“ Address: Oxclose Lane / Arnold / Nottingham / Nottinghamshire / NG5 6FX / Tel: 0115 915 1560 „
Burford Primary and Nursery School
Oxclose Lane, Arnold, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire NG5 6FX
My daughter is now almost 7, and has been attending Burford School since she was 3 years old, starting out in the nursery in the afternoons, then progressing to full time nursery, then onto reception classes, and is now in her second year in the junior school .
The reason I chose this school was that it was the nearest to my house - my daughter was my first child, and I didn't know of anywhere that could tell me what schools were good, so I went for the most practical option for me . With a young daughter and no transport, a school that was a mere five minutes walk away from my house was a logical choice .
I met with the headteacher (I'm afraid I can't remember her name as shortly afterwards she retired and was replaced by the current head) before putting my child into nursery . She was very friendly, and took me on a tour of the nursery, as well as explaining how the playgrounds worked. (More on that later). I was delighted to see that the nursery was very well equipped, with plenty of educational and play materials, a seperate secure area for storage of bags and coats, and a secure buzzer entry system. I met with the nursery teachers, and a couple of the teaching assistants, and then arrived with my daughter the following week.
I was invited to sit in on the first few sessions to make sure my daughter was comfortable, and I felt this was very useful, as it enabled me to help her make friends on the first few days, and enabled her to grow secure in the environment before I left her there alone . The first couple of times she was left alone, she did kick up a little fuss as I left, but soon settled down, and I would pick her up each afternoon with a great big grin on her face, covered in paint, and eager to sing the newest nursery rhyme she had learned .
I was impressed with her progress even at the nursery stage . I'd like to think my influence at home also had something to do with it, but she began reading small books alone at four, and is now an avid reader . I think much of this is due to the very supportive teachers in the nursery section .
When the time came round for me to think about my daughters further schooling, I had no hesitation in having her continue at the school where she was happy and settled, and the transition from Nursery school to to 'proper' school was smooth, with her attending classes there for a couple of hours a week before moving up full time. Again, I was invited up to meet the new teachers and teaching assistants, and again I was impressed by the tools available in the classroom - up to date coputer equipment, plenty of books, a dedicated art area and several wall displays showing the pupils work .
It was also around the time that I became more involved in my daughters schooling - she began to be set simple homework - spellings and such - and the teachers kept me well informed through conversations and her homework diary of her progress . She continued to thrive in a supportive environments, and at the regular parents evenings I was given updates on her strengths and weaknesses, as well as on her behaviour or any concerns my daughter had expressed . I liked that on the one occasion my daughter reported to a teacher someone had bullied her, the matter was not only dealt with promptly, but the teacher made sure I was aware of the incident.
This in particular really impressed me . As someone who was bullied at school myself, I was used to teachers attempting to deny bullying could possibly happen in their class . I liked the open attitude her, with the teacher openly admitting an incident of bullying had occured, and keeping me in the loop so that I could then give my daughter any support she might need at home .
I am very impressed with the standard of education at the school so far - my daughter is frequently learning new things, and is encouraged in the things she enjoys, as well as supported in the things she finds most difficult . For example, my daughter is a very keen reader, and the school has a programme that rewards readers with certificates and prizes for completing reviews on books they have read. She is a little weaker at maths, but the teachers do set aside some time to help her with the areas she struggles in .
There are plenty of other incentives and rewards at the school that keep pupils encouraged. The school uses the star stickers rewards I had a as a child, but as well as just getting a sticker, you get to save them up for a prize. This could be small items such as a colouring book or a pretty necklace, right up to larger items such as mobile phones and bicycles. I think this is brilliant, as the stickers often get lost, but by saving up towards a prize the child has a reward that will last them for ages .
They also have rewards for 100 per cent attendance . Every child with 100% attendance gets a ceritificate, but also every term four childrens names are drawn out of a hat, and those children get to go to the build a bear workshop and have a bear made for them . As a result, my daughter never wants to miss school, even when she is genuinely ill .
My daughter is involved in plenty of activities - swimming, drama, and glee club.
I like that the school appreciates that older pupils can be rougher and more boisterous than the younger pupils . For this reason, nursery and reception class share a playground, class one and class two share another, and the older children use the larger playground. Each playground has toys and activities suitable for the age group .
There is absolutely no doubt that my daughter is thriving at this school - but what might surprise you is that I am too . The school runs adult education programmes, as well as parent and child activity clubs and relate counselling sessions on a regular basis . Thanks to the school, I have completed courses in Parenting Skills, Story Sacks, and am soon to sit my national test in literacy at the end of a 15 week literacy course . In September this year I'll be beginning a numeracy course, and after the completion of that,if I can organise a voluntary placement at the school, I will begin training as a teaching assistant - a career choice inspired by having met the lovely teaching assistants working and training there already .
Through these various courses I have grown in confidence, learned new skills, and gained an active and busy social life with the other mums, regularly meeting for coffee, or pooling babysitting skills and having nights out.
The school is very supportive to both parents and children . When I was in a troubled relationship in the past, the headteacher took me aside and offered me extra support, putting me in touch with various helplines that provided valuable advice.
For those parents who work, the school has after school and breakfast clubs that are affordable and fun for the children . I don't work, but I still send my daughter to after school club occasionally for a couple of extra hours of me time, which I find a bargain at £4, especially since they get snacks and drinks while there .
I only have one criticism of this school - and that could be said to be directed at parents more than children - the dreaded head lice are everywhere, and some parents simply don't bother to check their children hair . No matter how many times I get rid of them from my daughters hair, they invariably come back!
I've not got into ofsted results and such- that information is widely available and I chose to keep this review personal rather than just blurt a list of facts and statistics. I have included a link to the schools profile at the bottom of this review if anybody in the local area would like to read further.
From my experience, this is a wonderful school that encourages and supports both children and parents, and I have no regrets about sending my daughter here!