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The way we work

Our Facilities

  • The school is a beautifully refurbished Victorian building.
  • We have a continuing programme of improvement to keep the premises safe, attractive, and comfortable to all school users.
  • The public areas are full of lively photographs and vibrant examples of children's artwork.
  • The classrooms are large, bright and comfortable, and fully equipped with laptop computers, iPads, Chromebooks and interactive, touchscreen whiteboards.
  • We have three large playgrounds well-resourced with climbing and play opportunities, and an all-purpose sports pitch.

How the School is Organised

  • Our Nursery can offer full-time places (30 hours) to eligible parents. All other nursery places are offered on a part-time basis (15 hours).
  • The Primary School takes 30 children in each class, with 45 in each year group.


The classes are organised into three key stages:

  1. Foundation Stage for Nursery and Reception
  2. Key Stage One for Years 1 and 2
  3. Key Stage Two for Years 3 to 6


The School Day starts at 9.00am and finishes at 3.00pm. We have an extensive range of After-School Clubs which run until 4.00pm, and a Breakfast Club which starts at 8.30am.


Lunches are cooked freshly on the premises every day, offer an excellent choice of dishes and are free of charge. Click here to see our menu. Children can bring their own packed lunches, where we would expect a selection a healthy options. Fruit is provided for a mid-morning snack. Sweets and fizzy drinks are strictly off the menu!

Admission Arrangements

All Reception admissions are dealt with by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, and Reception applications should be made using the Common Application Form. The over-subscription criteria are:


  • Looked after children and previously looked after children
  • Children with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
  • Brothers and sisters attending the school
  • Children of school employees
  • Those living closest to the school


In exceptional cases priority can be given to children with exceptional medical or social needs.


All other admissions are dealt with by the school. Our Admissions Policy will give you more information.


If your child has not been offered a place at the school, you can appeal against that decision. The London Borough of Tower Hamlets deals with all appeals for the school. Full information and the appeals timetable can be found here.


The school receives and decides all in-year admissions according to the above over-subscription criteria, and informs the Local Authority of all applications and their outcome. Should you wish to apply for an in-year admission, you will need to collect a transfer form from your current school.

Our Ethos and Values

At Sir William Burrough:

  • We are passionate about learning.
  • We are always saying You Can Do It!
  • We delight in innovation and creativity.
  • We are proudly growing tomorrows citizens.
  • We thrive in partnerships,
  • And cherish everyone in our school community.

You Can Do It

Our "You Can Do It" programme keeps levels of confidence, and resilience high, and is deeply woven into our relationships of respect, kindness, tolerance and courtesy. We expect the highest standards of conduct and behaviour, and the children meet and often exceed our expectations.Our Behaviour Policy sets out how we respond on the very rare occasions when behaviour is unacceptable.

Equality Objectives

Our Equalities Objectives are:

  • Objective 1: We will continue our absolute commitment to zero tolerance of any form of unlawful discrimination, harassment or victimisation within the school.
  • Objective 2: We will continue to enhance and enrich our all-inclusive culture and curriculum with programmes, events and resources which support, advance and celebrate diversity and difference.
  • Objective 3: We will continue with our excellent track record of maintaining or exceeding National Standards for attainment and progress for girls and boys, pupils with Special Needs, Looked After Children, pupils on Free School Meals, pupils with English as an Additional Language.


Our focus on narrowing the attainment gap between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged children can be seen in all areas of our results. For example, in the 2019 SATs, 21% of our disadvantaged children were at the higher level in all subjects, which puts them in line with their non-disadvantaged peers, and well above the average of 11% for all pupils nationally. Similarly, 83% of our disadvantaged children in our Reception class achieved a Good Level of Development compared to 72% of all children nationally.


Please click here for our Equalities Policy.


Sir William Burrough is a highly diverse and fully inclusive culture with unconditional commitment to equality of opportunity and inclusion for every child. Please refer to our Special Needs Information Report for details of our comprehensive approach to involving all children in all aspects of school life. Please see also our Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Policy and our Accessibility Policy.


