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Racecourse Lane, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY3 5BJ • • 01743 351948

Oxon CE Primary School

Church School Report

Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS) Report

 Oxon CE VC Primary School



 Racecourse Lane

 Bicton Heath   


 SY3 5BJ  

 Current SIAMS inspection grade




 Previous SIAMS inspection grade: 


 Local authority


 Name of multi-academy trust/ federation


 Date/s of inspection

 20 October 2016

 Date of last inspection

 18 October 2011

 School’s unique reference number



 M Rogers

 Inspector’s name and number

 R M Gale 337



School context

Oxon CE (VC) Primary school is a two form entry school with 420 pupils on roll. The school is larger than most primary schools and a high proportion of its pupils live outside the catchment. The school has a relatively high mobility rate. The numbers of pupils from minority ethnic groups or whose first language is not believed to be English are both below national averages but high for the rural county of Shropshire. The school, local community and church work together. The headteacher is a local leader of education supporting other schools. In the May 2016 Ofsted inspection, the school was judged to be outstanding.

The distinctiveness and effectiveness of Oxon CE VC Primary as a Church of England school are outstanding

  • The leadership of the school and church work as a united team with a clear message based upon explicit Christian values. There is a real commitment to both school and church communities and God.
  • The outstanding behaviour of pupils and the passion they demonstrate in living out the school’s Christian values.
  • The proclamation of Christian values across the school and the positive impact they have on inspiring pupils’ learning so that they achieve well and make very good progress.

Areas to improve

  • Provide quality professional development opportunities to enhance the school’s Christian distinctiveness and exploration of the Christian vision by using appropriate local and national resources.
  • Increase the opportunities for prayer outside of collective worship.

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

Oxon CE VC Primary school is a happy school where pupils feel safe, respected and valued. Core Christian values bind the school as one. Everyone is welcomed into this family atmosphere where all pupils are encouraged to succeed and develop into responsible, caring citizens. The school clearly cares for all fulfilling its four main Christian values of love, hope respect and faith. They emphasise the importance of respect and that all should be treated with care and compassion irrespective of race, religion or social background. Clearly the core Christian values, (supported by twenty-seven linking values), the life and teaching of Jesus and positive behaviour strategies are having a profound impact on pupils. They recognise that these are deeply rooted in the daily life of the school. Pupils talk about the Christian values with insightful clarity and at key stage 2 can make connections between them and the life and teachings of Jesus. One pupil talked about the importance of forgiveness and how “Jesus set the example by forgiving those who put him on the cross”. Every pupil has the opportunity of a life-enhancing encounter with the Christian faith, supported by these explicit core values. This school is embedding its Christian beliefs and values to ensure that pupils make very good progress. As a result, the vast majority of pupils meet the national floor standards in progress and attainment, which are the minimum standards for the achievement of pupils by the end of key stage 2 set by the government. Effective systems are in place to monitor outcomes and target interventions to ensure the needs of all pupils are addressed.  Parents recognise that the Christian values are effective, saying that the school helps their children to understand rules and the importance of respect and tolerance from an early age. Pupils are keen to attend school because they see it as an exciting place to be. This results in very good levels of attendance and punctuality. Behaviour, which is underpinned by the Christian values, is exemplary. Reward systems such as “Congratulations Assembly” enable a culture of praise and encouragement and serve as a reminder of the school’s core Christian values. The core values of the school are clearly displayed in the school environment and pupils know how they relate to their personal lives. The jigsaw values display, classroom reflection areas; the outdoor reflection area and the outdoor seating areas give pupils opportunities to develop their spirituality through reflection. Spiritual development is further supported by quality experiences across the whole broad and balanced, enriching curriculum.  Learning therefore is imaginative, relevant, lively and motivating. Other wall displays and artefacts, such as Christian value pebbles, visually express the school’s Christian distinctiveness and promotes discussion and debate. Fund raising events such as cancer ‘charity bake’ sales, Harvest gifts distribution for the local foodbank, the Christmas ‘shoe box appeal’ and the developing work of the choir within the community all celebrate the school’s Christian outreach. In all these ways, pupils are committed, daily, to making a difference to the lives of others as well as their own families. All of this is supported by effective Christian moral teaching and guidance. Pupils talk positively about religious education (RE) and how this contributes to the Christian character of the school. Monitoring by the RE subject leader shows that the RE scheme of work impacts well upon this. Pupils have a growing understanding, at an age appropriate level, of Christianity as a multi-cultural world faith and the diversity between faith communities. Pupils have a good sense of self-belief and self-worth and are being prepared well for their journey in life.

