Primary National Strategy

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22nd October 18
Trail : Primary / ISP / The North West ISP Hub : Cherry Fold Community Primary School, Burnley

Cherry Fold Community Primary School, Burnley


Wendy Tracey

School Context:

Cherry Fold is a new school in a new building (opened August 2004).  It is an amalgamation of four schools – Myrtle Bank Nursery, Myrtle Bank Infant, Coal Clough Primary and Hargher Clough Junior Schools.  Two of the schools that made up Cherry Fold were in an OfSTED category.  We are a two-form entry school with a 26 FTE Nursery Class.  Free School Meals entitlement hovers around the 60% mark, as does SEN.  Our catchment area is predominantly E/E*, with alcohol and drug abuse, domestic violence, poor health (particularly mental health) crime and housing being the major issues.  We now have a strong teaching staff and a huge number of talented support staff in school, including a Child Support Worker, Family Liaison Officer, staff who run a successful Nurture Group for infant children, and a Learning Support Unit for junior children with BESD.  We joined ISP at the point that we moved in to our new school, to create a sharp focus on learning, teaching and standards; something that could easily have been lost in the physical move and creation of a new whole school team!

School Data:

Attainment on entry is well below the national and county average (as evidenced by PIPS results at the start of Reception).  Children make very good progress in Reception, but end the year still well below what is expected locally and nationally (PIPS end of Reception and Foundation Stage Profile).  ISP has had little impact on Foundation; it was very good before we joined ISP, and has continued to be very good.

Progress through KS 1 was very poor prior to involvement in ISP.  There has been a considerable improvement in teaching and learning through our involvement in the programme, but this is not yet reflected in our end of KS1 Teacher Assessments – our Fischer Family Trust end of KS 1 remains a sea of blue!  This remains a priority within school.

Children have tended to make better progress at KS 2, particularly in Years 5 & 6.  ISP has helped us to make this more consistent, and whilst our standards remain low, the results below demonstrate a consistent improvement in results.  Last year, we were especially proud of our Level 5s in mathematics and science.


Level 4+ English

Level 4+Maths

Level 4+Science

2002/2003 Results

 31% (2%)

 32% (8%)

 57% (16%)

2003/2004 Results

 51% (10%)

 47% (19%)

 65% (24%)

2004/2005 Results

 51% (7%)

 63% (15%)

 74% (13%)

2005/2006 Results

 53% (12%)

 56% (25%)

 66% (33%)

The Average Point Scores at the end of KS2 illustrate the improvement  particularly well:


English APS

Mathematics APS

Science APS

















KS1 – KS 2 CVA has been between 99.8 and 100.6 over the past three years.

There are no discernible patterns emerging for different groups of pupils; in part because we do not have a rich history of data to draw on.  Differences have tended thus far to be specific to cohorts rather than generic school issues.

Best bits (our successes):

Developing that crucial ethos and climate for improvement

As a new school, we used ISP as a focus to help to forge our new team and whole school ethos – something that was very challenging!  The sharp focus on ethos and on learning, teaching and standards was driven by our involvement in ISP.

Key activities, structures and systems within the school

Even though we had obviously to work hard to create consistent structures and systems as we were a new school and an amalgamation of staff, ISP was used as a tool to drive this work, and measure its impact.  A focus on behaviour management and a reduction in exclusions was a critical part of our work.

Role of the subject leader

For us, this has been one of the greatest parts of ISP.  We have used the programme to develop two excellent subject leaders.  The CPD for them has been the best I have ever encountered, and the impact has been felt throughout school.  Their roles have developed throughout our involvement with ISP, and the two teachers are going to disseminate their excellent practice and expertise to all subject leaders next school year, using ISP principles as a model.

The part leadership and management played

For me, ISP will only work in schools where the Head Teacher is totally committed to school improvement, involvement in ISP and able to take a strong lead.  Where this is not the case, I believe ISP will have some impact, but that the impact will be limited.  Involvement of key staff, including strong English and mathematics leaders is vital.

Monitoring and evaluation

The RAP review was useful.  For the first two years in ISP, our RAP formed the cornerstone of our school improvement file.  This year, we have integrated remaining elements from the RAP into our subject/aspect improvement plans.  Many of the key elements of ISP are now embedded into our annual process of planning, monitoring and evaluation.  Termly Pupil Progress Meetings are a critical part of our school focus on learning, teaching, standards and Performance Management.