Anne Davies, the Bishop’s Visitor (a representative of the Bishop of Gloucester) made a visit to school on 27th February 2018. She has sent her encouraging report of the visit which is shown below.
Dear Mrs Cook
Thank you for making me feel so welcome and for giving so generously of your time during my visit. It was lovely to meet with you and hear about recent events and developments at the school.
I really appreciated the chance to join EYFS/KS1 worship which was led so well by the school worship team, made up from children from Year 2 upwards. All the children joined in confidently with responses and songs from the Jack in the Box worship resources. The team had chosen the story, which was about saying sorry for hurt caused and linked very well to the term’s value, Forgiveness. A follow-up question encouraged thoughtful reflection on whether we could remember having apologized for a wrong we had done. The team members spoke out clearly, leading the children through the familiar liturgy of welcome, sharing, reflection and sending (a structure recommended by the diocese). Well done team and thank you – it was privilege to join with you.
You told me about your weekly pattern of school worship which includes whole school, key stage and class worship and takes a variety of forms including Open the Book, reflection and celebration worship and worship linked to the school value or present school issues. Revd Rob from St Peter’s Church regularly leads worship and children regularly assist and lead.
It was extremely useful and interesting to meet with Mrs Broady, the RE and Worship lead. It was a joy to see her enthusiasm for her role and to hear how much she is enjoying her training as a SIAMS inspector. She shared with me the RE and Collective Worship section of the school development plan. She told me about plans for the spiritual garden and items that have already been made for it by children, the continuing development of pupil led worship so that children are able to plan and lead independently, choosing materials from the Bible or elsewhere to illustrate their theme, and how she intends to develop children’s evaluation of RE and Worship.
The new RE syllabus and Understanding Christianity materials are used across the school, an updated two year rolling programme is in place. Progress was reviewed at a staff meeting at the end of the first unit and support with the new Agreed syllabus given by the subject leader. The school is exploring effective ways to carry out assessment in RE. There has been a focus on RE and Worship for staff training sessions. A recent inset day on spirituality was led by Revd Rob. Together the team reviewed its definition of spirituality and updated the school’s policy. A future inset day is planned on theology, again including input from Revd Rob, with a view to exploring together how Biblical teaching underpins the school’s vision, values and worship.
The school environment reflects the Christian ethos, for example the Understanding Christianity frieze, and accompanying pupil work, is prominently displayed in a corridor outside the school hall. Reflection areas have been built in each class and rotate through the school, class representatives taking them at an agreed time to the next year group to hand over and explain how the resources have been used in their own class the previous term.
I came away from the morning feeling inspired by your plans to further develop the Christian character of the school and it is clear that action is being taken to address the school’s SIAMS areas for development.
Thank you for your hospitality and please pass on my thanks to your staff and children.
Anne Davies, Bishop’s Visitor