School etc Great British

Warrington St Barnabas CofE Primary School

Warrington St Barnabas CofE Primary School
Collin Street

01925 633606

Headteacher: Mrs Penny Johnson


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232 pupils aged 2—10y mixed gender
210 pupils capacity: 110% full

115 boys 50%


115 girls 50%


Last updated: June 19, 2014

Primary — Voluntary Aided School

Education phase
Religious character
Church of England
Establishment type
Voluntary Aided School
Establishment #
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 359604, Northing: 388470
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 53.391, Longitude: -2.6089
Accepting pupils
3—11 years old
Census date
Jan. 16, 2014
Ofsted last inspection
April 15, 2010
Diocese of Liverpool
Region › Const. › Ward
North West › Warrington South › Bewsey and Whitecross
Urban > 10k - less sparse
Free school meals %

Ofsted report: latest issued April 15, 2010.

Warrington St Barnabas CofE Primary School

Inspection report

Unique Reference Number111299
Local AuthorityWarrington
Inspection number337658
Inspection dates15–16 April 2010
Reporting inspectorLynne Read

This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
Type of schoolPrimary
School categoryVoluntary aided
Age range of pupils3–11
Gender of pupilsMixed
Number of pupils on the school roll216
Appropriate authorityThe governing body
ChairDr Carsten Kressel
HeadteacherMrs Penny Johnson
Date of previous school inspection 2 July 2007
School addressCollin Street
Cheshire WA5 1TG
Telephone number01925 633606
Fax number01925 241264

Age group3–11
Inspection dates15–16 April 2010
Inspection number337658

© Crown copyright 2009


This inspection was carried out by three additional inspectors. The inspectors visited eight lessons, and observed teaching and learning in all classes. They held meetings with governors, managers, staff and groups of pupils. In observing the school's work, they looked at pupils' workbooks, assessment records, school policies, school development plans and the School Improvement Partner's reports. In total, 125 parental questionnaires were received, analysed and considered, alongside 97 questionnaires completed by the pupils and eight completed by staff.

The inspection team reviewed many aspects of the school's work. It looked in detail at the following:

    • whether Key Stage 1 pupils are making enough progress in reading and writing
    • whether Key Stage 2 pupils are making enough progress in mathematics
    • the impact of resources on children's learning, including the accommodation in the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Information about the school

This school is average in size. The take-up of free school meals is higher than average. Around one in five pupils belong to minority ethnic groups and 15% are learning to speak English as an additional language. An above average number of pupils have special educational needs and/or disabilities. In some year groups, the incidence of pupils entering or leaving part way through their education is higher than usual. The school holds many accreditations, including the Artsmark, Activemark, Eco Schools and Healthy Schools awards. The governors provide extended care sessions through a breakfast club held on the premises.

Inspection grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is satisfactory, and 4 is inadequate
Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms

Inspection judgements

Overall effectiveness: how good is the school?


The school's capacity for sustained improvement


Main findings

This is a good school with significant strengths in some aspects of its work. The extremely high standard of care provided for pupils results in outstanding personal development and behaviour. Pupils say they enjoy learning, like their teachers and receive lots of help. They have an excellent awareness of moral and social issues which underpins the excellent relationships. The school's Christian values promote pupils' outstanding spiritual development and their excellent understanding of diversity and tolerance. As a result, pupils from all religious, social and ethnic groups feel valued and enjoy harmonious relationships. Pupils derive many benefits from links with the church and parish and make an excellent contribution to the community. An international award recognises the school's excellent work completed through global projects.

The headteacher successfully leads the drive for improvement by generating strong team work and a shared vision of excellence. Managers regularly thoroughly review teaching and learning, and the school sets itself challenging targets. This system of self-evaluation is successful and has led to improvements in provision and learning. Progress in mathematics has accelerated this year and attainment by the end of Key Stage 1 has improved. The capacity for sustained improvement is good.

Standards are average in English, mathematics and science by the end of Year 6, which represents good achievement from pupils' starting points. Reading is a strength. Despite some improvements made recently, writing is weaker. Good teaching provides challenging lessons. Pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities, those who need a boost to their progress or who are learning to speak English as an additional language, have personalised programmes and support that are specifically tailored to their needs. In the Early Years Foundation Stage, opportunities for children to write when engaged in free choice activities are not regularly exploited. The letters and sounds sessions in Key Stage 1 are very effective where groups are small and children are at the same level of learning. However, when this work takes place in the larger, mixed ability groups, learning is slower. Some very good practice in marking and advising pupils how to improve their learning in upper Key Stage 2 is not always reflected in teaching for the younger juniors. The good curriculum includes a strong emphasis on creative arts. Gifted and talented pupils have additional challenges through a special programme designed for them. Learning is enriched well through a good selection of activities after school and visits to places of interest.

