Chester Diocesan School Visit
Gail Fullbrook, on behalf of the Diocese of Chester, visited Brereton on 28th June 2016 to see how we are developing Christian Distinctiveness in our school.
Here are some of the findings from the visit:
It was delightful to visit this distinctively Christian school and to find out more about it. The school environment adds significantly to the Christian ethos of the school and at every turn a display, an image, art work or a verse from scripture reminds you that you are in a church school.
The school has made good progress in addressing the focus for development identified at its SIAMS inspection in July 2013. ‘I can……’ statements are used in RE to support assessment and moderation has taken place within the school to ensure that progress is being made.
The school now has a productive link with a Catholic school in Kenya. Staff have visited the school and staff from the Kenyan school have spent time at Brereton CE. Consequently children have first hand evidence that Christianity is a global world faith. This has strengthened understanding of diversity.
Teaching in RE has been a focus for the school. Children work in hard backed, high quality books for RE which run through the school with them. It was easy therefore to see progress and to assess the balance between learning about and learning from religions. Standards are in line with those of other curriculum areas. Practical and focused support is given to teachers new to teaching in a church school with the aim of deepening their understanding and developing new skills. Marking usually takes the form of a question and children are used to responding. Most of the questions asked in the books I looked at served to deepen understanding or spirituality.
- The suggestion was made that the school may want to consider using ‘scrap books’ to evidence RE that is not recorded within the special RE books. This would be particularly relevant where learning is evidenced in art, drama, dance, discussion etc.
We have started to use a scrap book in every class since September 2016.
Worship is an important aspect of school life and the school’s ethos group are beginning to take responsibility for planning and leading occasional worship. Each Monday, for 10 minutes after worship, children make a response to the theme and these are collated into class reflection books. This is a lovely way of evidencing the impact of worship. The school is enjoying using Roots and Fruits as a guide to worship themes and delivery.
The school’s Ethos Group have recently planned prayer/reflection points around the school. A resource was shared that might support their development as worship leaders.
Governance is good and the recent skills audit has been strengthened the impact of governors on the life of the school.
Links with the church are productive and supportive.
Wrap around care is being introduced in September and a space is being created for the ‘club’ to use. The school has surveyed children asking what the children would like for their breakfast if they come in the morning and what activities they would like to be available. It was lovely to hear that a priority was to play board games.