Brownhill Infant School
Upper Batley Lane
Headteacher: Mrs Sarah Mann
177 pupils, Mixed
|Unique Reference Number||107689|
|Inspection dates||4–5 February 2009|
|Reporting inspector||Kath Halifax|
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
The registered childcare, managed by the governing body, was inspected under section 49 of the Childcare Act 2006.
|Type of school||Primary|
|Age range of pupils||5–7|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number on roll|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Chair||Mrs Lynn Alvy|
|Headteacher||Mrs Carol Crossland|
|Date of previous school inspection||10 May 2006|
Date of previous funded early education|
|Not previously inspected|
|Date of previous childcare inspection||Not previously inspected|
|School address||Upper Batley Lane|
|West Yorkshire WF17 0NP|
|Telephone number||01924 326368|
|Fax number||01924 326368|
|Inspection dates||4–5 February 2009|
© Crown copyright 2009
The inspection was carried out by two Additional Inspectors.
Though this average-sized infant school serves a suburb of Batley, almost half the pupils come from surrounding areas. Many of the families are in employment. This is reflected in the low take up of free school meals. While the majority of pupils are White British, the proportion from ethnic minority groups is increasing. Most of these pupils are of South East Asian background and all speak English. The proportion of pupils with learning difficulties and/or disabilities varies from year to year but is generally average, though very few have a statement of special educational need. The Early Years Foundation Stage comprises 58 children in the Reception classes. Prior to attending the school, children have had varied educational experiences in up to 14 different nurseries and private playgroups.
Overall effectiveness of the school
This is a good school that provides good value for money. It is particularly successful in the way every pupil is included in all activities regardless of background or learning difficulties and or disabilities. A further strength is the very good partnership with other schools, particularly for sport, which enriches learning. Excellent links have been established with the adjacent junior school. A common system of rewards and sanctions, and a shared assessment system, contribute considerably to pupils' smooth transfer at the end of Year 2, and continuity in their learning.
On entry to the Reception class, children's attainment is below that typical of this age, and even lower in early reading, writing and calculation. The good provision in the Eearly Years Foundation Stage gives children a good start to school life. This is no mean feat given that children come from an unusually large number of playgroups and nurseries. Some take a while to settle and become familiar with routines. This is compounded by a second intake of children at the start of the second term. Nevertheless, children grow in confidence and are eager to learn. Their achievement is good. As a result of the good provision, they make good progress, so by the end of their year in Reception most are working comfortably within the early learning goals. The good progress continues in Key Stage 1. Standards have fluctuated since the last inspection because of the composition in each year group but are, overall, broadly average. Taking account of prior attainment, pupils' achievement is good. Following a dip in standards in writing, the whole-school focus on phonics, spelling and imaginative writing has seen an upward trend in pupils' confidence, attitude and ability to write. Equally, the introduction of a structured programme for reading has resulted in above average standards.
It is because of good teaching and a good, exciting curriculum that pupils learn at a good rate. Teachers and skilled teaching assistants work closely together to progress the learning of all pupils. Lessons are planned conscientiously, providing tasks matched to pupils' abilities and interest. However, while there has been a focus on marking and setting targets for pupils to improve their work, this is inconsistent so some pupils are unaware of how they can improve their learning. Pupils make good gains in their personal growth because of the good provision for their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, and the good care and support they receive. Attendance is good.
Good leadership and management have moved the school forward since the last inspection. However, as a result of a number of changes, subject leadership is not as advanced as would be expected. A wealth of information has been collected on pupils' attainment and progress. This is analysed by leadership and used well in many instances. Some subject leaders, however, do not make enough use of this information in planning for the development of their subject, and some are not as effective as they could be because management tasks are not allocated evenly. Governance is good. Governors hold the school to account and, alongside leaders, know what the school does well and what is needed to raise standards and achievement further. Staff are skilled, very willing and eager to do their best for pupils.This gives the school good capacity to continue to improve. Overall, parents think well of the school, commenting that their children enjoy school and are making good progress.
Effectiveness of the Early Years Foundation Stage
The enjoyment of children is clearly seen on their faces as they are warmly welcomed into this friendly and attractive environment. Relationships are good so children work and play happily together. They sensibly take turns and share resources. They gain confidence and independence from the start, for example checking themselves in at the beginning of a session, and choosing and tidying away their resources. Good teaching and a well planned range of stimulating, practical activities capture children's interest and enable them to make good progress in all areas of learning. Planning and assessment systems are good, and opportunities for children to assess their own learning are developing well. Interesting and exciting enrichment opportunities such as weekly visits to a local wood, and visits to the shops and a café, contribute well to their learning and personal development. Through effective questioning and discussion sessions, adults take every opportunity to increase children's vocabulary and language skills in all activities, and this is beginning to have a positive effect on children's achievement. Although the outside area is in need of development, leadership has identified this and has plans to ensure that children's learning experiences are further enriched outdoors. Leadership and management are good and staff work well as a team, ensuring the smooth running of the unit. Welfare requirements are fully met, children are well cared for and the key worker system helps strengthen the links between children and their families. Parents are fully involved in their children's learning with one summing up the provision as 'exciting and inspiring'.