Safeguarding and Child Protection are of paramount importance and the school complies fully with the statutory guidance as specified in Keeping Children Safe in Education (DfE, September 2023), which can be found here. The school's Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy can be found here.

Ways We Communicate

We keep in touch with you in many different ways:


  • We are available at the beginning and end of each school day.
  • Parents evenings happen at the beginning, middle and end of each school year.
  • Reports are written in the summer term.
  • In an emergency we communicate through text messages and emails.
  • ParentMail can be used to communicate with the school and to order uniform.
  • Parents and carers meet monthly as a focus group to discuss ideas for improving the school, and we always look forward to seeing you there.

Home-School Contract: SHARE

All parents new to the school sign our Home School Contract:


SUCCESS: We work together to make sure your child does their very best.


HOMEWORK: If you spend just a little time every day hearing your child read and sharing books you will be delighted with their progress. Junior children will bring home more complex curriculum tasks, and your support and encouragement will make all the difference.


ATTENDANCE: Our best learners come to school every day and come on time! Please make sure your child is in school by 9.00am every day. If they unwell let us know on the same day - a telephone call is fine. Please take your holiday during the school holidays. Please click here to view our Attendance Policy.


RESPECTFUL BEHAVIOUR: We treat the children with great respect, use lots of praise and encouragement and expect the children to be polite, kind and co-operative at all times. Parents will be informed in the rare event of a serious concern.


EQUALITY: Every member of our school community is dealt with in utmost fairness and equality regardless of race, gender, ethnicity or disability.

Health Matters

Medicals and check ups: 

Parents and teachers are entitled to request a medical if they have a special concern. Letters will always be sent to parents prior to a medical, and we like you to attend with your child. Our School Nurse draws up Health Care Plans in consultation with parents and staff for children with long-term medical conditions.



We do not give children medicine in school for short-term illnesses. If your child needs a lunch-time dose, we'll ask you to come to school to administer it, or defer the dose until 3.00pm. Asthma pumps and inhalers can be used in school if authorised by the child's doctor, in accordance with their Healthcare Plan. For those children who require medication as part of their Healthcare Plan, medicines can be administered by staff in school, with parental consent. When this happens, a form will be sent home with the child, detailing dosage and time administered.


Illness and accidents:

If your child has an infectious illness, please let us know as soon as it has been confirmed.If your child becomes ill at school we ask you or a responsible adult to take your child home as soon as possible.If your child has a minor accident in school he/she will be attended to by one of our trained First Aiders.


All accidents are investigated and recorded. We always notify parents if an accident has occurred, especially if there has been a bump on the head. Unfortunately a more serious accident may occur in school, and it is vital that we can get in touch with a parent or responsible adult as soon as possible, so that the child may be taken to hospital.


It is essential that the school has an up-to-date telephone number where you, a relative or friend may be contacted. If you change your phone number, please tell the office.


Click here for our Medical Policy.


Our uniform is colourful, practical and reasonable, and is compulsory for all children from reception age upwards. Uniform can be ordered via your ParentMail account.


Children always need strong shoes which provide maximum support for their busy lives, and summer sandals must have a closed toe.

Some Useful Rules

  • Please discourage your child from bringing in mobile phones, valuable items, or wearing any kind of jewellery in school.
  • Studs are fine, but longer earings can catch on climbing apparatus and cause a nasty injury.
  • Teachers can take no responsibility for valuable items that may get lost during PE or swimming.
  • Any religious jewellery will of course be respected.

Charging and Remission Policy

Wherever possible, Sir William Burrough School will provide trips, outings and events free of charge to all children. However, parents may be asked for voluntary contributions towards coaches, entrance tickets and trips. No child will be excluded from an activity because parents are unable to pay and will be offered the trip for free if they are in receipt of the relevant benefits.


All after school clubs (excluding Breakfast and Teatime Club for children of working parents) are offered free of charge.


Learning to read, write and calculate is guaranteed at SWB. We underwrite this guarantee with fail-safe programmes to ensure basic competence in literacy and numeracy.


All our younger children learn Cursive Script, and Jolly Phonics ensures robust early reading and writing skills. This is followed by Accelerated Reader which keeps our older children hooked on books, and Freckle Maths which gives all children the practice they need in KS2 for a secure and thorough grounding in numeracy.


