Birchensale Middle School
Catchment Area, Reviews and Key Information

School Guide Rating

Bridley Moor Road
B97 6HT
9 - 13
Academy converter
4 1 1 2 3 4
Ofsted Inspection
Full Report - All Reports
% pupils meeting the expected standard in reading, writing and mathematics
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School Description

The leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the last inspection. Since the last inspection standards at the school have improved after an initial decline in outcomes in 2016. Current pupils at key stage 2 make strong progress and the progress of pupils in key stage 3 is good across a range of subjects, including in English and mathematics. You have addressed effectively the areas for improvement from the previous inspection report. You and your leaders have effective improvement plans in place and as a result, outcomes for pupils have improved. Furthermore, pupils’ handwriting has improved, and they take pride in their work. You agree that the school’s strategic assessment analysis needs further work to be fully effective in informing you and governors about how well groups of pupils are achieving. You and your senior leaders know the school’s strengths and weaknesses very well and your self-evaluation is highly accurate. You and your dedicated staff have created a truly inclusive school in which every pupil is valued and cared for. Pupils benefit from teachers’ knowledge of them and their families, allowing staff to be nurturing and supportive when needed. Staff have a passion for the well-being of their pupils and ensure that they are happy and safe. The clear strength of your school is the pastoral care you provide for your pupils. This allows them both to thrive academically and to become well-rounded human beings. The school’s ‘Bungalow’ is a ‘safe haven’ for the most vulnerable pupils in the school. Here they receive targeted support and have a place of sanctuary if they feel distressed or upset. Pupils speak very highly of the Bungalow and the support they receive when needed. The leadership of the school’s safeguarding and pastoral care in the Bungalow is exceptional. Leaders involve the families of vulnerable pupils and/or engage with hard to reach families in targeted sessions and courses to support them. For example, during the time of the inspection, inspectors visited a course run in the Bungalow for parents on how best to support their children through puberty. The course was attended well, and parents speak very highly of all the support on offer. Your work with the school’s most vulnerable pupils is excellent. In a short time at your school, they overcome some of their barriers to learning and, equally if not more importantly, their social issues. For example, during the time of the inspection a vulnerable pupil brought a sandwich to an inspector who was observing lunchtime in the dining hall, because the pupil thought that the inspector had forgotten her lunch. Just one example of the many overwhelming and positive interactions inspectors had while visiting your school. Pupils sit benchmarking exams upon entry to your school and then again annually to gauge their progress. This is complemented by regular and appropriate assessments throughout the school year in each subject. Work is moderated and checked within learning areas, allowing middle leaders and teachers to spot when pupils fall behind. However, this vast amount of information is then not collated and presented in a format that informs you and your governors about the performance pupil groups, for example. Senior leaders analyse all information and take too long to have a clear overview of how well pupils, and especially pupil groups, are performing. As a result, leaders are not able to inform governors quickly and effectively of how well pupil groups are achieving. This practice of strategically tracking and analysing information is not yet as effective as it could be. The school’s programme to improve pupils’ reading ability is highly effective. The library is used effectively before and after school, and pupils benefit from daily reading lessons. The school’s dog ‘Dotty’ effectively supports the most reluctant or weakest readers to make progress in reading. They read with and to Dotty and take care in their reading and comprehension to ensure that Dotty understands the content of the material read. Pupils enjoy reading and do so during social times, for example in the school’s dining hall at lunchtime. As a result, pupils’ outcomes in reading are strong. Governors are passionate about their school. The governing body consists of members who have wide-ranging expertise and fulfil their statutory duties with diligence. However, they are not fully aware of the published information about pupil groups. This is partly due to leaders’ analysis of assessment information and because they rely too heavily on leaders to present and analyse information for them. Plans are in place to provide further training for governors.

Birchensale Middle School Catchment Area Map

This pupil heat map shows where pupils currently attending the school live.

Enter a postcode to see where you live on the map
heatmap example
All attending pupils
National School Census Data 2020
Pupil heat map key

How many pupils attending the school live in the area?


The concentration of pupils shows likelihood of admission based on distance criteria

01905 822700

This School Guide heat map has been plotted using official pupil data taken from the last School Census collected by the Department for Education. It is a visualisation of where pupils lived at the time of the annual School Census.

Our heat maps use groups of postcodes, not individual postcodes, and have naturally soft edges. All pupils are included in the mapping (i.e. children with siblings already at the school, high priority pupils and selective and/or religious admissions) but we may have removed statistical ‘outliers’ with more remote postcodes that do not reflect majority admissions.

For some schools, the heat map may be a useful indicator of the catchment area but our heat maps are not the same as catchment area maps. Catchment area maps, published by the school or local authority, are based on geographical admissions criteria and show actual cut-off distances and pre-defined catchment areas for a single admission year.

This information is provided as a guide only. The areas from which pupils are admitted to a school can change from year to year to reflect the number of siblings and pupils admitted under high priority admissions criteria.

3 steps to help parents gather catchment information for a school:

  1. Look at our school catchment area guide for more information on heat maps. They give a useful indicator of the general areas that admit pupils to the school. This visualisation is based on all attending pupils present at the time of the annual School Census.
  2. Use the link to the Local Authority Contact (above) to find catchment area information based on a single admission year. This is very important if you are considering applying to a school.
  3. On each school page, use the link to visit the school website and find information on individual school admissions criteria. Geographical criteria are only applied after pupils have been admitted on higher priority criteria such as Looked After Children, SEN, siblings, etc.

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