Glowing report for Lees primary school

A LEES primary school has been praised as ‘supportive’ and ‘caring’ in a glowing report.

St Agnes,’ on Knolls Lane, scored high marks in its Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS).

The assessment by the Church of England’s education office judges how an establishment is working to its Christian vision on how it impacts on its community.

And the findings for St Agnes’ could hardly be higher.

Its report states the vision, ‘creates a welcoming and inclusive community where pupils and adults flourish.’

St Agnes Primary School. Image by GGC Media

How it works with its community was also praised highly, with effects stretching far beyond the school’s gates.

It adds: “Parents, pupils and staff value and appreciate the strong support they are provided by the school.

“This impacts positively on their mental health and wellbeing and enables them to thrive.

“The entire ethos of this supportive, caring school is a natural outworking of its deeply embedded Christian vision.

“It is very well suited to the diverse community it serves. Inspired by Jesus’ example, the vision encourages everyone to treat each other as they would like to be treated

“St Agnes’ values of responsibility, creativity, forgiveness, perseverance, hope, thankfulness and friendship flow from the vision.

“Pupils appreciate and speak enthusiastically about their shared experiences, which helps to unite this diverse community.

“Pupils speak to, and treat each other with respect, patience and kindness, in accordance with the vision. Difference and diversity are welcomed.”

SIAMS explores ways in which each school’s Christian vision drives its work and enables the school to live up to its foundation as a Church school.

It does so by seeking to answer six, or in St Agnes’ case seven as it is a voluntary aided school, questions.

How does the school’s theologically rooted Christian vision enable pupils and adults to flourish?

How does the curriculum reflect the school’s theologically rooted Christian vision?

How is collective worship enabling pupils and adults to flourish spiritually?

How does the school’s theologically rooted Christian vision create a culture in which pupils and adults are treated well?

How does the school’s theologically rooted Christian vision create an active culture of justice and responsibility?

Is the religious education curriculum effective (with reference to the expectations set out in the Church of England’s Statement of Entitlement for Religious Education)?

What is the quality of religious education in voluntary aided and former voluntary aided schools, and in former voluntary controlled schools in which denominational religious education is taught?

One member of the school was also singled out as an example of keeping pupils well-behaved as St Agnes’ promotes the wider world – Maggie, their therapy dog.

The report continues: “Pupils also have access to a calm corner and the resident therapy dog to aid self-regulation.

“They are given the opportunity to consider how, as children of God, they can make a difference to the world they live in.

“In line with the vision, they are encouraged to reflect on their own rights as well as their responsibilities to others.

“When motivated to act on things they are passionate about, they do so with the unequivocal support of the school.

“They are able to make ethical choices about how to tackle environmental issues and decide which charities to support.

“A range of world religions and worldviews are effectively explored. Big questions are used to provide a safe environment in which to discuss and debate.

“This enables pupils to develop and articulate their own ideas and opinions on the material being studied. Pupils make good progress and flourish as a result.”

The SIAMS report’s findings have been well received by staff at St Agnes,’ headed by Sarah Butterworth.

And it believes its 108 pupils are receiving the perfect grounding as it concludes: “The inspection findings indicate that St Agnes Church of England VA Primary School is living up to its foundation as a church school and is enabling people to flourish.”


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