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St Stephen's CE Primary School praised after inspection

Friday 29th Dec 2023

St Stephen's CE Primary School on Colville Drive has received an "outstanding" grade after its most recent Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS) review.

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

Following the visit, St Stephen’s was commended as being a nurturing school where staff go the extra mile. 

The school, which recently joined the Sycamore Church of England Trust, was complimented for embodying its Christian vision.

The report said: “Rooted in this vision they find strength to overcome challenging times.

“The school and the trust's values align together, and they are palpable in how they are lived out and central to their decision making. 

“Through the strength of the school’s vision and values, leaders demonstrate compassion, love and respect for one another.” 

 Children with special educational needs and disabilities are championed by staff and are always included in activities.

The report added: “Collaborating with the trust, the curriculum is redesigned to incorporate varied opportunities and experiences, ensuring a broad and enriched learning offer. 

“As a result, pupils love coming to this school and they talk enthusiastically about their learning.

“Within the new curriculum offer, there are opportunities for pupils to ask 'big questions' and to explore their heritage and different cultures.”

Parents have also spoken about the benefits of "enhancement afternoons" at the school, which provide a range of opportunities to the children. 

One family described how their child asked to join the choir and sing for the elderly to help the residents feel valued and bring joy.

The report said: “The school’s vision and values are central to all acts of worship".

“Collective worship is varied, inclusive and highly valued throughout this school. During whole school or phase worship, pupils are inspired to learn from the teachings of Jesus, regardless of their faith background".

“Pupils listen intently to the word of God, sing with joy and confidently share responses. Even the youngest pupils recognise worship as a special time".

“The use of candles and music encourages them in this.”

Wellbeing and pastoral care is also prioritised in the school and pupils say that they feel safe.

Year 5 teacher, Isabel Potter, said: “I am so proud to work at St Stephen's. This report reiterates what I've always known- our commitment, as a school, to our community is truly something special.”

Interim headteacher, Sally Denney, said: “The report is a testament to the dedication of our staff, families and wider community. We love St Stephen's!” 

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