What does the school need to do to improve further?

  • By 2011 improve writing by:
    • ensuring that children in the Early Years Foundation Stage have consistently good and varied opportunities to choose early writing activities during free play
    • extending the focused, small group method for teaching sounds and letters to all pupils in Key Stage 1
    • extending the good practice for marking and advising pupils how to improve, to the younger juniors.

Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils


Achievement is good for all pupils, including those who have special educational needs and/or disabilities and those learning to speak English as an additional language.

On entry to Year 1, pupils' attainment is just below that typically expected, largely because their skills in early writing are weaker than in the other areas of learning. As a consequence, some Year 1 pupils spend valuable time catching up on these skills before being ready to move onto work in the National Curriculum. Progress in Key Stage 1 is good overall; it is stronger in reading and mathematics than in writing. All groups of pupils make good progress through Key Stage 2 and the pace of learning is often very good for the older ones. New, focused writing sessions contribute to higher standards in English although progress in writing is slower in the younger junior classes. By Year 6, pupils' attainment is average overall, creating a secure platform for the next phase of education. Pupils are confident readers, but the legacy of a slower start in writing for some is not fully overcome. Pupils who arrive part way through Key Stage 2, including those who are vulnerable or new to the country, are supported well and make good strides in their academic and personal development. The school has worked hard to improve the pace of learning for some middle ability girls so that boys and girls now show the same interest in their work and progress at equal rates.

Pupils say they thoroughly enjoy school and are happy. Their conduct and attitudes to learning are outstanding and contribute much to the pleasant, industrious atmosphere in lessons. They have a good understanding of healthy living and enjoy plenty of exercise and sport. A calm, productive atmosphere pervades the school and pupils have good opportunities to experience responsibility. For example, 'play leaders' and school councillors contribute much to the day-to-day running of school and the process of decision making. Attendance is improving and is average; the large majority of pupils attend regularly. With the help of outside agencies, staff are currently working hard with a small minority of families to further reduce absences. Pupils are developing a good understanding of managing money through various enterprise projects and the annual 'World of Work Week' provides them with a valuable insight into commerce. They have very good attitudes to learning, a secure range of basic skills and collaborate very effectively. They are prepared well for their future education.

These are the grades for pupils' outcomes

Pupils' achievement and the extent to which they enjoy their learning
Taking into account:
          Pupils' attainment¹
          The quality of pupils' learning and their progress
          The quality of learning for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities and their progress
The extent to which pupils feel safe2
Pupils' behaviour1
The extent to which pupils adopt healthy lifestyles2
The extent to which pupils contribute to the school and wider community2
The extent to which pupils develop workplace and other skills that will contribute to their future economic well-being
Taking into account:
          Pupils' attendance¹
The extent of pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development1

1 The grades for attainment and attendance are: 1 is high; 2 is above average; 3 is broadly average; and 4 is low

How effective is the provision?

Excellent relationships underpin the good teaching. Lessons have very clear objectives so pupils know exactly what is expected of them. Teachers keep a careful check on progress during lessons by including skilful questioning and checking on the responses to short, focused tasks. They make good use of the interactive whiteboards to illustrate new ideas and concepts. Teachers have a detailed view of pupils' progress and generally plan tasks to build accurately on pupils' learning. In some letters and sounds sessions in Key Stage 1, however, pupils are taught in groups of mixed ability and teaching is not as highly effective as in those sessions where pupils are set according to their level of attainment. Marking and the guidance given to help pupils to improve is extremely effective for the older pupils. It is variable for the younger Key Stage 2 pupils and less effective. Teaching assistants are very knowledgeable and many are specially trained to meet pupils' needs, for example, in speech and language development. They are well deployed to provide additional support.

Careful planning keeps enjoyment at the heart of learning and takes good advantage of partnerships to enhance pupils' experiences. For example, specialists provide French lessons and gospel singing, and pupils are very proud of their award for film making completed at the secondary school. Skills in literacy, numeracy and information and communication technology are extended well through other subjects. A themed approach across all subjects to enhance learning even further is at an early stage. A major strength of the curriculum lies in the tailoring of tasks and support to meet specific needs. A range of intervention programmes and individual tuition provide very good support for pupils' personal, academic and language development. Pupils take good advantage of an interesting programme of extra-curricular clubs and competitive sport. The high quality of these activities, together with a good programme for physical education, is recognised through the Activemark award. Pupils in Years 2, 4 and 6 enjoy the residential visits they undertake.

The outstanding care for pupils and support for their welfare is at the heart of the school's work. Responses to questionnaires from pupils and parents overwhelmingly agree that children are safe. Excellent measures are taken to secure expert help or resources to meet pupils' needs, including links with services to support vulnerable pupils.

