Bourne Primary School

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About Bourne Primary School

Name Bourne Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Cassandra Palmer
Address Melbourne Road, Eastbourne, BN22 8BD
Phone Number 01323724729
Phase Primary
Type Community school
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 447
Local Authority East Sussex
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils are proud to attend Bourne Primary School.

They say that it is a 'happy and diverse' school. Pupils like the way that many different languages are spoken here. Older pupils talk confidently about the school's 'NICE' values of nurture, innovate, collaborate and empathise.

Pupils feel safe and well supported. They know that staff will help them if they have any worries. Bullying happens only very occasionally.

Most pupils agree that staff deal with bullying well. Most of the time, pupils behave well but there are some who struggle to manage their emotions. Sometimes, they disrupt the learning of other pupils.

Leaders and staff want pupils 'to be... the best that they can be'. Leaders are making many sensible changes to make their aspirations a reality. Recent improvements in reading are helping younger pupils learn to read more quickly than in the past.

However, in some other subjects, learning is not as effective because the curriculum is not well planned and implemented. Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) do not always get the support they need.

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

The headteacher is determined that pupils will achieve well.

She has an accurate understanding of the school's effectiveness and is making many necessary changes to improve the school. Recently appointed senior leaders are starting to get to grips with their role. Staff know there is much work to do.

Although their workload is heavy, most say that leaders support them well and care about their well-being. Governors also check on staff workload and well-being.

Leaders are currently introducing a new systematic approach to teaching reading.

Staff are receiving helpful training and support to enable them to confidently follow this new approach. Teachers know exactly which sounds pupils need to learn and in which order, week by week. Teachers regularly check that pupils are keeping up.

Leaders have bought new books that are matched well to pupils' developing phonic skills.

Curriculum development is still in its infancy. Wisely, leaders have prioritised improving English and mathematics.

Plans in these subjects are well designed. These set out in a logical sequence what pupils need to learn. Art is also well planned.

However, this is not the case in all subjects. In many subjects, the curriculum is not organised coherently from the early years through to Year 6. Published schemes are often used as a helpful overall structure.

However, in some subjects, such as history and physical education, leaders have not adapted these well for the pupils at Bourne. Teachers do not have a precise enough understanding of what pupils already know and can do. Teaching activities are not always effective in helping pupils to remember important knowledge and skills.

Consequently, over time, pupils are not building their knowledge securely.

Several subject leaders are relatively new in post. They are still establishing their strategic leadership roles.

Leaders' monitoring and oversight of the curriculum, including for pupils with SEND, is not yet focused sharply enough on what needs to improve.

Leaders have accurately recognised that pupils with SEND do not consistently get the support that they need. However, while their improvement plans are starting to make a difference, there is still much to do.

Leaders have not ensured that pupils' needs are accurately identified. The curriculum is not always adapted precisely enough to ensure that pupils learn essential knowledge and skills.

Pupils want to be at school.

They know that when they are absent from school they are missing out on their education. Leaders provide highly effective support to families to encourage regular attendance. As a result, the school's attendance rates are now better than they were before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Leaders' expectations for pupils' positive behaviour are clear. Most lessons are calm. However, some pupils, especially younger pupils who had their education disrupted during the COVID-19 pandemic, find it difficult to regulate their emotions.

Sometimes, this prevents other pupils from learning.

Leaders and staff work effectively to promote pupils' personal development. Pupils enjoy the regular lessons when they get to learn outdoors.

These provide helpful opportunities for pupils to explore, collaborate and build resilience. One pupil explained, 'This is a wonderful way to connect with nature'. Pupils are taught mindfulness techniques and encouraged to run a 'daily mile'.

In art, pupils study influences from various cultures, linking well to the school's culturally diverse community. Leaders carefully promote equality and anti-discrimination.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Although this is a large school, staff know pupils well. Relationships between staff and families are strong. Staff swiftly spot if something does not seem right and know precisely what action to take.

Leaders respond quickly and rigorously to any concerns that may arise. Leaders work closely with relevant external agencies to help pupils get the right support. Leaders and governors ensure that relevant safeguarding checks are completed for staff and visitors.

Pupils learn how to keep themselves safe in different situations. Pupils understand some of the risks they may face when they are not at school.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The curriculum in foundation subjects is not well planned or sequenced.

Leaders have not considered precisely what pupils must know in each subject from the early years through to Year 6. Senior leaders should ensure that subject leaders understand how to create an effective curriculum. Curriculum plans must show what is essential for pupils to learn and in what order, so that pupils know more and remember more.

• Teachers do not always use assessment effectively to check what pupils know and can do. As a result, they do not reliably know what to teach next. Leaders should ensure that they strengthen assessment practice.

Assessment needs to be more precise so that teaching and learning activities take account of what pupils already know and can remember. ? Pupils with SEND are not reliably supported well. Pupils' special educational needs are not always identified precisely to enable them to get the right help.

The curriculum is not adapted well enough to meet these pupils' individual needs. Leaders should ensure that effective systems are in place to identify pupils' needs accurately so that staff plan precise, effective support. Leaders should monitor how well the curriculum is adapted for pupils with SEND.

• Some pupils struggle to regulate their emotions and behaviour. At times, their behaviour disrupts the learning for other pupils. Leaders should ensure that pupils with social, emotional and mental health needs are supported well and are helped to regulate their behaviour successfully.

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