with a problem which
they were asked to solve with a partner. Pupils were asked to find the right codes for keys to
unlock the number bond padlocks. They were asked to work together and come up with their
own strategies. They sprang into action and worked very quickly and effectively, thinking hard
and encouraging one another to find solutions. All pupils made outstanding progress, really
enjoyed the lesson and achieved high standards.
- High-quality marking is undertaken regularly and consistently. Teachers give pupils clear ideas
about how to improve their work and why. Pupils are encouraged to review their work regularly
and understand in detail how to improve their work and are consistently supported in doing so.
Pupils are proud of their work, and the presentation of their books is of a high standard and
provides clear evidence of improvement.
- Classrooms are well resourced and spaces are used creatively to support pupils’ learning. Pupils
know where to find prompts, reminders and resources to support them as they are working. This
helps them to develop pride in their work and encourages them to use their initiative.
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are outstanding|
- Pupils have outstanding attitudes to their learning. Children in the Reception class settle quickly
and display a strong sense of enquiry and wonder. Pupils in all year groups are confident
learners who want to do well and appreciate the help they are given. Relationships between
staff and pupils are very positive.
- In lessons, pupils are engrossed in their work. They support one another well in group work,
taking it in turns to make contributions. When working without direct help from adults, they do
not give up when the work becomes more difficult; they try harder, determined to do their best.
They are very positive about their learning, as are their parents and carers, who are delighted
with the experiences their children have and the progress they are making at the school.
|Inspection report:||Briar Hill Infant School, 26–27 February 2014||6 of 10|
- Attendance is above average because children enjoy coming to school. There is a friendly,
purposeful atmosphere as the day begins. Pupils arrive promptly and show by their enthusiasm
they are keen to learn.
- The behaviour of pupils around the school is exemplary. Pupils are polite, friendly and courteous.
They feel a part of the school and are proud to belong to it. They are given opportunities to take
part in decision-making and they enjoy this. They are given many opportunities to take on
additional responsibilities, for example, as school councillors, eco councillors and playground
buddies. Pupils know how important their roles are and when their ideas and suggestions are
taken on board they are proud of the differences they make.
- The school’s effective response to pupils’ emotional needs has a significant impact on their
behaviour. Instances of bad behaviour are extremely rare. There have been no exclusions over
- Pupils have a strong sense of right and wrong. They enjoy belonging to a school where everyone
gets along with one another, understanding and respecting one another’s differences. They
know that the way they conduct themselves and the positive attitudes that they show contribute
enormously to this powerful sense of community and their academic success.
- Throughout lessons and assemblies, pupils are given the skills they need to manage everyday
risks for themselves. For example, they know how to use the internet safely, and they are aware
of the dangers associated with the road, fire and talking to strangers. They are clear who to go
to in the school if they feel worried or upset. All parents and carers who responded to Parent
View, or the school’s own questionnaire, strongly agreed that children feel safe and are happy at
- The school’s work to keep pupils safe and secure is outstanding. Adults take a strong stance
against bullying. In lessons and assemblies, the school teaches them about different types of
bullying, including cyber-bullying. Pupils know what to do if they are bullied because they are
given clear guidance. They report that bullying is rare and would be dealt with well were any to
occur. They feel the school is a friendly and supportive place where they feel safe, and parents
strongly support this view too.
- Parents enjoy being invited into the school, whether it is to work alongside children in class, or
to watch plays, concerts or assemblies. They talk about their children being happy, becoming
more confident and well prepared for the next stage in their education.
|The leadership and management||are outstanding|
- The high standards pupils achieve in all subjects are the result of strong leadership and
teamwork. The acting headteacher’s ongoing drive to improve teaching and raise achievement
further is fully supported by the staff. There is a common sense of purpose and morale is high.
- Leaders’ regular lesson observations, followed by detailed feedback to teachers and a successful
programme of training, have meant that all teaching is at least good and an increasing
proportion is outstanding. The acting headteacher manages the performance of staff very well.
- The acting headteacher and senior leaders use rigorous systems to track and monitor the
progress of pupils. Subject leaders also track and review the performance of pupils with
individual teachers regularly and ensure that additional support is provided quickly for pupils
who might need extra help in their learning. Senior leaders have ensured that areas which need
improvement are quickly addressed. Recent training in mathematics, for example, is having a
real impact, and standards have risen even further this year.
|Inspection report:||Briar Hill Infant School, 26–27 February 2014||7 of 10|
- The exciting curriculum provides pupils with many opportunities to explore and learn about the
world. Pupils are taught the skills which will help them learn and find answers for themselves;
they respond well to this way of working and enjoy the challenges.
- Pupils enjoy the ways in which learning in one subject is linked to learning in other subjects, and
they excel when they are given opportunities to choose the ways in which they work. They use
computers very confidently to extend their learning and understanding. Pupils say that trips to
Warwick Castle and Warwick Arts Centre give them experiences they might not otherwise have
- High-quality displays throughout the school encourage pupils to enquire about the world they
live in and their role in it. Displays of pupils’ work show them that it is valued, and this
encourages them to strive for excellence. Classrooms are bright and well organised, and there
are many helpful prompts to aid pupils’ learning.
- The school has a wealth of partnerships within the local, national and global communities, and
these excellent links have a very positive impact on all members of the school. Effective links
with local junior schools ensure that transition to Key Stage 2 runs smoothly and pupils settle
quickly. International links with Malawi and India give the pupils a real insight into the lives and
cultures of others.
- The school is using the primary sports funding to encourage children to have a more active
lifestyle and eat more healthily. The funding has also been used to help teachers develop their
skills in teaching physical education. This is already showing impact as the staff are more
confident, and pupils’ participation in lunch and after-school clubs is increasing. A wide range of
new clubs has been introduced, such as golf and archery, and growing numbers of pupils are
giving them a try and really enjoying them.
- The local authority’s involvement in the school has been one of light-touch support. It has
confidence in the governors, the leadership and its capacity to improve further.
- The governance of the school:
Governors have a clear and accurate understanding of the school’s strengths and have been
involved in deciding on which areas of development the school now needs to focus. They meet
regularly with the acting headteacher to check what she is doing to improve the school and
make sure that things are moving in the right direction. Governors make regular visits to the
school, meet with staff and have a full programme of monitoring visits throughout the year.
They know what the data on pupils’ progress are telling them and make sure that the funds
available through the pupil premium have been used well to improve the achievement of
targeted pupils. They receive regular reports on how teaching is improving and they ensure
that teachers’ pay will only be increased if pupils make good progress. Governors have
benefited from good training and they ensure that the school meets all statutory
requirements, including those relating to safeguarding.
|Inspection report:||Briar Hill Infant School, 26–27 February 2014||8 of 10|
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.
|Inspection report:||Briar Hill Infant School, 26–27 February 2014||9 of 10|
|Unique reference number||125563|
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
|Type of school||Infant|
|Age range of pupils||4–7|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||268|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Headteacher||Bryony Meek (acting headteacher)|
|Date of previous school inspection||19 March 2009|
|Telephone number||01926 422834|
|Fax number||01926 450423|