Good links with secondary schools ensure pupils have a smooth transition to the next phase of education. Supervision is good, the building and grounds are secure and there is a safe hand-over of younger pupils to parents at the end of the day. Measures taken to improve attendance have reduced the proportion of pupils who are persistently absent and are beginning to reduce absenteeism generally. The breakfast club provides a very good start to the day and caters very well for all age groups.

These are the grades for the quality of provision

The quality of teaching
Taking into account:
          The use of assessment to support learning
The extent to which the curriculum meets pupils' needs, including, where relevant, through partnerships2
The effectiveness of care, guidance and support1

How effective are leadership and management?

The headteacher provides clear direction and is constantly driving the school forward. There is a great sense of pride and belonging among parents, pupils, staff and governors, who all share a vision for excellence. The school is well run; procedures and policies are consistently followed. A strong emphasis on teamwork leads to good sharing of expertise and experience, for example, through the focus groups that manage the curriculum well. Regular observations of lessons are carried out and pupils' progress and work is tracked and checked closely. The systems are currently under review to ensure that they are sharp enough to eliminate all variations in practice.

Community cohesion is a major strength. Safeguarding, including safe recruitment and child protection, is given a high priority and all requirements are fully met. Staff receive regular updates in their child protection training and are well equipped to deal with any concerns. Harassment is not tolerated. The school's equality policy is rigorously followed in practice and regularly evaluated to ensure that no barriers to learning exist. This is enhanced by good partnerships with outside agencies who help to engage parents and carers who do not communicate with the school regularly. Governors bring a wide range of skills to enhance management and have clear ambition. They are robust in discharging their statutory responsibilities, ensuring that the views of stakeholders are considered in any decision they make and that the school gives good value for money.

These are the grades for leadership and management

The effectiveness of leadership and management in embedding ambition and driving improvement
Taking into account:
          The leadership and management of teaching and learning
The effectiveness of the governing body in challenging and supporting the
school so that weaknesses are tackled decisively and statutory responsibilities met
The effectiveness of the school's engagement with parents and carers2
The effectiveness of partnerships in promoting learning and well-being2
The effectiveness with which the school promotes equality of opportunity and tackles discrimination2
The effectiveness of safeguarding procedures2
The effectiveness with which the school promotes community cohesion1
The effectiveness with which the school deploys resources to achieve value for money2

Early Years Foundation Stage

Children's skills on entry to the Nursery are below that typically expected, in particular in personal development, language and communication. Good induction procedures and links with parents and carers ensure that children settle quickly. Good quality teaching takes careful account of children's interests in order to keep them well motivated. They include varied opportunities, inside and out, for children to choose activities, explore their world and develop independence. Children make good progress and it is often excellent in terms of their personal skills because of very effective teaching. By the time they enter Year 1, they are working close to expected levels other than in writing, which is below that expected of their age. Staff currently give extra attention to this area, with focused sessions on letters and sounds to help develop children's independence in writing. However, there are sometimes missed opportunities for children to develop writing when engaged in free choice activities. Leadership, including governance, has ensured some very good improvements to the accommodation and resources so that children have the space and facilities to meet all their learning needs.

These are the grades for the Early Years Foundation Stage

Overall effectiveness of the Early Years Foundation Stage
Taking into account:
          Outcomes for children in the Early Years Foundation Stage
          The quality of provision in the Early Years Foundation Stage
          The effectiveness of leadership and management of the Early Years Foundation

Views of parents and carers

Just over half of the parents and carers responded to the questionnaire. Of these, parents and carers have positive views of the school and agree that they are happy with their child's experience at the school. Quotes that reflect these views include 'the school provides a safe, caring and supportive environment' and 'my child is happy and confident'. There is commendation for the good quality of teaching, leadership and management and arrangements for safety. Inspectors agree with these views. A very small minority of parents and carers raised concerns about the way that school deals with unacceptable behaviour. Inspectors found behaviour to be outstanding. The school's excellent systems for supporting pupils with emotional or behavioural difficulties result in a calm atmosphere exceedingly conducive to learning.

Responses from parents and carers to Ofsted's questionnaire

Ofsted invited all the registered parents and carers of pupils registered at Warrington St Barnabas CofE Primary School to complete a questionnaire about their views of the school.

In the questionnaire, parents and carers were asked to record how strongly they agreed with 13 statements about the school.

The inspection team received 125 completed questionnaires by the end of the on-site inspection. In total, there are 216 pupils registered at the school.

