Barnston Primary School

Name Barnston Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Address Sandham Grove, Heswall, Wirral, CH60 1XW
Phone Number 01513425229
Type Primary
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 316 (51.3% boys 48.7% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 31.2
Local Authority Wirral
Percentage Free School Meals 3.5%
Percentage English is Not First Language 0.3%
Persistent Absence 2.9%
Pupils with SEN Support 4.1%%
Highlights from Latest Inspection

Main findings

This is a good school. Attainment is high and pupils' achievement is outstanding.

By the end of Year 6 attainment in English and mathematics is high and pupils have made good progress from their starting points. This comes about from good teaching and a curriculum which meets their needs and interests well. Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities make the same good progress as their classmates as a result of the very effective support they receive in lessons.

Pupils' enjoyment of school is reflected in their enthusiastic response in lessons, their good behaviour and their high levels of attendance. Pupils' personal development and their contribution to the school and wider c...ommunity are good. They very willingly take on responsibility and are fully involved in school decision-making through, for instance, the school council and as playground leaders and peer mentors.

Frequent opportunities to work together to solve problems and to explain their ideas to one another prepare them well for the next stage in their education. Pupils are given good guidance about how to improve their work in English but this is not always the case in other subjects. Similarly, assessment information is not always used as effectively as it might be in teachers' planning to meet the needs of all pupils in lessons.

Parents and carers value the good care, guidance and support the school provides for its pupils and the good partnerships the school has with them, which support their children's learning well. Although the school meets government guidelines for safeguarding and the safe recruitment of staff, there is scope to strengthen the quality assurance of safeguarding arrangements so that it is equally rigorous in all areas of the school's work. The headteacher provides very clear direction, based on the close monitoring of pupils' progress and an accurate evaluation of the school's work.

She has led the school strongly during a period of significant changes in staffing and, in the relatively short time she has been in post, has acted decisively to raise attainment in English and mathematics. The introduction of a topic-based curriculum is proving very effective in eliminating differences in the attainment of different groups in English and in engaging pupils' interest through imaginative activities. However there is still scope to increase opportunities for pupils to practise the basic skills of literacy numeracy and information communication technology (ICT) across the whole timetable in order to accelerate progress further.

Strategies to improve the quality and consistency of teaching and learning and to raise attainment in English and mathematics have also been instrumental in developing teamwork, which is now a good characteristic of the school. Although subject leaders are still developing their roles, they share the headteacher's vision and drive improvement well. Since the last inspection both attainment and attendance have improved and are now high.

This record of improvement provides a clear indication of the school's good capacity to improve further.

Information about the school

Barnston Primary School is larger than average. Pupils are of predominantly White British heritage.

The proportion known to be eligible for free school meals is low. The proportion of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities is broadly average overall. The headteacher has been in post for two years and there have been significant changes in staff since the last inspection.

The school has achieved a number of awards including Healthy School status, Basic Skills Quality Mark and Activemark. Barnston Buddies' nursery shares the school's site but is not run by the school's governing body. It is inspected separately.