Birkby Junior School

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About Birkby Junior School

Name Birkby Junior School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Susan Davis
Address Mead Street, Fartown, Huddersfield, HD1 6HE
Phone Number 01484223975
Phase Primary
Type Community school
Age Range 7-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 574
Local Authority Kirklees
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils at Birkby Junior School feel happy and safe. They value the care and support that they are given by staff. Pupils understand the importance of tolerance and respect.

They are adamant that all people should be treated fairly and equally. One pupil told inspectors that the school is like 'one big happy family'.

The school has an ambitious curriculum.

This includes for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), who are supported effectively by staff, and the broad, balanced curriculum. As a result, pupils develop strong knowledge and understanding in most subjects. However, there are a small number of subjects where the curriculum i...s still new.

In these subjects, pupils continue to have some gaps in their knowledge and understanding.

Birkby Junior School plays an important role in the community. It offers a food bank for vulnerable families and runs a 'parents as partners' group for the wider community.

Leaders know their pupils well. This means that they build strong relationships with pupils' families during their time in school.

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

Leaders at all levels, and in most subjects, have developed an ambitious and challenging curriculum for pupils.

They have identified the important knowledge that they want pupils to know and remember in each subject. Teachers receive high-quality professional development. The curriculum is well sequenced.

In some subjects, such as mathematics and science, teachers design lessons that build on what pupils already know. However, the curriculum in a small number of subjects is still new. In these subjects, teachers do not always choose the most effective ways to teach subject content.

This means that some pupils have gaps in their knowledge.

There is a strong focus on developing a love of reading, right from when pupils join the school. Well-trained staff ensure a consistent approach to how children learn to read.

Those pupils who need additional help benefit from effective support. This includes pupils who are new to learning English. As a result, pupils quickly learn to read.

The school has ensured that this early love of reading is nurtured and developed throughout the school.

Pupils with SEND receive excellent support. The SEND team knows the pupils well.

Teachers ensure that pupils with SEND achieve well by carefully adapting the curriculum when needed. Staff carefully follow support plans to ensure that pupils receive the support that they need. As a result, pupils with SEND learn important knowledge across a range of subjects.

Pupils' behaviour is exceptional. They meet the high expectations that the school sets. Pupils are respectful and supportive of each other.

Even when pupils find work difficult, they show resilience and determination to overcome the challenges that they face. Leaders at all levels prioritise attendance. The school has robust procedures to promote good attendance.

However, some families remove their children from school to visit relatives or return to their home country. This means that pupils miss out on valuable learning. The school monitors this carefully and works tirelessly to ensure that pupils catch up quickly.

There is an extensive range of opportunities which cater exceptionally well for pupils' wider development. Pupils have opportunities to show that they can develop a sense of responsibility. For example, they can become playtime leaders and 'well-being warriors', or organise events to raise money for charities and good causes.

There is a genuine commitment from staff to ensuring pupils participate in a wide set of experiences during their time at Birkby Junior School. Recently, this has included visiting the theatre and going to the beach. Pupils have a strong understanding of world faiths and other cultures.

They have the opportunity to celebrate their own culture through 'culture days', where pupils attend school in traditional dress, sample food from other countries and hear stories and music from a range of different cultures within the school and beyond.

The leadership and management of the school are outstanding. Staff morale is high.

They are proud to work at the school. The school goes above and beyond to ensure that pupils are safe and safeguarding is of the highest priority for all staff. Leaders have prioritised professional development to ensure that staff are expertly trained to perform their roles.

Those responsible for governance are knowledgeable and committed to the school. They have a strong understanding of the quality of education that pupils receive. They provide highly effective challenge and support to school leaders.

The school is already addressing important priority areas, such as the quality of education, to ensure that it continues to improve.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The implementation of the curriculum in a small number of subjects is not as effective as in others.

This is because, in these subjects, the curriculum is new. The methods that teachers choose to deliver the curriculum do not consistently support pupils to build a deep body of knowledge. The school should continue to support teachers to choose the most appropriate and effective methods to help pupils learn in these subjects.

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