Imam Muhammad Zakariya School

Name Imam Muhammad Zakariya School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 12 November 2019
Address 2 Bairstow Street, Preston, Lancashire, PR1 3TN
Phone Number 01772881968
Type Independent
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Not applicable
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 83 (40% boys 60% girls)
Local Authority Lancashire
Percentage Free School Meals 0.0%
Catchment Area Information Available No, we only have catchment area data for schools in England

What is it like to attend this school?

The school is a very happy and welcoming community. Pupils are extremely polite and friendly. They talked with pride about all the good things in their school. Pupils’ enjoyment of their learning and confidence in their achievement are shown by the happy smiles seen in every classroom.

Pupils’ behaviour is excellent. This means that everyone can make the most of their experiences in school and do well. Pupils told us that they get along together very well. Bullying hardly ever happens but, if it does, pupils have confidence in the staff to sort it out. Pupils told us that they feel safe because of the way teachers look after them.

Adults’ expectations of pupils are very high. This encourages pupils to have high expectations of themselves. Pupils try their very best to do well in their learning and to live up to the school’s positive values. These values reflect important Islamic principles, such as kindness, tolerance and respect.

Children start to build up their knowledge right from the start of the early years. However, the space available for learning outdoors on the school site is quite limited. Similarly, the facilities for them to learn in this space are uninviting. The outdoor yard area next to the school’s basement is not a good enough environment for children to learn in.

What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?

Pupils have extremely positive attitudes towards school and everyone in it. They enjoy learning and want to come to school. When they are at school, their impeccable behaviour helps everyone to succeed. Very few pupils are absent.

Staff successfully build up pupils’ knowledge in the subjects they study. For example, Year 6 pupils learn about the scientific theory of evolution by considering the ideas of scientists from different cultures across the world. This is part of a well-planned topic that first looks at the differences between a variety of plants and animals. Pupils and children in the early years extend their learning outside school in interesting and exciting ways. For example, pupils often visit local parks. This helps pupils to understand themselves and their place in the wider world. Leaders make sure that the curriculum for citizenship gives pupils the knowledge they need to be active in the community now and in the future. It helps them to understand how they can make a difference. For example, staff make pupils’ learning about pollution memorable by arranging for them to take part in litter-picking in the local community.

Pupils learn the same subjects as in the national curriculum. Leaders have chosen the schemes of work carefully. They make sure that teachers know what to teach. Pupils do very well in the national curriculum assessments at the end of Year 2 and Year 6. They learn a lot and remember what they have learned. This is a strength ofmany subjects. For example, in mathematics, we saw pupils in Year 5 building and using their knowledge about angles from Year 4. However, pupils do not always use their knowledge as confidently. Sometimes, as in the early years, teachers do not make the most of how experiences set out in the scheme of work link together to build pupils’ knowledge. More focus on this would help pupils to think even more like an ‘expert’ scientist or historian, for example.

Pupils enjoy their artistic and creative education. We saw Year 6 pupils developing their knowledge and skills as they produced increasingly complicated drawings and paintings based on American artists’ work. However, pupils’ learning in music is narrower. They have limited opportunities to find out about different types and styles of music. Their learning is restricted to different types of Islamic songs and recitations.

Teachers in the early years know the children well. They talk to the children’s new teacher before the start of Year 1. This helps pupils to continue to build on their strong reading skills as they get older. They quickly become confident readers. Teachers successfully make sure that pupils are ready for Year 1 by the end of Reception. Nevertheless, teachers could sometimes build more strongly on the knowledge pupils already have when they move into Year 1.

Leaders have not identified any pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities in the school. Teachers are skilled at making sure that pupils of different abilities learn well.

Leaders, including the trustees, make sure that the school meets the independent school standards (ISS) and other requirements, including those about equality and the suitability of the early years provision. They systematically check that the ISS are met as part of their routine work. This has helped them to improve the school, for example by making sure that all inside areas are well maintained and warm, and have the resources needed for pupils’ learning. Even though the school does not have a website, its comprehensive set of policies is available to parents and carers on request. Leaders make sure that staff can do their best for the pupils.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders and teachers know what is needed to keep pupils safe. Leaders provide regular training and updates in staff meetings. This means that staff build their confidence about safeguarding.

The school’s systems for checking that new members of staff are suitable to work with pupils are thorough.

If staff identify that a pupil may be affected by a safeguarding problem, they are persistent in following this up. They work with other professionals when they need to. Leaders make sure that any such pupils get the help they need to be as happyand safe as possible.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and proprietor)

Leaders have improved the school’s outdoor area for children in the early years since the previous inspection. However, it is still not completely suitable. Leaders need to ensure that this area provides the most effective opportunities for children to learn in an environment that fully supports their physical, learning and welfare needs. . Teachers of different year groups work together, particularly to prepare for pupils moving class at the end of each year. This did not work as well as possible for all pupils moving into Year 1 this year. Leaders must ensure that teachers in the early years and key stage 1 continue to work closely together so that children and pupils continuously build their knowledge in mathematics and other subjects as they move through the school. . Leaders are successful in making sure that the school provides pupils with a wide range of knowledge. However, in music, this is not as wide as that experienced by most pupils across the country. Leaders must ensure that the curriculum offered is suitably broad in all subjects. . Teachers are successful in helping pupils to build deep knowledge about the different things they study. They also provide some effective opportunities for pupils to develop subject-specific skills, for example in practical work in science and by using maps in geography. However, pupils’ subject-specific skills are less well developed than their knowledge. Leaders must ensure that the planning and teaching of the curriculum ensure that pupils develop stronger subject-specific skills.