St Silas’s CofE Primary School

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About St Silas’s CofE Primary School

Name St Silas’s CofE Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Mrs Michele Battersby
Address St Silas Road, Blackburn, BB2 6JP
Phone Number 01254698447
Phase Academy
Type Academy sponsor led
Age Range 5-11
Religious Character Church of England
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 323
Local Authority Blackburn with Darwen
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils feel a strong sense of belonging at St Silas's CofE Primary School.

They know that all members of the school community care greatly about them. This helps pupils to feel safe. They told inspectors that seeing their teachers makes them happy.

Pupils said that they enjoy learning. They fully understand staff's high expectations for their achievement and their behaviour. Pupils are keen to meet these expectations.

Overall, pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), and children in the early years, achieve well.

Pupils understand fundamental British values. They talked about the differences between people in... a positive and respectful way.

For example, they know that some of their friends have different religious beliefs. Pupils said that everybody cares for each other. Staff act quickly to resolve any issues of bullying or unkindness.

Pupils benefit from a wide range of activities and visits. For example, they enjoy sports, cooking and art clubs. Pupils were excited to explain how their trips to the theatre, places of worship and museums enhance their learning.

Pupils develop an awareness of why charitable endeavours, such as fundraising, are important to society. Each class chooses a charity to support.

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

Leaders have been ambitious in improving the curriculum.

They have made sure that it is knowledge-rich and broad. In the main, this helps pupils to learn well. In most subjects, teachers know the precise content that pupils should learn and the order in which this should happen.

However, in one or two subjects, pupils do not learn as well as they could, as leaders are yet to refine the content of the curriculum.

Teachers have the subject knowledge that they need to deliver the curriculum well. Typically, they select appropriate activities to help pupils to acquire new information and subject content.

That said, in some subjects, sometimes teachers do not give pupils the time that they need to practise new learning. This occasionally hinders them from embedding their learning in the long term. Consequently, over time, some pupils develop some gaps in their knowledge and understanding.

There is a high proportion of pupils with SEND at this school. Leaders are tenacious in identifying their needs quickly and providing the targeted support that they need. Leaders and staff work closely with parents and carers, and with external professionals, to enable pupils with SEND to access the curriculum.

Leaders have prioritised reading across the school. This helps pupils to develop a love of reading. Teachers read to their classes daily, using carefully chosen books.

Children in the early years were delighted to retell their favourite stories. Pupils visit the school library each week to choose a new book to share with their parents at home. Older pupils were keen to talk about an exciting reading challenge, where they receive awards depending on how many books they read.

By the end of Year 6, most pupils can read with accuracy and fluency.

Children begin to learn phonics at the beginning of the Reception Year. Leaders ensure that all staff access the appropriate phonics training to equip them to deliver this well.

Staff provide pupils with books to read which match the sounds that they already know. Teachers provide timely support for pupils requiring additional help.

Pupils behave well across the school.

Children in the early years learn routines from the start. They quickly learn to share and to take turns. Staff focus on encouraging children's self-care skills and independence.

Classrooms are calm and purposeful. Typically, pupils engage well and try their best in their learning. However, some pupils do not attend school as regularly as they should.

Therefore, they do not profit from all the learning and wider experiences that other pupils benefit from.

Leaders have thought carefully about how they can best support pupils' wider development. Older pupils spoke eagerly about the leadership roles that they have, including being ambassadors for the school values and members of the school council.

Pupils have opportunities to engage in debates with pupils from other schools and communities. They develop aims for their future careers, for example to be police officers, firefighters and artists. Leaders have developed an effective programme for pupils to follow that helps to build life skills.

Many pupils engage well with this programme and are proud to showcase the badges that they have achieved.

Trustees work closely with the local governing committee to hold leaders to account for the education that they provide to pupils. Trustees and governors understand their roles and fulfil their statutory responsibilities.

Trustees, governors and leaders are mindful of staff's morale and well-being. They are proactive in reducing staff's workload. Staff feel part of the school community and know that they have the support that they need.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders regularly review the effectiveness of their safeguarding arrangements. They ensure that staff access up-to-date safeguarding training and that they have a broad understanding of safeguarding issues.

Leaders and staff get to know pupils and their families well. This helps them to identify any emerging concerns as soon as they arise. Leaders work well with outside agencies to provide timely support for pupils and their families.

Pupils develop detailed knowledge of how to keep themselves healthy and safe. For example, they learn about stranger danger and know the risks that they may encounter while using social media.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The curriculum is not finalised in some subjects.

Leaders have not determined the knowledge that pupils should learn and when this should happen. This hinders how well some pupils acquire new information. Leaders should refine their curriculum thinking so that staff know the exact content to teach and when this will happen.

• In one or two subjects, leaders have not made sure that teachers give pupils enough time to practise and apply what they learn. As a result, over time, pupils develop some gaps in their knowledge and understanding. Leaders should make sure that teachers provide ample opportunities for pupils to practise new content and to embed this into their long-term memory.

• Some pupils do not attend school as often as they should. This means that they do not fully benefit from the learning and wider opportunities that other pupils receive. Leaders should continue to work with parents and carers to reduce the levels of persistent absence from school.

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