Our children are tested and progress tracked every half term, and given personalised intervention if they are falling behind.


Our SATs results are consistently above national expectations for attainment and progress.


We also believe children learn best through active engagement with the world around them.

We use the Cornerstones 22 Curriculum for Science, History, Geography, Art and Design Technology.


If you would like more information about our curriculum, please find full details in the drop-down menu above or take a look at the videos on the home page or in the Video drop-down menu.

Relationships and Sex Education

Relationships Education is taught as part of our PSHE curriculum in accordance with the statutory requirements of Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education (2019). The overarching concepts of our PSHE Curriculum are taught across the whole school and cover Identity, Relationships, a Healthy Balanced Lifestyle, Risk and Safety, Diversity and Equality, Rights and Responsibilities, Change and Resilience, Power and Enterprise.


Sex Education is not taught as a separate subject but as part of our absolute commitment towards positive, caring and respectful relationships within families and friendships. We also teach the children how to keep themselves safe within their personal and online relationships. Our science curriculum includes science content in related areas, such as the human body from birth to old age, reproduction in plants and animals, life cycles of living things, evolution and inheritance,


We consider that it is important that we support children's ongoing emotional and physical development at the transition phase before moving onto secondary school. We ensure that both boys and girls are prepared for the changes that adolescence brings, drawing on the knowledge of the human life cycle to explain the physical and emotional changes that they may be experiencing.


In the event that a lesson is planned which would go beyond the expectations of the National Curriculum for Science and the statutory guidance for Relationships Education, parents will be informed in advance and have the right to withdraw their child from that lesson. Such lessons would only be planned for Years 5 and 6.


All members of staff will respond sensitively and appropriately to any relevant questions that the children may ask, with due regard given to the nature of the question and the age and maturity of the child. Careful consideration will be given to the wide and varied experience, backgrounds and cultures of the children in our care. Please see our Relationships and Sex Education Policy for further information.


We hold an assembly every day. These are delightful and thoughtful occasions, when we encourage the children to develop knowledge and understanding of their own religion and a deep respect for other faiths. We invite the children to reflect on caring, sharing and kindness and use assembly times to recognise, celebrate, and reward their achievements.


Parents have the right to withdraw their child from assembly on religious grounds.

Pupil Premium

For the academic year 2021/22 our Pupil Premium funding of £143,195 and additional funding of £12,180 Covid Recovery Grant, which supports pupils on Free School Meals and Looked After Children, is resourcing four Learning Support Assistants, intensive Speech and Language Therapy, targeted Educational Psychology support, and the enhanced digital literacy and numeracy programmes of Accelerated Reader and Accelerated Maths.


As a result, the school was able to keep an ongoing track of progress and attainment, intervene immediately at a personalised level and keep pupils (including SEND pupils) at or above their expected rate of progress. 


Currently our Pupil Progress Tracker shows statistically negligible difference in the average progress of children on Pupil Premium as measured against their peers, and that SEND children are making greater levels of progess than the school average overall in Reading and Maths.


The main barriers to educational achievement faced by our pupil premium pupils are related to many of them having English as an Additional Language, often meaning that oral and written Literacy skills are lower on entry to the Reception class, thus requiring a greater degree of input throughout their time in school to raise the standards of these skills. A further potential barrier is low attendance from a very small number of families.


The school will continuously monitor both our in-school progress tracker and our KS1 and KS2 SATs results in order to ensure that the Pupil Premium funding is impacting strongly across all the children that it is supporting. The school also uses its Pupil Premium funding to buy into a highly adaptive attendance monitoring programme, which allows for immediate intervention into poor attendance. We closely monitor the attendance of our disadvantaged children.


The next Pupil Premium strategy review will be in October 2022, once the data from Analyse School Performance (ASP) has been published.


We use our 2021-22 National Tutoring Grant of £12,555 to part fund a Reading Recovery teacher who provides targetted support in early reading skills, to mitigate any learning loss caused by the covid pandemic.


Click here to view our SWB Self Evaluation.

