|Name||Balliol Primary School|
|Ofsted Inspection Rating||Good|
|Inspection Date||04 July 2012|
|Address||Balliol Road, Kempston, Bedford, Bedfordshire, MK42 7ER|
|Religious Character||Does not apply|
|Number of Pupils||446 (52% boys 48% girls)|
|Number of Pupils per Teacher||24.8|
|Percentage Free School Meals||22.6%|
|Percentage English is Not First Language||39.9%|
|Pupils with SEN Support||20.4%|
|Catchment Area Information Available||Yes, our catchment area data is FREE|
|Last Distance Offered Information Available||No|
Information about the school
This is an average-sized lower school that serves an area of mixed housing on the outskirts of Bedford. Just over a half the pupils are of White British background. The proportion from minority ethnic groups is well above average and an above average number speak English as an additional language. The proportion of disabled pupils and those with special educational needs is above the national average, as is the number of pupils supported at school action plus or with a statement of special educational needs. The number of pupils who leave or join the school at other than the usual times is greater than that found nationally. The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for a free school meal is well above average. The school holds several accreditations including the Silver Eco Award and the International Award. Additional childcare provision is made for children between the ages of three and nine years in the breakfast and after-school club, which is managed by the school. There is also an established pre-school and a children’s centre on site: these are both run privately and not part of this inspection.
This is a good school that has created an inclusive, positive caring climate for learning where each pupil is treated as an individual. Comments such as, ‘Balliol Lower is a brilliant school where all the staff make the children and parents feel very welcome and part of it’ reflect the views of many parents and carers. However, the school is not outstanding yet because teaching is not yet ensuring that all pupils make consistently outstanding gains in their learning in lessons over time. Achievement is good. All pupils, including those children in the Nursery and Reception classes, make good progress from low starting points because of predominantly good teaching. They attain standards that are just above national expectations by the end of Year 4 in English and mathematics. Pupils whose circumstances make them vulnerable and those who sometimes exhibit challenging behaviour respond very positively to excellent levels of individualised care. Their achievement in basic skills is equally good. Behaviour in lessons and around the school overall is good. Provision supports good achievement in lessons and pupils display positive attitudes towards learning. Discussions with pupils and a review of survey results confirm that they feel safe in school. Good teaching exists in many classes and in some it is outstanding where the pace of learning is brisk and expectations are very high. However, in the few satisfactory lessons observed, teachers do not make best use of questions and information and communication technology (ICT) to support their teaching and accelerate pupils’ achievement. While verbal and written feedback is regular, inconsistencies in the quality of marking means that pupils are not always sure about what they need to do next to improve. Leadership and management of the school are good. The headteacher has created a dedicated staff team whose members aspire to drive forward further school improvement for the benefit of both the school and local community. Teaching is managed well. Performance management is effective and linked closely to school improvement. Curriculum provision is good and the promotion of the pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is a significant strength.