Burnley headteacher praised for helping pupils to flourish

Leah Carrington, Jasmine Majed and Rory Wilcock  are jumping for joy the the good Ofsted report their school, St Augustine's RC Primary in Burnley, has received.
Leah Carrington, Jasmine Majed and Rory Wilcock are jumping for joy the the good Ofsted report their school, St Augustine's RC Primary in Burnley, has received.
Share this article

Inspectors have praised a Burnley primary school as being a "haven for pupils where they can flourish."

St Augustine's RC Primary was described by Ofsted inspectors as a "warm and friendly " school and headteacher Mrs Sinead Colbeck and her staff were commended for having the well being of pupils at the "heart of everything you do."

The short inspection was carried out in January and the school in Lowerhouse Lane was rated as good across the board.

One of the key focuses of the inspection was to consider whether attendance had been improved and Mrs Colbeck's tenacious attempts were said to be having a positive effect.

Good attendance has a high profile across the school and staff are working with parents to support them to improve their children's attendance.

While the majority of pupils are rarely absent inspectors found there were still some families who struggled to get their children to school every day.

Mrs Colbeck was praised for leading by example to ensure that staff place no limits on what pupils can achieve.

Inspectors also said that the school's strong Christian ethos underpins a commendable level of pastoral care and pupils said they felt safe and happy.

Staff said they were proud to work at the school and parents praised them for "going the extra mile" to get the best from all pupils.

The governors were also singled out for praise for helping the school to go from "strength to strength" through their commitment to ensuring that leaders provide a nurturing environment where pupils thrive.

Members of the governing body have responsibility for holding leaders to account for individual subjects within the school and, as a result, they have a strong understanding of the school's strengths and weaknesses.

Inspectors said governors were able to use this understanding effectively to ask pertinent and challenging questions of leaders.

Mrs Colbeck was also praised having an "accurate and balanced" view of the school and since the last inspection in 2014 she had worked to address the areas identified by the inspection team.

Adopting a more rigorous approach to the way in which teaching was monitored allows the school to further improve the quality of teaching and the focus on checking that pupils understand what is expected of them has been successful.

The report said that teachers now check pupils' understanding during lessons as a "matter of routine" which has led to effective teaching and pupils making good progress.

Safeguarding was seen as effective and the report said that the system for ensuring that all adults are suitable to work with children was robust.

Mrs Colbeck and her staff were also described as having a clear understanding of safeguarding risks that are more prevalent in the local area.

The school was seen as creating a culture where staff were "extremely vigilant" and they also worked with families to develop positive and supportive relationships.

Changes to staffing are helping to improve progress made by students on maths at the end of key stage two as this was judged as not being good enough at the end of 2017.

Leaders have also taken swift action to address the fact that pupils' progress in reading at the end of key stage two had also declined last year.

Inspectors would like to see more challenging activities provided in maths to develop further pupils reasoning and problem solving skills and a development of pupils' comprehension skills in reading.

Mrs Colbeck said:“We are delighted with the high praise we received in the Ofsted report.

“We want our school to be warm and welcoming, we want it to be a place where pupils and parents feel safe.

"We strongly emphasise the Christian ethos which was acknowledged in the report and we are working hard to address any areas which Ofsted highlighted, where we can improve."