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|Mrs Imrana Kotwal
|Park Lee Rd, Blackburn, BB2 3NY
|Other independent school
|Number of Pupils
|Blackburn with Darwen
What is it like to attend this school?
Noorul Uloom is a welcoming and happy school where pupils flourish. Leaders and staff have high expectations of pupils’ behaviour. Pupils try their best and do well. Pupils really enjoy coming to school. They appreciate the small family atmosphere. Pupils who spoke with inspectors said that they feel safe. They said that staff are approachable and caring.
Pupils behave extremely well. They are polite and well mannered. Pupils, and students in the sixth form, have extremely positive relationships with each other and their teachers. Classrooms are calm places to learn. Pupils know that staff will help them if they have a concern about bullying or name-calling. Students in the sixth form are excellent role models for younger pupils. They make a positive contribution to the school.
Alongside Islamic studies and GCSE subjects, pupils take part in many clubs and enjoy visiting museums, a farm and a zoo. Pupils and students develop a strong appreciation of life in modern Britain. They spoke enthusiastically about the voluntary work that they do in the local community and a recent visit to a magistrates’ court.
Parents and carers have positive views of the school. One typical comment was: ‘Staff help girls to reach their full potential and look after their academic, social and spiritual needs well.’
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders and the proprietor body are ambitious for all pupils and want them to do as well as possible. Pupils experience a broad curriculum. Islamic studies are interwoven with the national curriculum. This provides pupils with a range of knowledge and transferable skills for future success. Leaders have designed subject curriculums so that pupils learn knowledge in a logical order. Pupils work hard and achieve well. Year 11 pupils value the opportunity to complete their Islamic studies in the school’s sixth form.
In most subjects, teachers have secure knowledge to teach the content of subject curriculums. They receive help and guidance from leaders to improve their practice. However, in a small minority of cases, staff’s subject-specific knowledge is not as well developed. As a result, some pupils do not acquire the knowledge that they need to build on their previous learning.
In most subjects, pupils have opportunities to revisit and recap their prior learning. Assessment systems are used well in the main. This helps staff to identify what pupils already know and can do. However, in some subjects, assessment is not used as effectively to identify misconceptions and plan for the next steps in pupils’ learning.
Leaders prioritise reading. Staff support pupils to read confidently and fluently. Leaders have invested in high-quality texts in the school library to foster pupils’ enthusiasm for books. Pupils read frequently in school and they develop a real love of reading.
Currently, no pupils in school have been identified with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). However, leaders have appropriate training and expertise should pupils with SEND attend the school. Leaders know how to identify and support pupils with SEND.
Pupils’ behaviour is excellent. Islamic values are at the core of the school. Pupils demonstrate these values in their relationships. Pupils show respect to each other, teachers and visitors. They approach their work with high levels of maturity. Pupils have very positive attitudes to learning in classrooms. Students in the sixth form are polite and courteous. Their exemplary conduct contributes to the peaceful atmosphere in the school.
Leaders have recently revised the personal, social, health and economic education curriculum. This is helping pupils and students to learn about healthy relationships and sex education. The relationships and sex education policy meets statutory requirements and is available to parents on request. Leaders ensure that pupils learn to understand and respect differences between people. Pupils find out about a range of different faiths and cultures. They raise funds for charities, through baking and selling cakes. Pupils learn about democracy through Parliament Week. Students in the sixth form have many leadership opportunities, such as leading assemblies and supporting younger pupils in their learning.
Pupils and students receive high-quality careers advice. For example, they have the opportunity to take part in work placements with local employers. This helps them to make well-informed choices about their next steps and future careers. Most pupils in Year 11 stay in the school’s sixth form for one or two years to complete their Islamic studies. Most students in the sixth form move on to study A levels and vocational courses in local colleges.
The proprietor body ensures that the school meets all the independent school standards and the requirements of schedule 10 of the Equality Act 2010. Members of the proprietor body know the school well. They support and challenge leaders effectively. Leaders keep parents well informed about the work of the school. A copy of the safeguarding policy is available on request.
Staff are proud to work at the school. They said that the proprietor body and leaders are supportive and considerate of their well-being and workload. Staff morale is high.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Safeguarding is given a high priority. There is a culture of vigilance. All staff receive regular up-to-date safeguarding training. Staff know what to do if they have a concern about a pupil’s welfare. Leaders take the necessary action to keep pupils safe. They have strong working relationships with professionals from the local authority. Leaders keep a close eye on pupils’ attendance and check on their welfare if they are absent from school. Pupils learn how to keep themselves safe when working online.
What does the school need to improve? (information for the school and proprietor)
? In some subjects, assessment information is not used well. This means that pupils do not always build on what they already know. Leaders should ensure that teachers use assessment information effectively. This will help to deepen pupils’ knowledge across all subjects. ? A small number of staff do not have the subject knowledge that they need to deliver the curriculum content. This results in pupils not gaining the knowledge that they need to be successful in later learning. Leaders should ensure that teachers receive the training that they need to deepen their subject-specific knowledge in order to help pupils build on their prior learning.
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