Ofsted inspectors praise Burnley primary school

Ightenhill Primary School headteacher, Kathryn Marney celebrates the OFSTED result with pupils Megan Atherton, Logan Cain (9), Lucie Ashworth (8) and Millie-Rose Whittaker (5).
Ightenhill Primary School headteacher, Kathryn Marney celebrates the OFSTED result with pupils Megan Atherton, Logan Cain (9), Lucie Ashworth (8) and Millie-Rose Whittaker (5).

A Burnley primary school which was rated as satisfactory last year has been praised by inspectors.

Ightenhill Primary School, in Alder Street, received a good rating following the latest visit from Ofsted, which took place in December.

The report found the school was good in all key areas, including achievement of pupils, quality of teaching, behaviour and safety of pupils and leadership and management.

Inspectors noted that the improvement in the quality of teaching since the last visit had led to pupils achieving well during their time in school.

Progress in reading and writing was said to be good and above the national average while progress in maths was found to be above expected.

The report said: “While attainment in the 2013 national tests was below average in English and mathematics over time, it is improving at a faster rate than that found nationally.

“The schools’ own tracking information and inspection evidence point to current attainment in English and mathematics in Year 6 to be broadly average.”

The school was praised for having a large number of pupils involved in physical education and for well supporting disabled children and those with special educational needs.

Inspectors found most teaching in school to be good with some outstanding examples.

“The best teaching engages pupils in good quality dialogue and gives them good opportunities to offer suggestions and explain their ideas.”

They said the school had rightly focused on improving attainment in English and maths but in some cases work set was too easy or too difficult.

“The small amount of weaker teaching suffers from work being too hard or too easy. As a result pupils do not progress quickly enough and the pace of learning slows.”

Pupils’ attitudes to learning were said to be positive, especially where teaching was strongest, polite, friendly and willing to talk about their experiences at school.

“Pupils’ behaviour on the way to and during assemblies is outstanding. This illustrates that pupils know what is expected of them very well in a building with long corridors and long walks to the school hall from some classrooms.”

The report found headteacher Mrs Kathryn Marney has the confidence of the governing body, the local authority, a large majority of parents and of staff.

“The increasingly effective leadership team are well focussed on ensuring that pupils’ achievements are at least good.

“However, middle leaders are not sufficiently involved in ensuring pupils’ progress and the quality of teaching in their subjects areas are the best that they can be.”

Mrs Marney said: “We have a strong team of staff and governors who have worked continuously to improve teaching and learning in school. We would like to thank parents and of course our fabulous children who have also worked really hard.

“We were last inspected in February 2012 so the improvement from satisfactory to good in such a short space of time has been a real achievement for everyone. It was great to have this recognised officially by the inspection team.

“The report said we are ‘well placed to make further improvements.’ That work has already begun and we are determined to become an outstanding primary school in the near future.”