Pupils at an independent Islamic school have been praised by inspectors for showing ‘kindness and mutual respect’ towards their teachers.

The Jamiatul-Ilm Wal-Huda in Blackburn caters for 439 pupils aged from 11 upwards. It is one of the largest Darul-loom or Islamic boarding schools in the region and attracts students from across the county.

A recent Ofsted inspection rated the school as ‘good’ and ‘outstanding’ in areas of ‘behaviour and attitudes’ and ‘personal development’. The inspection at the school, where parents pay £1,600 annually, was conducted in July.

The report said: “Pupils flourish at this school. They embody the school’s values of striving to be exemplary citizens. Pupils, including students in the sixth form, are encouraged to be active members of society and to make a positive difference to their community. 

“This is because leaders and staff create a culture where respect for others is valued. Leaders have the highest expectations of behaviour and academic achievement for all pupils, including students in the sixth form. Pupils are ambitious. They want to succeed. Pupils study a broad academic curriculum and achieve highly. Pupils behave in an exemplary manner.

“Their highly positive attitudes contribute strongly to their learning. Lessons are rarely, if ever, disrupted by poor behaviour. Pupils show kindness and mutual respect to their peers and their teachers. 

“When pupils report bullying, leaders address it effectively. This helps pupils to feel happy and safe in school. 

“Pupils relish taking on leadership roles, such as on the student shura (council). They know that their opinion matters and they feel listened to by staff. For example, at the pupils’ request, leaders installed additional lighting for the school’s football pitch so that pupils could continue to play safely in the winter months.”

The report said pupils’ ‘excellent behaviour and attitudes towards school have a deep impact on their learning’. 

It added: “They are fully focused during lessons and highly motivated to learn. Relationships between staff and pupils are warm and respectful. Students in the sixth form are mature and courteous. 

“Their commendable conduct adds to the calm atmosphere in the school. 

“All pupils study a well-designed personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education programme, complemented by plentiful enrichment activities. From the start, leaders strive to instil in pupils the need to respect all members of society and to act with integrity. Pupils understand, respect and celebrate the differences between people.

“Leaders are determined to support pupils to develop into confident and resilient young people who have empathy for others. Pupils experience a variety of educational and extra-curricular visits and trips. They also hear from a range of visiting speakers to the school. 

“Leaders provide helpful careers education and guidance for pupils and students. This includes information about apprenticeships. Pupils are well supported to make ambitious choices for their future lives.”

In rating the school as ‘good’, inspectors did note some areas of improvement.

The report read: “Leaders’ systems to identify and support pupils who find reading more difficult do not identify the precise deficits in pupils’ reading knowledge. This means that some pupils do not receive the most appropriate reading support that they need to catch up with their peers. Leaders should ensure that teachers are fully equipped to identify and remedy the gaps in pupils’ reading knowledge.”