National Society Statutory Inspection of Anglican Schools Report
Norbury Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School
Local authority: Derbyshire
Dates of inspection: 2nd May 2012
Date of last inspection: 14th June 2007
School’s unique reference number: 112845
Headteacher: Mrs K Forrest
Inspector’s name: Mr A R Gilroy
Inspector’s number: 007
Norbury is a popular, small two/three class rural church primary school situated six miles
south of Ashbourne. The pupils are from a white British background and the number entitled to
free school meals is well below the national average, as is the number of pupils with identified
special needs. Two new teachers started in September 2011 and the new headteacher joined
the school in January 2012. In addition the governors have new leadership.
The distinctiveness and effectiveness of Norbury Church of England Voluntary
Controlled Primary School as a Church of England school are good
Norbury is a good church school where excellent relationships are founded on explicitly
Christian values. The articulate pupils are well motivated and keen to do well in school. It is a
welcoming, Christian community which endeavours to offer its pupils the best opportunity to
grow and develop through the formative years of their education.
The headteacher, staff and governors have a clear, shared vision.
Everyone is valued, nurtured and challenged to do their best.
The Christian ethos, which is having an excellent impact on the learners who greatly enjoy
participating fully in the life of the school.
Focus for development
Involve stakeholders in regularly monitoring the impact of collective worship on the pupils
so as to inform future planning.
Provide all the pupils with regular opportunity to take responsibility for the planning and
delivery of the day to day collective worship.
The school, through its distinctive Christian character, is outstanding at meeting the
needs of all learners
The polite, articulate pupils enjoy attending this church school because it is very good at
meeting their needs. Pupils are very proud of their school and its close links with the church.
This was eloquently demonstrated by a year six boy who, in his own time, had prepared an
excellent power point presentation for the inspector to demonstrate the importance of the
school as a church school to him and his peers. Pupils work and play together very well across
the age range both in school and on the playground, showing excellent behaviour. This is
directly as a result of the Christian values of love, respect, care and forgiveness which are core
to all that the school does. These values constantly nurture and challenge the social, moral,
spiritual and cultural development of the pupils. There is a relaxed, orderly atmosphere around
and within the school building. The pupils have good motivation to do their best, a strong self
image and an enthusiasm for learning which is due to the excellent relationship that they have
with their teachers. They say that their teachers are kind and helpful, that they provide
interesting work and that they listen carefully to them and deal with any problems really well.
There is an effective school council which the pupils see as being very important in providing
them with an opportunity to contribute their thoughts and ideas to the school’s decision making
process. The pupils involved enjoy the responsibility and feel that they are making a significant
contribution to school life. This council regularly identifies the focus for school fundraising for a
range of causes and enables their peers to take the lead in the work. The school’s Christian
distinctiveness is supported by symbols and displays around the school. There are focused
display and reflective areas in each class area, which highlight the importance of the status of
the school as a church school. The school endeavours to cater for the whole child by providing
extra curricular activities and clubs, especially in music and sport which enable pupils to
access a wide range of achievement. Parents speak highly of the school, the care and concern
shown to their children and the very professional way in which staff work.
The impact of collective worship on the school community is good
Worshipping together is important in the life of Norbury and is greatly enjoyed by the pupils
who value being together to hear about and worship God. As one boy said, ‘The teachers read
out stories from the Bible or they teach us something about God. It makes us think about God
and how lucky we are to have him in our lives.’ As a result of pupil requests to the new
headteacher, they are starting to take greater responsibility for the planning and presentation
of whole school worship. The venue has also changed and is now taking place in the village
hall. The pupils prepared and led the worship seen during the inspection and provided a
stimulating and inspiring experience for all the pupils and adults present. The vast majority of
pupils engaged very well, listening carefully, singing with enthusiasm, participating
appropriately and responsively in prayer. Spiritual development is good and is providing many
of the older pupils with the skills to discuss and consider the deeper aspects of a personal
faith. The planning for worship is effective, covering a wide range of appropriate topics and the
presentation of worship is carefully monitored by pupils and staff. Planning and monitoring of
worship is an area that the school has identified for further development. Currently the
foundation governors do not monitor the impact of worship on the pupils. There is good use of
response prayers, and pupils have a knowledge of a range of Christian symbols and artefacts
indicating their importance to this Anglican school. Pupils celebrate the major Christian
festivals with the church community in the parish church, which is some distance from the
school. The vicar is regularly in school, taking worship and being involved in the life of the
school. Pupils know the Lord’s Prayer and the school prayer. The pupils also use prayer
beads. This was explained as their wish for ‘prayer to be more fun’. ‘We use beads which are
unique and original to our lovely school and all enjoy participating’. They also have a range of
prayers which they have written and are displayed and used in each class space. In addition to
the morning collective worship, pupils say grace before lunch and class prayers are said at the
end of the day. These actions demonstrate the school’s strong commitment to developing the
pupils understanding of prayer and its purpose in daily life.
The effectiveness of the leadership and management of the school as a church school
The Christian vision of both the previous and the new leadership has a very good impact on
the development of the pupils of Norbury. Parents were particularly keen to emphasise how
well the changes which the school has undergone over the past nine months have been
managed. The school’s ethos strongly influences the pupils attitude to school which results in a
calm, focused working environment where good teaching and learning can take place.
Exemplary relationships throughout the school demonstrate the key role that Christian values
play in the community. Everyone feels valued and all model the school ethos. There is a real
sense of togetherness in the school, where everyone works hard to ensure the pupils reach
their potential, equipping them with skills for life. All are clear about the importance of the
Christian vision of this church school as is indicated in the responses from parents and pupils
to the regular questionnaires. The new headteacher has rightly identified significant areas for
development and has instigated a number of changes, some, such as the worship
arrangements, are directly as a result of discussions with the pupils. Governors are
conscientious and are developing their skills to challenge the school, as well as giving time,
encouragement and support in all aspects of school life. There is a strong and mutual support
between the school and the parish. The school also has strong links with a school in South
Africa and regularly has visits from schools in Nottingham, when they are visiting the locality.
These actions are helping the pupils to develop a good understanding of their place in the
world. Parents are very happy with the school as a church school and say that staff are readily
available and willing to discuss issues raised. These are then addressed quickly and
appropriately. They feel welcome in school and enjoy attending special events and are
properly involved in the day to day activities.
SIAS Report May 2012 Norbury CE VC Primary School, Lid Lane, Norbury, Ashbourne DE6 2EG