School's "back to basics" approach wins praise from Ofsted inspectors

Pupils at Holy Trinity C of E Primary School in Burnley are full of smiles after being rated as good by Ofsted.
Pupils at Holy Trinity C of E Primary School in Burnley are full of smiles after being rated as good by Ofsted.

A " back to basics" approach has helped pupils improve their writing skills at a Burnley primary school.

Ofsted inspectors praised Holy Trinity Primary for analysing what was preventing pupils from being competent in their writing before putting in place specific strategies that were embedded across the whole school.

And as a result pupils' achievement in writing by the end of key stage two is excellent and much better than other children nationally.

Inspector Jonathan Jones praised headteacher Mrs Sally Smith and her senior leaders, who were all appointed after the last inspection in 2013, for bringing a sense of purpose and direction to the school.

He said: "You introduced accountability at every opportunity which has led to an increase in staff's motivation and morale to always seek the best for pupils.

"You have very high aspirations for students and an extensive programme of training has been put in place as you realise that in order to meet these aspirations the teachers need to be suitably equipped with the skills to deliver."

Rated good across the board, inspectors said that while achievement in all subjects shows a sustained picture of improvement inspectors would like to see more developments in reading and maths. The report said that pupils' basic maths skills were not always secure and this was halting their progress.

And although the school has spent money on resourcing the school library with a new range of reading books which pupils used well, too few students were reading outside of school.

Inspectors praised the Christian ethos of Holy Trinity and pointed out that several parents were keen to speak about how staff supported the most vulnerable children to give them the best start in education so that when they start at points well below those typical for their age pupils leave the school well prepared for the next stage of learning.