Brownlow Primary School


Name Brownlow Primary School
Website http://www.brownlowprimary.org
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 22 September 2011
Address Limes Avenue, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, LE13 1QL
Phone Number 01664562315
Type Academy
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 589 (51% boys 49% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 23.5
Academy Sponsor Mowbray Education Trust Limited
Local Authority Leicestershire
Percentage Free School Meals 9.7%
Percentage English is Not First Language 6.1%

Information about the school

This is a much larger than average primary school where the vast majority of pupils are of White British heritage and speak English as their first language. The proportion of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities, including those with a statement of special educational needs, is broadly average. The proportion of pupils who are known to be eligible for free school meals is below average. The school has recently gained the Activemark award and achieved Healthy Schools status. A private organisation manages care facilities on the site for children before and after school, but this facility did not form part of the inspection.

Main findings

This is a good school, held in high regard by the local community. Comments from parents and carers such as ‘dedicated and caring staff’ and ‘excellent ethos’ are commonplace, and show their appreciation of the very high quality of the care, guidance and support provided for their children. They value the good teaching for all ages that accounts for the good progress made by all groups of pupils. Their attainment in all subjects by Year 2 is above average, and by Year 6 it is well above average in English and above average in mathematics. Reading is a particular strength because teachers give pupils many opportunities to read interesting books and give them the skills at an early age to tackle new words with confidence. In mathematics, while there is some exceptionally high attainment, some pupils struggle when asked to apply their number skills to solve problems. Pupils say how much they enjoy school and attendance rates are above average. They have an outstanding awareness of how to stay safe, and speak knowledgeably about the hazards of smoking, misuse of drugs and unsupervised use of the internet. Their thorough knowledge of how to live healthy lives is clearly evident in the way they choose the nutritious options at lunchtime and enjoy the produce they have grown in the school garden. Pupils make an outstanding contribution to their community by the enthusiastic way they take responsibility. They help to conserve energy, recycle waste and act with great maturity as members of the school council. Pupils think deeply about those less fortunate than themselves. For example, one group showed great sensitivity when discussing how it would feel to be someone with a disability. They show a very good sense of right and wrong and behave consistently well. Pupils are right to feel that their teachers do a good job. They appreciate the way that they make learning enjoyable and, as one said, ‘can even make writing fun’. Teachers explain new work clearly and give pupils good opportunities to explain how they arrived at an answer. Where the learning is slower, teachers talk too much and leave too little time for pupils to work at their own pace. This is particularly the case in mathematics. Teachers employ good systems to check on pupils’ progress, but their marking and use of targets to show the next steps in learning are not always good enough to ensure that pupils make the best possible progress. The school has developed a good curriculum with a strong focus on basic literacy and numeracy skills while providing much to enhance pupils’ creative talents. Their singing is exceptional. Teachers provide many opportunities for pupils to hone their reading and writing skills in the broad topics, but not so many to practise their number skills. There is a very good range of popular clubs at lunchtime and after school to enhance the curriculum. The headteacher leads well with high aspirations for the school. He has helped create a very good sense of teamwork among staff and pupils that makes this a happy and successful school. The leaders evaluate the quality of teaching and learning regularly but there remain some inconsistencies, for example in the teaching of mathematics. The school has made good improvement since the last inspection, particularly in pupils’ attainment in reading and writing and the quality of pastoral care. Given the leaders’ good self-evaluation systems and prompt action to rectify weaknesses, the school is well set to sustain its improvement.