Burlington C of E Primary School
Effectiveness of leadership and management is good
The headteacher has developed a strong leadership team that has addressed the issues arising from the last inspection and is well placed to sustain these improvements as they continue to move the school forwards. Her ambition that all pupils will achieve to their full potential is shared by all staff and no stone is left unturned if it will help to make things even better for pupils.
Leaders check on the quality of teaching through observing lessons, looking at work in pupils’ books and reviewing pupils’ progress in reading, writing and mathematics. They use this information
to identify any weaknesses and take swift action to secure improvement, for example, through sharing good practice within the school or taking up opportunities to work with other local schools.
Strengthened leadership of English and mathematics is helping to improve outcomes for pupils in these subjects. Leadership of other subject areas in the curriculum, for example science, history and geography, is yet to develop, so leaders’ accountability for pupils’ progress in other
subjects is not quite as secure as it is in English and mathematics.
The curriculum is rich and interesting and pupils enjoy their learning. The broad and balanced curriculum is supported by a variety of clubs and activities outside of school. Pupils speak with enthusiasm about the wide range of visits to places of interest. They have visited, for example, the Roman army museum at Vindolanda and a local further education college where they had exciting opportunities to learn about engineering and how to apply their understanding of science, technology and mathematics to a range of practical activities.
Pupils are well prepared for life in modern Britain. Daily collective worship sessions give them opportunities to reflect on their own feelings and experiences and to consider their rights and responsibilities in relation to others. Pupils have good awareness of values such as courtesy, tolerance, respect for differences and simply being kind to one another. A recent school council election, run alongside the national election campaign, gave pupils the chance to learn about how democracy works in our society. The study of Christianity, together with other faiths such as Buddhism and Judaism, supports pupils’ good spiritual, moral, social and cultural awareness.
The pupil premium funding is used effectively to ensure that disadvantaged pupils take part in the full life of the school, including educational visits and clubs. It is also used well to support disadvantaged pupils’ academic progress when needed.
The physical education (PE) and sport funding is used effectively for staff development and professional coaching sessions. It is used particularly well to engage pupils’
interest in orienteering. Many pupils take part in the sport and go on to compete successfully in wider local and regional competitions.
Leaders give safeguarding a high priority and make sure that procedures are effective and adhered to by all staff. Parents support the view that pupils are safe in school and well looked after. They typically comment that all staff, governors and volunteers play their part in making Burlington a happy, safe place for children to begin their journey in education.
The governance of the school
Governors know the school’s strengths and weaknesses. They regularly visit the school and
share leaders’ ambition to make Burlington school the very best it can be.
Since the last inspection the structure and membership of the governing body has changed significantly. A review of governance, effectively supported by the local authority and a national leader of governance, helped governors to develop their roles and they now effectively hold leaders to account for pupils’ progress and improving standards.
Governors understand procedures for the performance management of staff, including that of
the headteacher. They ensure that the management of teachers’ pay is effective in rewarding
teachers for improved outcomes for pupils and for the quality of their teaching.
Governors keep a close eye on the school’s finances and make sure that any plans for
spending are linked to the correct priorities for improvement. They ensure that the pupil premium and PE and sports funding are spent appropriately and result in better outcomes for pupils.
The governing body ensures that arrangements for safeguarding are effective.