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|Dar Ul Madinah
|Mrs Naheeda Mohammed
|Granville Road, Blackburn, BB2 6HD
|Other independent school
|Number of Pupils
|Blackburn with Darwen
What is it like to attend this school?
Pupils enjoy being part of Dar Ul Madinah. They wear their school uniforms with pride. Pupils feel safe and secure. They described their teachers as kind and helpful. Pupils know that they can tell staff any concerns that they have. They said that adults would be quick to deal with any incidents of bullying, should these occur.
Leaders have high expectations for pupils’ behaviour. Pupils are keen to try their best in lessons. They strive to achieve rewards for behaving well and are excited to spend these in the school’s shop. Pupils are respectful and friendly towards staff and visitors. New pupils are warmly welcomed to the school. They make friends quickly.
Leaders and staff share ambitions that all pupils will succeed. Pupils live up to these ambitions. They achieve well, including pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Pupils benefit from the regular individual attention and help that teachers give them in class.
Pupils learn the importance of staying fit and healthy. They enjoy a range of activities at breaktimes. Pupils value the visits to the local park to take part in games. They find out about the importance of mental health and well-being. Pupils learn to use helpful strategies that help them to relax.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders have put in place a broad and interesting curriculum that develops pupils’ knowledge in a range of subjects. Leaders have thought about what they want pupils to learn and the order in which they should learn it. For example, in mathematics, pupils learn how to calculate accurately, in well-ordered steps, starting from the Reception class. However, in a small number of subjects, leaders are not as clear about the most important learning that they intend pupils to learn and remember. This means that, at times, pupils do not secure and embed key knowledge before moving on to new learning.
In lessons, teachers undertake very regular checks on how well pupils understand their learning. For example, teachers ask pupils questions and carry out quizzes. Pupils tell their teachers when they find learning tricky. Teachers use this information about pupils’ learning to provide useful and carefully planned support for any pupils who are falling behind. Across subjects, leaders have put in place systems to check how well pupils are remembering the curriculum over time. That said, in a small number of subjects, these systems are not as useful as they should be in identifying how well pupils have learned the most important parts of the curriculum.
Leaders have placed reading at the heart of the curriculum. Reading areas and the school library are well stocked. In the Reception class, adults ensure that reading times are engaging. Children love re-reading and acting out familiar stories. Across the school, teachers make sure that pupils have plenty of time to read for pleasure.Pupils learn to read in a well-planned order. Staff have benefited from effective training in teaching the reading curriculum. They help pupils to use their phonics knowledge successfully when reading unfamiliar words. Staff read with pupils very regularly and match reading books carefully to pupils’ reading ability. This enables pupils to practise and develop their reading skills successfully. Any pupils who struggle with their early reading receive regular and effective support from teachers. This ensures that pupils, including those with SEND, develop as fluent readers.
The proprietor has ensured that the school environment supports pupils to learn well. Classrooms are well decorated and well resourced. Leaders ensure that pupils make full use of the school’s outdoor area.
Leaders work closely with parents and carers and a range of professionals to ensure that any additional needs that pupils have are quickly and accurately identified. In lessons, staff make careful adaptations to ensure that pupils with SEND access the same curriculum as their peers. For example, pupils benefit from visual timetables and sensory breaks. Leaders help those pupils who speak English as an additional language to develop their understanding of new vocabulary quickly.
Pupils behave well in lessons and around the school. Everyone understands the school’s behaviour policy. This begins in the Reception class. Here, children play and explore together with concentration and enjoyment. They listen to and follow their teacher’s instructions. Across the school, classrooms are calm and purposeful. Pupils concentrate on their learning. They work cooperatively with their friends and there is no disruption to learning.
Leaders help pupils to become active and caring citizens. In school, pupils take on leadership activities, such as being classroom or library monitors. They carry out these roles with pride. Pupils are involved in the community, raising money for charities and litter-picking in the local area. They learn the importance of helping and respecting others.
Leaders provide a range of interesting trips and visits to support pupils’ learning. For example, trips to museums deepen pupils’ learning in history. Younger children find out about the wider world through visits to a farm and the seaside. Leaders ensure that pupils develop an understanding of their local and wider community. For example, pupils visit the local library. They find out about different religions that they may encounter, such as Christianity. Pupils learn about British institutions, such as the monarchy. They told inspectors how much they had enjoyed their Platinum Jubilee tea party.
Staff have a very positive view of the school. They appreciate the training that leaders provide. Teachers value the frequent opportunities they have to exchange ideas and develop their expertise.
The proprietor has a detailed understanding of the independent school standards (the standards). He makes sure that leaders are held to account and that the statutory obligations are met. For example, he ensures that the school’s accessibility plan complies with schedule 10 of the Equality Act 2010.
As part of this inspection, inspectors considered leaders’ request to increase the number of pupils on roll from 40 to 64. The proprietor intends to use the school’s current health and safety policies and procedures to ensure that the proposed new pupils will be safe, should the proposed increase in pupil numbers be granted.
The proprietor intends to retain existing staff numbers, should the proposed increase in pupil numbers be granted. The existing staff numbers are suitable for the proposed number of pupils. Leaders propose to use existing policies and procedures to ensure that any new staff recruited to work in the school are suitable to work with pupils. Leaders have plans in place to ensure that staff can supervise the proposed number of pupils properly.
The proprietor intends to use the existing school premises to accommodate the proposed increase in pupil numbers. The existing school premises provide suitable classrooms, toilets and other facilities for the proposed new pupil numbers.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Leaders provide staff with regular safeguarding training and updates. These ensure that staff are alert to possible signs of abuse and neglect. They have ensured that the safeguarding policy is up to date and reflects the latest government guidance. This is available on request. When needed, leaders work with other professionals to ensure that pupils get the help that they need.
Leaders ensure that pupils learn how to stay safe. Pupils know how to keep themselves safe when working online. They learn about the dangers that they may encounter. They learn about what to do if the actions of others make them feel uncomfortable or unsafe.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and proprietor)
? In a small number of subjects, leaders are not clear enough about the key learning that they intend pupils to remember. This means that teachers are sometimes unsure about the most important knowledge that pupils should learn and how this learning should be strengthened over time. Leaders should ensure that teachers know what learning is essential to prepare pupils well for their next steps in learning. ? In some subjects, systems to check how well pupils are learning lack precision. This means that leaders do not have enough knowledge of how well pupils know and remember some important elements of the curriculum. Leaders should ensure that the strategies to check pupils’ learning are strengthened in these subjects.
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