'Outstanding' Church School Status ~ June 2014!

photo-151The school was recently inspected under the Statutory Inspection of Anglican & Methodist Schools (SIAMS) framework. The purpose of this inspection is to evaluate the school's Christian 'distinctiveness and effectiveness'. In doing so, the one-day inspection involved a broad cross-section of stakeholders being met to give their views, school achievement data scrutinised, teaching and collective worship observed, leaders interviewed... all with the intention of determining to what degree Blue Coat is having a (positive) impact on its school community, in particular the impact of our core Christian values.

The school was last SIAMS inspected in 2009, where it achieved an 'Outstanding' overall judgement. However, since this time the bar has been raised with a more rigorous framework written over recent months so as to prevent such previously high proportions of schools receiving the top judgement. This revised schedule observes a raised focus on Teaching and Achievement -  in some cases higher than that expected by the Ofsted inspection schedule! 

We were delighted that the inspector (and accompanying QA inspector) recognised the hard work undertaken by all groups of our stakeholders in ensuring that we are distinctive and effective as a church school. We are proud to reveal that we secured 'Outstanding' judgements in all 4 areas, arriving at an overall 'Outstanding' judgement. The following excerpts were of particular note:

  • "The school has developed a values-based approach to teaching and learning and this has led directly to high levels of achievement across the curriculum and high attendance levels."

  • "Pupils are encouraged to explore spirituality throughout the school day: for example, the patterns of numbers in algebra and the wonders of the natural world during forest school sessions. Thus, all stakeholders' interpretation of spirituality is highly developed and is integral to all life and actions within this distinctive church school community."

  • "Pupils are actively involved in school improvement planning because the school leaders encourage and involve pupils in thinking about the future world they will be living in. As a result of this they talk with confidence and insight about school improvement and their role in shaping the future of the school."

As a school we hold this particular report in very high esteem as it addresses issues pertaining very much to the 'whole child'. It values high achievement, good behaviour, leadership etc but also goes beyond these (typically Ofsted) remits to explore how the school is nourishing our children in other ways to meet their social, emotional and spiritual needs; a reflection of how we are nurturing tomorrow's citizens to be happy, respectful, creative and responsible people.

For this outcome I must thank the relentless focus and energy of the school community in working together towards the same goal. Pupils, parents and governors have been instrumental to this success, along with a hugely devoted and talented team of teaching and support staff. 

We will, of course, endeavour to follow this report with many future improvements in an attempt to fulfill our 'future ready' promise to our pupils.

The full report can be read here: Blue Coat SIAMS Report 2014