Barrowford School

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About Barrowford School

Name Barrowford School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Rachel Tomlinson
Address Rushton Street, Barrowford, Nelson, BB9 6EA
Phone Number 01282615644
Phase Primary
Type Community school
Age Range 5-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 326
Local Authority Lancashire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

All pupils, regardless of their race, gender or culture, are warmly welcomed at Barrowford School.

Leaders, governors and staff are united in their ambition for all pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), to succeed. Pupils strive to live up to these high expectations. They achieve well across most subjects.

Staff expect pupils to behave well. Most do. Pupils behave sensibly in lessons and around school.

They are polite and well mannered. Pupils told inspectors that bullying is rare and when it does happen, staff are quick to deal with it.

Pupils are mature in their approach to resolving conflict with their ...peers.

They understand that there is always someone in school to support them if they feel anxious or worried. There are positive relationships between adults and pupils. This helps pupils to feel safe.

Pupils learn to become good citizens. Older pupils particularly enjoy the responsibilities that they are given, for example helping younger pupils to read. Pupils are made aware of topical issues, and they discuss and debate these issues with their peers during the weekly 'big picture' assemblies.

Pupils contribute to society by raising donations for charitable causes. These positive experiences help pupils to become rounded and grounded citizens.

What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?

Leaders have designed a curriculum that is ambitious and well organised.

The curriculum is purposeful and meets the needs of the pupils who attend the school. This includes pupils in the specially resourced provision for pupils with SEND (specially resources provision). These pupils are taught the full range of national curriculum subjects.

The curriculums in many subjects are delivered successfully by teachers across the school. From the early years to Year 6, teachers are clear about the knowledge that should be taught and the order in which content should be delivered. However, in a few subjects, the curriculums are still relatively new.

Teachers are not as confident about what should be taught and what pupils must learn. Pupils' progress through these curriculums falters as a result.

In most subjects, teachers have strong subject knowledge.

They present new learning effectively to help pupils make links with what they already know. Pupils, including children in the early years, listen attentively in lessons and make the most of learning time. Poor behaviour rarely disrupts learning.

Most subject leaders make effective checks on how well the curriculum is helping pupils to know and remember more. However, in some subjects, leaders are less knowledgeable about how the curriculum is making a difference to pupils' achievement. This is because these subject leaders are in the early stages of gaining the expertise that they need to lead their subjects with confidence.

The teaching of reading is given a high profile across the school. As soon as children start in the early years, they are immersed in stories, rhymes and poems that develop their early language skills well. Well–trained staff deliver the school's phonics programme effectively.

Children in the Reception class, and pupils in key stage 1, have ample time to develop and practise their phonics skills. Pupils read books that are closely matched to the sounds that they are learning. Staff identify and support pupils who struggle with reading.

Older pupils read widely and often. Leaders choose books carefully to foster pupils' love of reading.

Pupils with SEND, including those in the early years and the specially resourced provision, have their needs identified quickly.

Leaders ensure that effective support is put in place so that all pupils with SEND have the same opportunities as others to succeed.

Pupils benefit from a well-thought-out programme that promotes their personal development effectively. They learn about different families, faiths and cultures.

They are taught how to keep themselves healthy, both physically and mentally.

Pupils enjoy attending a wide range of extra-curricular activities at school. Even though these clubs have been reduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic, leaders are now steadily reintroducing them.

In addition, pupils take part in a wide range of visits and trips to broaden their experiences beyond the academic curriculum. For example, during the inspection, older pupils in key stage 2 attended a performance delivered by a local orchestra. Pupils came back into school buzzing with excitement.

This allowed pupils to gain an even greater appreciation for music.

Staff value the support that they receive from senior leaders. They appreciate the consideration that is given to their well-being and workload.

Governors are knowledgeable about the school. They hold senior leaders to account for all aspects of the school's work, including the quality of education that pupils receive.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders, staff and governors are all fully trained in safeguarding and understand their responsibilities. Staff are alert to the signs of harm, abuse, neglect and exploitation.

Leaders work closely with outside agencies and are quick to secure help for pupils and their families when needed.

The curriculum supports pupils to understand how to keep themselves safe, including when they are online.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Some staff are new to subject leadership and do not have the confidence or expertise to lead their areas of responsibility effectively. This means they are less able to check how well the curriculum is being implemented or how effectively pupils are remembering their learning.

Leaders should ensure that subject leaders are supported to lead their curriculum areas successfully. ? Some curriculums are relatively new. They are in the early stages of being implemented.

Teachers are less sure about what they should teach in these subjects. This hinders pupils' progress. Leaders should ensure that staff receive the support that they need to deliver the new curriculums effectively.

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