Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools [SIAMS]

National Society Statutory Inspection of Anglican Schools Report

Norbury Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School

Lid Lane

Norbury

Ashbourne

DE6 2EG

Diocese: Derby

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

School context

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.

Established strengths

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

is good

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