On 1st March St Mark’s CE Primary School received its Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools - know to those who understand these things as a SIAMS. The school was given just a few days to prepare, and the inspection was as rigorous as one would expect. It lasted all day and included everyone from the youngest child to the teaching staff and governors. We have now had the result. The school has been awarded the top level of certification by the inspector of Excellent. This is not only very good news for the school and for the parish of Swanage, it is in my opinion the just and proper rating for the school that provides such a wonderful nurturing education for its children within a positive Christian ethos.
The overall judgement is given in answer to the inspector answering the following question:
“How effective is the school’s distinctive Christian vision, established and promoted by leadership at all levels, in enabling pupils and adults to flourish?” Grade: Excellent.
The inspection report highlights these key findings:
The drive of the leadership to place the Christian vision at the heart of the school and draw on this as the impetus for ensuring that all learners flourish is exemplary.
The impact which the school’s work on home liaison and nurture have had on pupils’ mental health and well- being are exceptional.
The depth to which pupils are able to articulate and draw on the school’s vision to guide them conveys the central place which the vision has in shaping the life of the school.
The rigour with which religious education (RE) is led and managed is excellent and leads to outcomes which are of a very high standard in relation to the school’s context.
Collective worship is underpinned by the school’s Christian vision and pupils are able to discuss how they draw on it as a source of hope and inspiration.
Let us be in no doubt that this is wonderful news, and the cause of both celebration and admiration, but I am also aware that this will spur the school to further improvement and to encourage others. There is always the next day, the next chance to develop what is already being done well, the next piece of work to evaluate, the next time to smile and share what we have with everyone else; without exception; without envy, but in love.
Congratulations to you all!