Achievement and standards
Standards in reading are above average and pupils achieve well because a lot of work has gone into raising standards. Alongside teachers, teaching assistants have received training and they provide valuable support in daily reading sessions. Furthermore, adults are successful in encouraging pupils to enjoy reading. Similarly, standards in writing are improving. Pupils now have a more positive attitude to writing. Their efforts are more imaginative, with even the youngest children being familiar with 'wow' words. Their use of punctuation is getting better through the use of a colour-coded system and daily phonics sessions have contributed to more accurate spelling. Although the 2008 results in mathematics for pupils in Year 2 appeared to have slipped, especially for the more able pupils and boys born in the summer months, an analysis of Year 2 pupils' progress shows that, taking account of prior attainment, their achievement is good. Leaders have identified attainment in science for higher attaining pupils as an area for development.
Personal development and well-being
Pupils enjoy coming to school and this is reflected in their good attendance. They have good attitudes to their work, but while behaviour is generally good, there is a significant minority of boys who behave inappropriately in lessons. This affects not only their own learning, but that of others. Pupils are friendly and welcoming and showed pride in their school as they took inspectors around. They willingly take on responsibilities as the day's 'special person', and as playtime buddies, and are kind and considerate to others. They contribute effectively to the local community by, for example, planting bulbs in the community garden, growing and harvesting vegetables at the local high school, and entertaining grandparents and local residents at special lunches and concerts. Their knowledge of the wider world is developed well through their charity fundraising for Africa, Barnaby Bear's travels around the world, and their celebration of the different cultures and traditions of pupils within school. Pupils have a good understanding of keeping safe, fit and healthy, with the good range of sporting activities and healthy lunchtime choices contributing well to this. They acquire simple business skills as they enjoy making festival candles and fridge magnets to sell at the Christmas fair. Pupils leave the school with personal and academic skills that prepare them well for their future.
Quality of provision
Teaching and learning
Teaching is effective because teachers are confident in their subjects, plan imaginative activities, and understand that pupils learn in different ways. They provide a good match of tasks to pupils' capabilities and age, so all make good gains in the knowledge and skills they acquire. Behaviour is generally managed well, though occasionally teachers talk for too long, so some pupils become restless and this disturbs the learning of others. Individual targets for reading, personal development, and one of each pupil's choosing have been drawn up. Where teaching is at its best these targets are displayed on classroom walls and regularly referred to, but this is not the case in all classes. Similarly, where teaching is most effective the marking policy of 'two stars and a wish' is adhered to. In these classes pupils are proud of their stars and know what they must do to improve, so their rate of progress increases. Conversely, in classes where work is not always marked children do not receive the recognition they deserve or understand how they can do better. In the best lessons teachers provide activities that encourage pupils to learn through their senses. For example, having discussed an evocative picture of a Victorian coal mine, then feeling coal, and listening to the rhythmic beat of a pick, pupils in Year 2 produced a high standard of writing using adverbs and well chosen adjectives to set the scene for their story.
Curriculum and other activities
The curriculum is good and has distinct strengths in sport, clubs, in topics which appeal to boys, and in half-termly enrichment activities for pupils and their parents. For example, a design and technology day for 'lads and dads' attracted over 90 parents and resulted in ideas about, for example imaginative cars and a chocolate factory. Furthermore, it inspired boys to write about their ideas. The focus on the important subjects of numeracy and literacy is reflected in pupils' increasing achievements. The setting of pupils by ability in Year 2 for these two subjects is accelerating learning, particularly for those who learn more quickly. Recognising that younger children entering Year 1 have spent only two terms in the school and are not always ready for the National Curriculum, the Eearly Years Foundation Stage practice has been extended into Key Stage 1. This is working well with pupils continuing to learn through play and investigation. A computer suite has been created since the last inspection and this is beginning to be used well, but leaders have identified the need to improve staff expertise and to use information and communication technology more effectively to support learning in all subjects. Pupils who have a gift or talent are identified and supported well, for example in tennis and in reading.
