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National Society Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools Report

Burlington Church of England Primary School

School Road, Kirkby-in-Furness, Cumbria, LA17 7UH

Diocese:                                            Carlisle

Local authority:                                   Cumbria

Dates of inspection:                           16/10/14

Date of last inspection:                      09/06/10    

School’s unique reference number:  112281

Headteacher:                                       Mrs. Sarah Powell

Inspector’s name and number:          Jeni Boothman OBE              604

School context

Burlington Church of England Primary School is a smaller than average school with 66 pupils on roll. It serves the village of Kirkby-in-Furness and the surrounding area. The majority of pupils are of white ethnicity and from mixed socio-economic backgrounds. There is a small number of pupils with special educational needs and three pupils are eligible for the pupil premium.   

The distinctiveness and effectiveness of Burlington Church of England Primary School as a Church of England school are good

 The effective leadership of the headteacher has ensured that Christian values are embedded within the daily life of the school.

 Excellent relationships between all members of the local school community based on Christian values.

       Confident and articulate pupils who have a clear understanding of what makes their school a Christian community.  

Areas to improve

 Ensure that the school’s distinctive Christian character is understood and clearly articulated by all members of the school community, so that Christian values are deeply embedded.

 Involve the whole school community in monitoring and evaluating the impact of collective worship on all learners so it informs future planning.

 Provide pupils with opportunities to be more actively engaged in decisions about worship, to enable them to take responsibility for planning and leading parts of collective worship.


The school, through its distinctive Christian character, is good at meeting the needs of all learners

Christian values underpin all that takes place in school. Children say ‘We are like one big Christian community.’  Pupils are happy and feel secure. They talk enthusiastically about the school’s distinctive Christian character and how the life of Jesus impacts on their thinking and behaviour.  The importance of Christian values is reflected in the caring relationships throughout the school.  Pupils say their teachers are always there for them. Pupils are confident and articulate. However, in recent years attainment has sometimes been below national expectations. Effective support enables pupils with special educational needs to flourish. The Buddy System ensures younger children are well supported by the older children. Parents say everyone is accepted into the school community. Problems are handled sensitively. The school’s Christian ethos is valued by parents and children often talk about God and Jesus at home. Pupils’ behaviour and attitudes are excellent. The headteacher meets with pupils each week to discuss school improvement. Their ideas are valued and acted upon. Religious Education(RE) makes an effective contribution to the school’s Christian character with the result that pupils have a good understanding of other faith communities and respect for cultural diversity. Children demonstrate their care for others through fundraising activities including their support for a school in Nepal.  Pupils have an understanding of the wider church through links with the local Free Church and Methodist Chapel. However, they have little knowledge of global Christianity. There are strong links with the local church. Visits are often made to celebrate Christian festivals and to study RE. Community liaison is well developed. For example, pupils join the Bowling Club for physical education. The learning environment celebrates the school’s Christian character through Christian symbolism, displays and areas for reflection. There are good opportunities for spiritual development in the wider curriculum, including Forest Schools.  


The impact of collective worship on the school community is good

Collective Worship is at the heart of the school. It is respected and enjoyed by all staff and pupils. Prayer is a key feature of all acts of worship and pupils understand its nature and purpose. Pupils respond thoughtfully to interactive opportunities for discussion and reflection. They sing modern and traditional hymns with great enthusiasm, supported by a pianist from the local church. All staff attend and lead worship, giving a clear message of its importance.  Pupils take responsibility for parts of worship such as selecting hymns and music. However, they have yet to take responsibility for leading parts of collective worship.  Planning is very good and has a strong Christian focus. This makes a good impact on pupils’ understanding of Christian values and principles. In ‘Bible Buddy Assembly’ older pupils effectively support younger ones in accessing Bible stories. Worship, led by the headteacher during the inspection, was inspirational. It was based on Elizabeth Fry’s story contained within the £5 note. The vicar leads worship once a month in school and is effective in providing pastoral care to the whole school community. However, opportunities are lost for him to support worship more often during his weekly visits to school. A member of the local Free Church leads worship monthly and organises weekly Bible study for the After School Club. This has a positive effect on the Christian character of the school. The school has reviewed provision for collective worship and identified areas for improvement. This includes the monitoring and evaluating of the impact of worship on all stakeholders. The main Christian festivals take place in the local church and are very well attended by parents.  

The effectiveness of the leadership and management of the school as a church school is satisfactory

The headteacher’s Christian faith informs her leadership and relationships. She is well supported by a cohesive and dedicated governing body and staff. There is a clear vision for the school as a church school but this is not always explicitly expressed by all members of the school community. Governors have not always recognised their role in providing challenge and in holding the leadership of the school to account for pupils’ achievement.  However, they have made a determined effort to improve school governance and now have a good understanding of their role. The leadership team ensures that church school issues feature strongly within governors’ meetings and planning. Governors trust and respect the dedicated staff. Strong leadership in RE and collective worship is effective so planning improves provision and standards. However, monitoring and evaluating of these areas are not yet fully embedded. Parents are confident to voice their opinions and know these are valued and acted upon with integrity. Parents recognise the Christian foundation of the school and appreciate the close links with the church. The headteacher consults with the pupils frequently on how to improve the school. They are involved in decision making and are confident in taking on responsibilities. For example they run the playtime Healthy Snack Stall where they purchase and sell snacks and distribute the profits. The school works closely with other schools to develop its Christian foundation. Visitors to school and the partnership with the school in Nepal, help pupils to understand other faith communities and cultures. Partnership with the school, church and local community is strong and mutually supportive. Other churches in the village also make a valuable contribution to the school’s Christian foundation and pupils’ understanding of other Christian communities.  


SIAMS Report

Diocese of Carlisle - schools section

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