The way we work

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.


  • The school is a beautifully refurbished Victorian building.
  • We have a continuing programme of improvement to keep the premises attractive, safe and comfortable to all school users.
  • The public areas are full of lively photographs and imaginative examples of children's work.
  • The classrooms are large, bright and comfortable, and fully equipped with laptop computers, and interactive whiteboards.
  • We have a large computer suite, a dedicated music room/studio and an attractive library.
  • We have three large playgrounds well-resourced with climbing and play opportunities, an all-purpose sports pitch, and a nature garden.

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.

"Every Child Matters" perfectly describes our highly diverse and fully inclusive culture. The progress, wellbeing, and safety of all our children is our prime concern. Our Special NeedsEquality and Safeguarding Policies detail our unconditional commitment to safety and equality of opportunity for every child. Safeguarding and Child Protection is of paramount importance to us, and we comply fully with the statutory guidance as specified in "Keeping Children Safe In Education" - DfE Sept 2016, which can be found here.

Our Equality Objectives

  • 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 equalities target for 2017 was to ensure that our disadvantaged children continued to outperform their non-disadvantaged peers nationally. This target has been more than fully met, as in the 2017 SATs, disadvantaged children out-performed their in-school peers in Reading, Writiing and Grammar and out-performed all children nationally. As a result we have been recognised in the Mayor's School's for Success Programme for Pupil Premium Impact.


Our equalities target for 2018 is to narrow the attainment gap between boys and girls in Reading in KS2 SATs (currently boys 83%, girls 100% at expected level) 


Please click here for our Equalities Policy.

Our Governors

Our school governors meet frequently throughout the year. With the Headteacher, they take responsibility for finance, premises and curriculum. 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.


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.

All these documents are on the website.

The Governing Body is currently chaired by Dennis Twomey. Our Vice Chair is David White, and our Parent Governors are Abzal Ali and Rana Basir. Our Local Authority Governor is Tony Millar, and our Community 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.

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. There are regular dental check ups. 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 3.00. Asthma pumps and inhalers can be used in school if authorised by the child's doctor.

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 secretary.


Click here for our medical policy

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 unwilling or unable to pay.


Year Five children experience a residential trip every year. This is offered at a reduced cost to all children, and parents will be asked to contribute towards the cost. 


Parents unable to pay will be offered the trip free of charge if they are in receipt of the relevant benefits.


All after school clubs, including Breakfast and Teatime Club, are offered free of charge

Sex and Relationships Education

Sex and Relationships Education is not taught as a separate subject, but as part of our positive commitment to the Physical, Social and Health Education (PSHE) of the children.


All members of staff will respond sensitively and appropriately to any relevant questions that the children may ask


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 Accelerated 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. The International Primary Curriculum provides rich learning experiences through thematic topics, designed to inspire, engage and delight the children, and provoke high levels of enquiry. You can view our two-yearly topic cycle here. We go on numerous trips and outings, and the organisation of all our educational visits are conducted within in strict compliance to the DfE guidance.


Our performing arts are breath-taking, and the classrooms and public areas of the school are delightful and ever-changing galleries of the children's art-work.


Our allocated Sports Premium of £18,660 is used to buy into the Tower Hamlets Sports Partnership, and to employ a Choreographer in Residence. The Sports Partnership sends us a constant stream of expert sports coaches for such activities as judo, fencing, boxing, rugby, cricket and much more. Our choreographer provides weekly dance classes involving a wide variety of modern and traditional genres, building confidence, poise and self expression across all age-groups. Over half the school (180 children) currently participate in after school dance and sports activities. 46 of our children are representing the school at cross-borough level in inter-school sports tournaments, and as a result 13 children were selected to participate in in district trials. Furthermore, all children participate in at least one and a half hours of physical activity per week, and all learn to swim in an intensive course in the summer, giving every child the opportunity to develop a healthy active lifestyle. 


If you would like more information about our curriculum, please make an appointment to visit the school and we'd be delighted to show you the curriculum in action and answer any questions you may have.


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 and end of each school year.
  • Reports are written in the summer term.
  • Newsletters are sent home once a term.
  • We have an annual Open Day.
  • In an emergency we communicate through text alerts.
  • Our website is always kept up-to-date.
  • 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!

Concerns complaints and compliments

We like to keep in touch with you in many different ways.


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.

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.



Our uniform is colourful, practical and reasonable, and is compulsory for all children from reception age upwards.


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


Uniform is available on request from the reception desk.

Some useful rules

  • Please discourage your child from bringing in 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.

Pupil Premium


For the academic year 2016/17 our Pupil Premium of £188,760, which supports pupils on Free School Meals and Looked After Children, resourced three part-time support teachers, four trained Learning Support Assistants, intensive Speech and Language Therapy, targetted 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 at or above their expected rate of progress. 


In the 2017 KS2 SATs, disadvantaged children out-performed their non-disadvantaged classmates in Reading, Writing and Grammar. They also out-performed all children nationally in all subjects. The achievements of our disadvantaged children have led the school being nationally recognised for it's Pupil Premium impact.


Currently our Pupil Progress Tracker shows statistically negligible difference in the average progress of children on Pupil Premium as measured against their peers.


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.


For the academic year 2017/18, the Pupil Premium allocation  £184,800. The school continues to use this funding to provide additional staff who can give the children focused and immediate intervention for those who need it, especially in areas of both understanding and writing English. Based on our KS2 results for the last several years, this approach clearly continues to have a powerful impact on both attainment and progress. 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 the ISAP attendance programme, which directly intervenes with families who have poor attendance. The school will monitor the impact of this by closely monitoring attendance figures of potentially vulnerable pupils.


The next Pupil Premium strategy review will be in early December 2018, once the data from Analyse School Performance (ASP) has been published.


Click here to view our SWB Self Evaluation.



How the School is organised

  • The Foundation Stage takes 45 Reception children, 27 full-time and 36 part-time Nursery children.
  • The Primary School takes approximately 30 children in each class, with 45 in each year group.
  • The class teachers are well supported by Nursery Nurses, and Learning Support Assistants

The classes are organised into three key stages:

  1. Foundation Stage for Early Years and Reception
  2. Key Stage One for Infants
  3. Key Stage Two for Juniors

The School Day starts at 9.00am and finishes at 3.00pm for the Early Years Unit and Infants, and 3.05 for the Juniors. 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 to the School

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:

  1. Looked after children and previously looked after children
  2. Brothers and sisters attending the school.
  3. 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.

Assemblies and Religious Education

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. Religious Education is also taught within the curriculum.


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