Northern Primary School

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About Northern Primary School

Name Northern Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Anna Ewens
Address Burnley Road, Bacup, OL13 8PH
Phone Number 44170687415
Phase Primary
Type Community school
Age Range 5-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 183
Local Authority Lancashire
Highlights from Latest Inspection


Northern Primary School continues to be a good school.

What is it like to attend this school?

This is a small and friendly school where pupils are celebrated for their individuality.

Staff know the pupils well. Pupils arrive at school happy and ready to learn. They are greeted warmly by staff and their friends each morning.

This pleasant atmosphere continues throughout the school day. Pupils said that they can speak to a trusted adult if they have any concerns. They value their opinions being listened to.

Pupils behave well. In lessons, they are immersed in their learning. The school expects pupils to achieve well and many pupils, including those with special educ...ational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), do so.

The school provides valuable opportunities for pupils to learn beyond the academic curriculum. Pupils learn about different experiences in the wider world. For example, they learn about a range of different places of worship through their studies and by visiting them.

Pupils can attend a wide range of clubs such as gardening and badminton. Many of the pupils take up this offer and discover new interests. Older pupils act as club captains to support staff and inspire younger pupils.

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

The school has designed a curriculum that meets the needs of pupils, including those with SEND. It has considered what pupils should learn, starting in the early years and continuing to Year 6. Subject curriculums have been carefully designed to enable pupils to build on their previous learning.

Most pupils learn well from the curriculum.

Typically, teachers present new concepts with clarity and they select appropriate activities to help pupils learn well. In many subjects, teachers have received appropriate training to ensure that they have a secure knowledge of the content of the curriculum.

Occasionally, in some subjects, the activities that teachers choose to deliver the curriculum do not support pupils to learn as well as they could. This means that, in these subjects, some pupils carry forward gaps in their knowledge.In the main, teachers check that pupils have understood and learned the most important information from each lesson.

However, the school is still refining its approaches to assessment. Consequently, in a small number of subjects, gaps in pupils' knowledge are not identified or addressed quickly enough.

The school has prioritised the teaching of early reading.

It has made sure that the staff who deliver the phonics curriculum are well trained. As soon as they join the Reception Year, children start to learn the sounds that letters make. They practise reading from books which contain the sounds that they have learned.

When pupils struggle with reading, the school makes sure that they receive the help that they need to develop into confident and successful readers.

The school promotes a love of reading. It provides pupils with a diverse range of texts by different authors.

The school enthuses younger pupils about books by encouraging them to vote for their class story. Older pupils inspire others through their role as 'reading buddies'.

Teachers quickly identify any additional needs that pupils may have.

They then make any necessary adaptations to their teaching, including implementing advice from external professionals. This enables pupils with SEND to successfully access the same curriculum as their peers and to learn well.

Pupils understand the school rules and enjoy their positive behaviours being recognised.

They follow clear routines, which enable them to move around the school sensibly and safely. This creates a sense of order and calm around the school.

The school provides a range of opportunities for pupils to enhance their personal development.

Pupils in Year 6 take part in a residential trip to develop their teamwork skills. Members of the local community are invited into school so that younger pupils can learn more about the roles different people have in keeping everyone safe. Pupils throughout the school learn about keeping mentally and physically healthy.

The school places a strong focus on helping pupils learn about communities different to their own.

Governors understand the school's priorities. They have a range of expertise which helps them to support the school effectively.

The staff that were spoken to were extremely positive about the school. They are proud to be members of the school community. Staff appreciate that their views are sought when changes are made to the curriculum.

They said that the school is mindful of how any changes may impact on their workload.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In some subjects, a few of the activities that teachers choose to deliver the curriculum do not help pupils to learn as well as they could.

This means that some pupils have gaps in their knowledge. The school should ensure that teachers receive appropriate support to develop their subject-specific knowledge and, consequently, to implement the curriculum as it is intended. ? In a small number of subjects, the school's approaches to checking on pupils' knowledge and understanding are underdeveloped.

This means that, on occasion, teachers do not have sufficient information to assure themselves that pupils have understood key information and concepts. The school should develop assessment strategies that teachers can use with confidence and accuracy to ensure that any gaps in pupils' learning are identified and tackled quickly.


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 November 2013.

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