PE and Sports Premium

Our allocated PE and Sports Premium of £18,700 for 2021/22 has been used to part-fund a full upgrade to our Multi Use Games Area, (£10,000) thus ensuring sustainablity in our  sports facilities for the children. The remainder goes towards employing Choreographers in Residence (£5,200); and funds Intensive Swimming (£3,500). Under normal circumstances, we are also using the funding to employ ia professional sports referee.


Our external sport's coaches provide us a constant stream of activities such as judo, fencing, boxing, rugby, cricket and much more, enhancing and extending the experiences and opportunities available to the children. Our choreographers provides weekly dance classes involving a wide variety of modern and traditional genres, building confidence, poise and self expression across all age-groups. When full after-school clubs are once again in operation, it is normal that over half the school (200 children) participate.


Furthermore, at lunchtime, our in-school sports coaches run competitve games across all age groups, allowing every child to undertake at the very least 30 minutes of physical activity per day. All children participate in one and a half hours of P.E. and Dance per week.


Every child in Years Three and Four participates in Intensive Swimming at the London Aquatic Centre. This year, 74% of our Year Sixes were able to swim competently and confidently over a distance of at least 25 metres and using a range of different strokes, and can perform safe self-rescue in different water-based situations. All this gives every child at SWB the opportunity to develop a healthy and active lifestyle. 

Coronavirus Catch-Up Premium

We are using our Coronavirus Catch-Up Premium of £24,800 to part-fund one extra teacher and one additional TA who work intensively with identified children at risk of falling behind.

During the first lockdown in March 2020, the school provided remote learning to all pupils. On the full re-opening of schools in September, all children returned to the teacher they had left in March for half a term to undertake an intensive catch-up programme to bring them back in line with age-related expectation. Our internal STAR Test data shows that all children across all classes in KS2 have made excellent progress in the half term since they returned to school. Having caught up, most have moved considerably on from where they were at the point of lockdown. Further disaggregation of the STAR data suggests that this catch-up programme has had the most profound effect on our SEND pupils, who, on average, dropped 76 points between March and September, but have since increased their average score by 122 points.

During the second lockdown in January 2021, intensive online provision continued with one:one provision for SEN pupils and our STAR data continues to show improvement in line with expected standards.

We will will continue to closely monitor those children we deem to be at most risk of falling behind with continuous teacher-based assessments, and half-termly STAR tests



Our Governors

Our school governors meet frequently throughout the year. With the Headteacher, they take responsibility for finance, premises and curriculum. The chair of governors is Dennis Twomey.


Parents are welcome to attend as observers. Parent governors are often available in the school playground and will always be happy to talk to you. Once a year the governors hold an Annual Meeting to present their report to parents. There is one subcommittee of the main governing body, which oversees Finance, Premises and Personnel. The chair of this committee is David White.


Our Governors Curriculum Aims are:

  • To promote highest possible achievement for all pupils irrespective of race, gender, culture or disability
  • To promote pupils' intellectual, spiritual, cultural, and physical development
  • To prepare pupils to become responsible citizens and lifelong learners in the twenty-first century


The Governors are also trustees of the Academy and are responsible for the Funding Agreement, Memorandum and Articles of Association relating to the Academy. Full information about the governance structure is also available in the Articles of Association.

All these documents are on the website. Information on governor terms of office, date of appointment, attendance at meetings and register of interests can be found here.


The Governing Body is currently chaired by Dennis Twomey. Our Vice Chair is David White, and our Parent Governors are Shenaly Miah and Dr Md Asaduzzaman Khan. Our Local Authority Governor is Tony Millar, and our Safeguarding Governor is Martin Skelton. Our Teacher Governor is Tony Cummins.


The Governors will always be delighted to meet with you to share your comments and concerns.

Concerns, Complaints and Compliments

If you have any concerns we are very willing to deal with simple matters at the beginning and end of the day. The headteacher is always available at these times. If the issue is likely to take more than a few moments, please make an appointment with the headteacher or the teacher of your child. We will do our utmost to sort things out quickly and happily at this stage. On the very rare occasion when we are unable to do this, we have a formal complaints procedure. Of course, if you are pleased about something the school is doing, make sure you let us know.




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