Fairburn View Primary School

Highlighting best practice as a representative in The Parliamentary Review

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Fairburn View Primary School is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.


Highlighting best practice
The school council with
MrsBrownlee, head teacher
Teaching and learning has
improved throughout the school
Fairburn View Primary School is in Airedale, Castleford in
West Yorkshire, and is an amalgamation of Redhill Junior
and Infant schools. In an area of high unemployment
and social deprivation, most pupils enter the school below, or
significantly below, the average standards of learning. Despite
these challenges, the staff and governors have worked tirelessly
to build the community into a vibrant, happy and positive
learning experience for every pupil who attends. The school is
now focused on improving the quality of provision for all pupils.
Head teacher Margaret Brownlee explains how the school has
been so successful.
Focused monitoring
During the school’s first operating year it achieved poor and below national Key
Stage SATs results. Disappointed but determined, the staff and pupils worked hard
to ensure the school’s second year saw much improved results. To address this,
thorough tracking and half-termly monitoring has taken place to ensure that the
school knows the progress of each child from their starting point in early years until
they leave in year 6. A new consistent approach to teaching and learning ensued,
and in 2017 the school achieved significantly improved results in achievement and
attainment throughout the school, including early learning goals, phonics testing,
Key Stage 1 SATs and Key Stage 2 SATs results. Now, staff confidently use data to
ensure they are addressing the needs of all pupils, monitoring carefully the progress
of each child in their class as they progress throughout the school. Also, regular
»Head teacher:
Mrs Margaret Brownlee
»Founded in 2015
»Based in Airedale, Castleford,
West Yorkshire
»Type of school: Local
authority-maintained primary
»No. of pupils: 472
»The amalgamation of Redhill
Junior and Infant Schools
»The new school building
was built as part of the
government’s Priority Schools
Building Programme
Fairburn View Primary
close monitoring and evaluation of
each year group takes place by the
newly formed Middle Leadership Team,
whose passion for teaching is visible
in the quality of their own day-to-day
classroom practice.
The staff, initially from two different
schools, each with a different ethos, are
now working together as one strong
dynamic team with the determination
to ensure that the quality of education
the pupils receive at Fairburn View is at
least good in every way.
Strong and vibrant curriculum
A key priority at the school is to give
all pupils a rich curriculum with many
opportunities to experience learning
outside the classroom and expand their
knowledge and understanding of the
world around them. As such, a key
use of the pupil premium funding is
to allow these learning opportunities
to take place at a minimum cost to
parents, leaving pupils with good
memories of exciting and varied
experiences to stimulate quality work
in the classroom, especially writing.
Writing is a focus for improvement.
Evidence shows that, following a visit
out of school (or a visitor into school),
pupils’ imaginations are inspired and
the standard of writing improves as
a result. Inspired by this, the school
recently launched its Talk for Writing
initiative. Embedded in all year groups,
this systematic teaching of writing
provides all pupils with an initial
shared experience that is exciting, and
then builds on this with a structured
method of writing about it.
The school has placed an increased
emphasis on music and physical
education for all pupils. Due to
inconsistent teaching of these two
subjects across the key stages, the
school employed a dedicated PE
teacher, a higher-level teaching
assistant (HLTA) for PE and another
HLTA to teach music across the school.
The transformation of the school and
the pupils has been impressive and
noted by many visitors.
Dedicated PE lessons
The PE specialist was originally
appointed to the junior school, prior
to amalgamation. Through the joining
of the two schools, however, a new
curriculum has been developed, which
involves a structured series of key
sport skills for Key Stage 1 and early
years. All pupils have their dedicated
two hours of PE each week and are
encouraged to wear a full PE kit each
lesson through the school’s Perfect
Participation initiative. The PE teacher
has developed a full PE monitoring
and assessment procedure to allow
pupils of all abilities to participate and
make progress in the subject area.
Pupils with SEND have their own
lesson on Friday with PE specialists,
which gives them an opportunity to
explore the various apparatus and
build their physical skills in a focused
and well-resourced environment.
The HLTA for PE also offers daily
physiotherapy sessions for pupils with
SEND who require regular physio for
their development. In summer 2017,
the school was awarded the Gold
Sports Mark award for the work it
has achieved in PE. This marked the
end of a particularly successful year of A full-time PE teacher
delivers the PE
The school has
placed an
emphasis on
music and
education for
all pupils
Highlighting best practice
sport, which included winning several
football and rugby competitions and
participation in the West Yorkshire
Schools Games. This enthusiasm for
sport also continues after school,
with an increasing number of pupils
involved in the sports clubs on offer.
Learning music with a
professional musician
The quality of music teaching has also
improved greatly across the school.
With the employment of a professional
saxophonist as a music HLTA, all
pupils have a dedicated one-hour
lesson every week, which gives them
the opportunity to try new musical
instruments, experience new types
of music, write their own music and
develop singing skills with confidence.
Again, the HLTA has developed
a full monitoring and assessment
procedure for all pupils and produced
an engaging and vibrant curriculum
involving all pupils of all abilities. The
public performances by the pupils
continue to improve and impress the
whole school community. Pupils have
The Lion King
Beauty and the Beast
as well as regular
seasonal events. Improved new stage
lighting and a PA system have allowed
these productions to be produced to a
high quality. Theschool is now working
on achieving the Artsmark award in
recognition of the improvement in the
quality of provision.
Parental support
Parental engagement continues to
be of great importance to the school.
Through the work of the attendance
officer and parent support worker,
school attendance continues to improve.
Support for vulnerable families is
paramount, and external agencies are
confident that Fairburn View is helping
to manage the needs of many of our
parents and their children. For many
parents, the school is a safe environment
where concerns and cares can be
discussed without condemnation, but
with a positive outlook.
Fairburn View Primary School is a new
school with a bright and exciting future
ahead of it. The happiness, progress
and development of each pupil is at
the centre of all it does and aims to
do. The school wants every pupil who
has attended, and who will attend in
the future, to remember it as a positive
time in their lives – a time that provides
memories that will last forever.
Fairburn View
Primary School
is a new
school with a
bright and
exciting future
ahead of it
Singing has helped to improve
pupils’ emotional well-being
Pupils with SEND participate in daily
physio lessons


This article was sponsored by Fairburn View Primary School. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.