Care, guidance and support
Pupils are well cared for in a calm, secure, family atmosphere. They say they feel safe in school, that instances of bullying are rare and dealt with quickly, and there is always an adult to help sort out any little problems they might have. All systems to safeguard pupils' health, safety and well-being are in place and meet government requirements. Those with learning difficulties and/or disabilities are supported well by skilled teaching assistants. This allows them to be fully involved in all activities and to make the same progress as their classmates. The good links with outside agencies ensure that specialist help is at hand when needed. A number of initiatives such as 'peer massage' sessions are mostly used well to help pupils feel good about themselves. Equally, adults use praise effectively to develop pupil's confidence and self-esteem. The progress of each child is carefully tracked and the information is used well to identify where extra challenge or support is need. However, the setting of targets and marking in books are not used consistently through the school. Consequently, pupils are not always clear about what to do to improve their work.
Leadership and management
Leadership is focused on raising standards and on pupils' well-being. This is evident in pupils' improved achievement. The school has a sense of purpose and caters well for all capabilities. The headteacher and assistant headteacher work hard collecting and analysing data, but the effectiveness of this work is sometimes undermined because occasional inaccuracies occur, and the results are not shared more widely. The quality of subject leadership is too variable. All subject leaders work extremely hard but do not have the opportunity to be involved in exploring national test results or producing plans to develop their subject. Furthermore, some teachers are managing subjects as well as other aspects while others have minimal responsibilities. Currently, no member of staff is leading and managing the key subject of science.
Governors provide good support and encouragement for the school. Their regular visits to the classrooms and perusal of planning and assessment are helpful in holding the school to account. Good use is made of a tight budget. Parents, governors and pupils are consulted and their views listened to. The school provides good opportunities for pupils to understand citizenship and have an awareness of a number of cultures, though leaders still have formally to check the curriculum and produce a plan to promote community cohesion.
|Any complaints about the inspection or the report should be made following the procedures set out in the guidance 'Complaining about inspections', which is available from Ofsted's website: ofsted.gov.uk.|
|Key to judgements: grade 1 is outstanding, grade 2 good, grade 3 satisfactory, and grade 4 inadequate.||School Overall|
|How effective,efficient and inclusive is the provision of education,integrated care and any extended services in meeting the needs of learners?||2|
|Effective steps have been taken to promote improvement since the last inspection||Yes|
|How well does the school work in partnership with others to promote learners' well-being?||2|
|The capacity to make any necessary improvements||2|
|How effective is the provision in meeting the needs of children in the EYFS?||2|
|How well do children in the EYFS achieve?||2|
|How good is the overall personal development and well-being of the children?||2|
|How effectively are children in the EYFS helped to learn and develop?||2|
|How effectively is the welfare of children in the EYFS promoted?||2|
|How effectively is provision in the EYFS led and managed?||2|
|How well do learners achieve?||2|
|The standards¹ reached by learners||3|
|How well learners make progress, taking account of any significant variations between groups of learners||2|
|How well learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities make progress||2|
|How good are the overall personal development and well-being of the learners?||2|
|The extent of learners' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development||2|
|The extent to which learners adopt healthy lifestyles||2|
|The extent to which learners adopt safe practices||2|
|The extent to which learners enjoy their education||2|
|The attendance of learners||2|
|The behaviour of learners||3|
|The extent to which learners make a positive contribution to the community||2|
|How well learners develop workplace and other skills that will contribute to their future economic well-being||2|
|How effective are teaching and learning in meeting the full range of learners' needs?||2|
|How well do the curriculum and other activities meet the range of needs and interests of learners?||2|
|How well are learners cared for, guided and supported?||3|
|How effective are leadership and management in raising achievement and supporting all learners?||2|
|How effectively leaders and managers at all levels set clear direction leading to improvement and promote high quality of care and education||3|
|How effectively leaders and managers use challenging targets to raise standards||2|
|The effectiveness of the school's self-evaluation||2|
|How well equality of opportunity is promoted and discrimination eliminated||2|
|How well does the school contribute to community cohesion?||3|
|How effectively and efficiently resources, including staff, are deployed to achieve value for money||2|
|The extent to which governors and other supervisory boards discharge their responsibilities||2|
|Do procedures for safeguarding learners meet current government requirements?||Yes|
|Does this school require special measures?||No|
|Does this school require a notice to improve?||No|
Inspection of Brownhill Infant School, Batley, WF17 0NP
As you are aware, a little while ago a colleague and I spent a short time looking at your school. We had a very enjoyable time. Thank you for taking time to talk to us about your work and the colourful displays, and for giving us your views of school. It was clear from our discussions and the questionnaire replies we received from your parents that you enjoy school and think that you are safe and well cared for.
We believe that your school provides you with a good education. Good teaching allows you to make good progress. You are making especially good progress in reading and your writing is coming on well. As well as working hard, you have a positive attitude to everything the school offers, you enjoy lessons, clubs (especially tennis) and visits out of school. All this is happening because your school is well led and managed.
These are areas that would make your school even more successful.
We know you will do all you can to help your teachers and wish you every success in your future.