Belthorn Academy Primary School

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About Belthorn Academy Primary School

Name Belthorn Academy Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Melanie Furness
Address Belthorn Road, Belthorn, Blackburn, BB1 2NY
Phone Number 0125455620
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 2-11
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 227
Local Authority Lancashire
Highlights from Latest Inspection


Belthorn Academy Primary School continues to be a good school.

The headteacher of this school is Melanie Furness. The school is part of the Belthorn Academy Primary School Academy Trust, which means other people in the trust also have responsibility for running the school.

The trust is a single academy trust overseen by a board of trustees, chaired by Emma Nolan.

What is it like to attend this school?

There is a happy and close-knit school community. Staff know the pupils and their families well.

This helps pupils to develop strong bonds with their teachers. Pupils are safe and feel secure. They get along with their classmates.

They play nicely together a...t breaktimes and lunchtimes.

The school has high ambitions for what pupils should achieve. Pupils do particularly well in subjects such as English and mathematics.

For example, almost all pupils met the Year 1 phonics screening check last year.

Pupils are highly appreciative of the wide range of extra-curricular clubs and opportunities on offer. These vary from term to term based on pupils' interests and preferences.

Pupils spoke with enthusiasm about the roller-skating club. They also value the many other clubs that range from sewing, chess and boxercise.

Pupils take pride in contributing to community and school fundraising initiatives.

They were excited to tell the inspector that they are currently working hard to raise money for a school minibus.

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

The school has outlined its expectations for what pupils should learn by the end of each year, in all curriculum subjects. In subjects such as English and mathematics, the school has ensured that these expectations are clearly broken down into small steps of knowledge.

In subjects such as these, teachers deliver subject content in a coherent, effective way. Pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), achieve well as a result. They build a secure body of knowledge over time in these subjects.

In a few subjects, curriculums are not as well developed. In these subjects, pupils sometimes miss out on intended curriculum content. This means that, in some parts of the curriculum, pupils do not have the opportunity to broaden and deepen their knowledge as well as they otherwise could.

Teachers have secure subject knowledge in many of the areas that they teach. They regularly check how well pupils have understood what has been taught. Teachers provide pupils with helpful guidance.

This allows pupils to correct the misconceptions that they might have in their learning.

The school has appropriate systems in place to identify pupils with SEND. It works well with external partners to provide specialist support to pupils where it is needed.

Pupils with SEND typically achieve well.

Children in the Nursery Year quickly learn classroom routines. They rise to the school's high expectations of behaviour.

These children are inquisitive and develop a love of learning early on. They get off to a positive start. Pupils maintain their enthusiasm for their education as they progress through the school.

They eagerly contribute to class discussions and teachers' questions. Pupils have a positive attitude to their work which means that learning time is rarely disrupted.

The school offers a range of rewards and individualised support to encourage high attendance.

Pupils regularly attend school.

The school fosters a love of reading. Pupils read widely and often.

They enjoy the opportunity to listen to stories read by their teachers. Pupils develop a strong appreciation of the underpinning moral and cultural themes in these stories. For example, pupils were able to tell the inspector about a previous book that their teacher read to them.

This explored what it might feel like to be an evacuee.

Children learn phonics through the school's chosen programme as soon as they start in the early years. Staff deliver the programme consistently well.

Pupils read books that are matched to their current knowledge of sounds. Pupils who need further support with phonics are given extra help to become more confident in their reading. Pupils develop into confident and fluent readers.

The way that pupils' personal development is catered for is a particular strength of the school. The school is committed to its motto of 'lighting the sparks' in its children. It provides a wide range of broader opportunities to help pupils ignite their own passions and uncover their individual talents.

These opportunities include trips to museums and art galleries, local sports and debating competitions, woodland skills lessons and much more. The school takes great care to link their curriculum topics to different careers that pupils can aspire to when they are older. Pupils regularly visits places of worship so that they can develop their understanding of other cultures and religions.

The school goes above what is expected to support older pupils during their transition to high school. For example, staff remain in contact with families during former pupils' first months in their new schools to help these pupils settle in to life in Year 7.

Staff enjoy working at the school.

The school helps them to manage their workload. For example, staff spoke positively about the extra time that they are given to carry out wider duties. Governors are effective in their roles.

They have a clear understanding of their statutory duties and carry them out well.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The school has not developed some subject curriculums to the same level of breadth, depth and coherence as it has in others.

This sometimes means that pupils do not learn as much as they could in these subjects. The school should review the design of these subject curriculums to ensure that pupils are taught a rich body of knowledge in a logical way.


When we have judged a school to be good, we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains good.

This is called an ungraded inspection, and it is carried out under section 8 of the Education Act 2005. We do not give graded judgements on an ungraded inspection. However, if we find evidence that a school would now receive a higher or lower grade, then the next inspection will be a graded inspection, which is carried out under section 5 of the Act.

Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the ungraded inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will deem the ungraded inspection a graded inspection immediately.

This is the second ungraded inspection since we judged the school to be good in May 2014.

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