The impact of collective worship on the school community is outstanding

The school promotes acts of collective worship, sometimes called assembly, in a setting which encourages participation rather than passive attendance, thus making it special and distinct. It is carefully planned by the RE /worship coordinator and the headteacher. They have a holistic approach in which worship themes are closely linked to the school’s Christian values, British values, RE and Personal Social and Health Education. This deepens pupil’s understanding and appreciation of them in their own lives. Worship has a central place in the life of the school and is clearly influenced by the Anglican liturgy. It is valued by all. The lighting of the worship candle is a special time. A number of pupils said that the candle showed them that, “Jesus is the light of the world, Jesus is with us and he comes to us”. Another pupil then added that, “even when the candle is blown out, Jesus is still with us, like the smoke he can go everywhere”.  Pupils enjoy and value worship which they believe gives them the space to be quiet and reflect; “it helps me to know that God is with me and I have time to ask him for help” and “it helps me to be calm and have peace and quiet”.  Both pupils and staff take part and lead aspects of collective worship through the lighting of candles, drama, prayer and singing. Pupils feel that worship helps them to, “make choices and to think about how they can help in their community just as Jesus helped in his community.” They particularly enjoy class worship which affords them the opportunity to be creative and lead worship in a smaller more intimate setting. They felt class worship was a safe place and time to share their own feelings, explore the “big questions in life” and make up their own prayers, which are then recorded in class prayer books. This helps pupils to develop their own spiritual awareness. The Lord’s Prayer is said frequently. One pupil said, “rainbows are my prayers, full of promise. Jesus promised he will move the darkness out of the world and bring us all into the light”. Worship clearly therefore develops and deepens pupils’ understanding of the life and teachings of Jesus especially at key stage 2. They make connections between the schools’ values and the life of Jesus. The spiritual atmosphere of worship is enhanced by atmospheric music as pupils enter. This promotes reflection and reverence. Pupils understand that responses, prayer and song are central elements to the structure of worship. Pupils are beginning to explain about the importance of the Trinity and use practical examples to support their developing knowledge of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Collective worship is delivered by a range of leaders from the school and the parish community. Monitoring the impact of worship is carried out by governors, staff and pupils. This feedback is evaluated, discussed and forms part of school development. They agree that more explicit links to Bible stories would ensure a more consistent ability to recall information with the younger pupils. “Congratulation” assemblies provide opportunities for pupils’ spiritual development as well as informing their behaviour, attitudes and relationships. It deepens their understanding of the school’s core Christian values. Key Christian festivals are celebrated at Oxon church and pupils enthusiastically take an active part in them. The vicar is popular amongst pupils who value his presence around school especially in church choir club and in leading worship.  Pupils and parents join together as a community for major Christian festivals and special services at church. These services are enjoyed by all and promote the understanding of core Christian beliefs. As one pupil stated, “when I go to church I look at the beautiful coloured windows and the light flashes through them, it’s like God is right there!”

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

Christian values are central to the life of the school. Leaders at all levels consistently model the school’s Christian values. The Christian commitment and witness of the headteacher ensures that his leadership is based upon Christian principles where each person is valued. The headteacher, supported by an effective staff team and governors, especially the vicar, share a vision for the school as a Church of England school. Governing board minutes and evaluation reports evidence discussions on the school’s vision and the impact it has on the pupils.  Members of the church family are part of the school community and support the school. Community links are effective. The school is described as a welcoming place by pupils, parents and visitors.  Parents speak highly of the headteacher and the staff and the school’s family ethos and Christian values. They emphasise that it has a staff team that are, “always approachable and easy to access, they individualise the feedback to each child so that they can learn more”. As a result, their children feel safe, secure, listened to and valued.  The leadership team have managed to inter-link religious education, PSHE (personal, social, and health education), SMSC (spiritual, social moral cultural education), British values and academic achievement within their core Christian values. This ensures that pupils have a clear understanding of the importance of these values and how they affect their lives. Everyone is committed to ensuring that the school offers the very best to its pupils. Inspirational sayings and daily bible verses challenge pupils to reflect on, “what has made you proud of yourself?” and to compare themselves with “super heroes who thrive on feedback”. One pupil wrote a message on a reflection tree which said, “Help me to believe in myself and know I can do it!”  Reflection/prayer and church choir clubs further inspire pupils to give of their best. The key stage 2 pupils speak with maturity of the importance of team work through the school council and their responsibility for God’s world through supporting Oxon eco activities and the younger pupils taking part in Forest Schools. The RE subject leader who is also the worship co-ordinator is effective in her monitoring and evaluation responsibilities. This has a positive impact on pupils, particularly in their understanding of Christian values. The school has benefited and valued support and advice from the diocese. Evaluation of the school as a Church of England school has been undertaken by foundation governors. They recognise that, “the school is a presence in the church and the church is a presence in the school”. They have met with the pupils, attended worship and spoken to subject leaders in order to review the impact of the school as a Church of England school. Leaders use additional funding such as pupil premium and sports funding effectively to support the individual needs of pupils. Partnerships and links with other faith traditions are developing and this enriches pupils’ experience of cultural diversity.  Through taking part in Global Learning Programme activities and the strong links with Kamukuywa AC Primary School in Western Kenya, pupils gain an insight into global events. They clearly understand that their school is a Church of England school which makes it unique and special to them. The developments points identified in the previous inspection have been addressed.

SIAMS report October 2016, Oxon CE VC Primary School Bicton Heath Shrewsbury SY3 5BJ