My child enjoys school947530240000
The school keeps my child safe907234271100
My school informs me about my child's progress745947383200
My child is making enough progress at this school715750402211
The teaching is good at this school816543340000
The school helps me to support my child's learning745947382200
The school helps my child to have a healthy lifestyle685452424300
The school makes sure that my child is well prepared for the future (for example changing year group, changing school, and for children who are finishing school, entering further or higher education, or entering employment)665351411100
The school meets my child's particular needs695554430011
The school deals effectively with unacceptable behaviour574656455411
The school takes account of my suggestions and concerns554462501100
The school is led and managed effectively625058460000
Overall, I am happy with my child's experience at this school776245360000

The table above summarises the responses that parents and carers made to each statement. The percentages indicate the proportion of parents and carers giving that response out of the total number of completed questionnaires. Where one or more parents and carers chose not to answer a particular question, the percentages will not add up to 100%.


What inspection judgements mean

Grade 1OutstandingThese features are highly effective. An oustanding school provides exceptionally well for all its pupils' needs.
Grade 2GoodThese are very positive features of a school. A school that is good is serving its pupils well.
Grade 3SatisfactoryThese features are of reasonable quality. A satisfactory school is providing adequately for its pupils.
Grade 4InadequateThese features are not of an acceptable standard. An inadequate school needs to make significant improvement in order to meet the needs of its pupils. Ofsted inspectors will make further visits until it improves.

Overall effectiveness of schools

Overall effectiveness judgement (percentage of schools)
Type of schoolOutstandingGoodSatisfactoryInadequate
Nursery schools514504
Primary schools6414210
Secondary schools8344414
Sixth forms1037503
Special schools3238255
Pupil referral
All schools9404010

New school inspection arrangements were introduced on 1 September 2009. This means that inspectors now make some additional judgements that were not made previously.

The data in the table above is for the period 1 September to 31 December 2009 and is the most recently published data available (see Please note that the sample of schools inspected during the autumn term 2009 was not representative of all schools nationally, as weaker schools are inspected more frequently than good or outstanding schools.

Percentages are rounded and do not always add exactly to 100. Secondary school figures include those that have sixth forms, and sixth form figures include only the data specifically for sixth form inspection judgements.

Common terminology used by inspectors


the progress and success of a pupil in their learning, development or training.


the standard of the pupils' work shown by test and examination results and in lessons.

Capacity to improve:

the proven ability of the school to continue improving. Inspectors base this judgement on what the school has accomplished so far and on the quality of its systems to maintain improvement.

Leadership and management:

the contribution of all the staff with responsibilities, not just the headteacher, to identifying priorities, directing and motivating staff and running the school.


how well pupils acquire knowledge, develop their understanding, learn and practise skills and are developing their competence as learners.

Overall effectiveness:

inspectors form a judgement on a school's overall effectiveness based on the findings from their inspection of the school. The following judgements, in particular, influence what the overall effectiveness judgement will be.

  • The school's capacity for sustained improvement.
  • Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils.
  • The quality of teaching.
  • The extent to which the curriculum meets pupils' needs,  including, where relevant, through partnerships.
  • The effectiveness of care, guidance and support.

the rate at which pupils are learning in lessons and over longer periods of time. It is often measured by comparing the pupils' attainment at the end of a key stage with their attainment when they started.

This letter is provided for the school, parents and
carers to share with their children. It describes Ofsted's
main findings from the inspection of their school.

19 April 2010

Dear Pupils

Inspection of St Barnabas CofE Primary School, Warrington WA5 1TG

Thank you for the very warm welcome you gave my colleagues and me when we inspected your school. We thoroughly enjoyed our time with you and appreciated all the help you gave us. In return, I would like to tell you what we found out.

St Barnabas Primary is an extremely happy and safe school that provides you with a good education. You get on very well together and take excellent care of each other. You are a credit to your families and your school. Your council members ensure that your views are known and those of you with responsibilities, such as the play leaders, do a good job in the day-to-day running of the school.

Thank you to the pupils who filled in their questionnaire and those who chatted with us. You are delighted with your school. You especially enjoy all the residential trips in Years 2, 4 and 6. Lucky you! The inspectors agree with the people who wrote, 'we have a lot of clubs to make us healthy and fit', 'the teachers do a very good job' and 'it's a great place to be; you are always safe'. It is good to know that you have no major concerns.

You are keen to learn, work hard and you make good progress. In writing, your progress could be even better so we have asked your teachers to:

    • give those of you in the Nursery and Reception classes more opportunities for writing
    • make sure that you have smaller groups for learning your letters and sounds in Key Stage 1
    • make sure that you have the best marking and helpful target sheets in all classes in Key Stage 2.

You can help by continuing to work hard. Thank you once again for the interesting conversations we had and for letting us share your work and play. Please accept my best wishes for the future.

Yours sincerely,

Lynne Read

Lead inspector

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: If you would like Ofsted to send you a copy of the guidance, please telephone 08456 404045, or email

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