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National Society Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools Report

Crosby-on-Eden Church of England School

Crosby-on-Eden, Cumbria, CA6 4QN

Diocese: Carlisle

Local authority: Cumbria

Dates of inspection: 17/06/15

Date of last inspection: 7/05/10

URN: 138896

Headteacher: Miss. A. Weston

Inspector’s name & number: Ruth Wall NS 548

DIOCESE OF CARLISLE – Board of Education – “Every Child Matters To God.”

School context

Crosby-on-Eden School is much smaller than the average-sized primary school with 92 pupils on roll. The school converted to academy status in November 2012. The proportion of pupils supported through pupil premium is much lower than the national average. The proportion of pupils with special educational needs in below average. A new chair of governors has recently been appointed. The headteacher has been in post since May 2014.

Established strengths

The headteacher, staff and governors are committed to providing an inclusive education, based on Christian values.

Children have an excellent understanding of the school’s distinctive Christian values. These make an impact on their relationships, with the result that they grow into compassionate individuals who are quick to take the initiative to help others.

There are strong links with the parish church and Northern Inter-schools’ Christian Union (NISCU) which impact positively on pupils and promote the Christian character of the school.

Spiritual development is excellent as a result of the opportunities provided for reflection during Religious Education (RE), collective worship and the wider curriculum.

Areas to improve

Ensure that the curriculum, including collective worship, provides more experience of Christian diversity so that it extends and enriches pupils’ understanding and appreciation of different expressions of Christianity globally and locally.

The school, through its distinctive Christian character, is outstanding at meeting the needs of all learners

Christian values permeate all aspects of school life and relationships between all members of the school community are excellent. Staff and children demonstrate compassion and kindness and link this, a child explained, ‘to the way Jesus always had time for people’. Vibrant displays around the school celebrate the school’s Christian character and challenge pupils to think deeply about Christian values. Children collaboratively designed and made a cross for the entrance with the Christian values of friendship, hope and trust artistically displayed on it. The Christian values of forgiveness and reconciliation are central to behaviour management procedures. In this secure environment, pupils behave very well. All members of the school community know that they are valued and the ethos of trust and respect is clearly evident. The school’s analysis of data shows that children are making at least expected levels of academic attainment and progress. Spiritual education is enriched through a variety of activities, including re-enacting the Easter story in the school grounds and the church. Key Stage 1 children responded enthusiastically to ‘Going on a Jesus Hunt’ – skilfully adapted by the teacher from their favourite ‘Going on a Bear Hunt’ story. Through Forest Schools’ activities children show their concern for the environment in the light of caring for God’s creation. The annual RE Week, with a variety of activities relating to the Easter story, is one outstanding example of how RE supports the Christian character of the school. It also has a positive impact on pupils’ attitudes to diverse religions and cultures. Older children have excellent attitudes to diversity and recognise the importance of sensitivity when discussing someone’s faith. Children are made aware that Christianity is a global world faith. However, leaders recognise that owing to their relative rural isolation this needs to be reinforced in more creative ways.

The impact of collective worship on the school community is outstanding

Collective worship makes an excellent contribution to children’s spiritual and moral development. Planning is firmly based on Christian values, the Bible and major Christian festivals. Themes introduced in whole-school worship are followed up extremely well in class worship. Children have an excellent knowledge of the life and person of Jesus and a developing understanding of the nature of God. They understand that the Holy Spirit is a gift that can help them in their daily lives. A child’s prayer stated, ‘We are not always good at telling the truth so please help us’. Children particularly enjoy acting out stories in worship. They respond extremely well to questions because they are given time to ask big questions and develop their ideas. Staff say that diocesan training was inspirational in giving them creative ideas to encourage children to think and reflect during worship. All children regularly plan and deliver worship. This develops their understanding of the nature and purpose of Christian worship as well as their leadership skills. Children say, ‘we are learning about the Bible but in our own way’ and, ‘we can engage and include the other children.’ Parents say that their children often talk about Bible stories at home and explain how they share their values. Children’s spiritual development is supported through worship led by NISCU, which children say are ‘fun and lively’. Children do not have experience of a variety of different Christian denominations. Prayer is extremely important in this school, not only in worship but throughout the school day. Key Stage 1 children designed their own classroom prayer space and enjoy using prayer sticks to give them ideas for their spontaneous prayers. The school council led a very successful whole school Prayer Day of activities. Worship is monitored and evaluated effectively by staff, pupils and governors every half term. As a result, the impact of collective worship continues to improve.

The effectiveness of the leadership and management of the school as a church school is outstanding

The headteacher’s has a clear Christian vision which she lives out in action. She inspires school development and this is recognised by all members of the school community. She says that the enthusiasm and commitment of the staff is ‘truly exceptional’. Governors have a very clear understanding of their role. The chair of governors and the governor responsible for Christian ethos, provide an outstanding lead in ensuring that church school issues are prioritised within whole school improvement planning. All issues from the previous inspection have been addressed, resulting in significant developments in the Christian character of the school. The school environment, website and all policies now make clear and celebrate the school’s Christian distinctiveness. Excellent procedures, involving all stakeholders, are used to review the school as a church school. Pupils’ views lead to school improvement, for example their evaluation has resulted in a more interesting and interactive RE curriculum. They now say that RE is ‘fun’ and have coined the phrase RE is, ‘Really Exciting. Parental involvement in all aspects of school life is a vital aspect of the success of the school. Leaders and governors recognise the importance of the school’s Christian character in creating an ethos which supports effective learning. RE and collective worship are well led and contribute significantly to the school’s Christian character, pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and well-being. The school plays a pivotal role in the way the church, school and community work together and important celebrations are shared events. There is a strong partnership with the diocese and mutually beneficial relationships with other church schools and NISCU. They all play an important role in church school development. This school lives out their philosophy based on the quote from John 10:10: ‘I have come that they may have life and live it to the full’.

SIAS report 17/06/15

Crosby-on-Eden Church of England School, Crosby-on-Eden CA6 4QN

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