INSPECTORS for the Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS) praised Old Cleeve Church of England First School for ‘igniting fires and stimulating pupils’ curiosity’.

They said the vision of the school, in Washford, ‘We see remarkable things everyday’, summarised its ambitions for each pupil. 

Pupils were confident in explaining the vision allowed them to discover and explore their talents and share these within their school and community.

It was the second inspection in six months to heap praise on the school, which has 116 pupils aged three to nine years, after education watchdog Ofsted visited previously.

Headteacher Emma Murch said she was overwhelmed with pride for the pupils, staff, and parents.

Mrs Murch said: “To have been inspected by Ofsted and SIAMS within six months of each other and for both reports to reflect the hard work and determination of all, it is wonderful.

“I would like to extend a special congratulations and thank you to Abby Needs for her knowledgeable and passionate approach to leading religious education.

“She strives to provide diverse and inspiring experiences for all of the children, we are very lucky to have her.”

SIAMS inspector David Hatrey said: “Old Cleeve is a caring and happy place, where all feel valued.

“Leaders and pupils appreciate how drawing on Jesus’ example enables all to live together well.

“This culture attracts others to the school, where everybody lives out the vision and is supported to flourish.”

The report recognised religious education was a particular strength of a balanced and well-sequenced curriculum highlighting and enriching diversity.

Pupils had opportunities to explore religion and world views through big questions, which were supported by theological, philosophical, and human science approaches, encouraging pupils to look at questions and principles from multiple viewpoints.

It was also praised for supporting other schools in its Beacon Education Trust with religious education.

Trustee Jane Bellamy said: “Trustees are very proud the SIAMS report positively reflects the great work the school does to ensure the Christian ethos.

“Old Cleeve’s vision shone through and the report acknowledges the opportunities the pupils are given to develop spirituality, morally and culturally.

“It was noted pupils from all faiths appreciate the Christian values of the school make a difference.

“For example in pupils’ approaches to relationships and their desire to care for God’s world.”

Beacon chief executive Robert Lakin said: “The report is an honest and accurate reflection of the hard work and dedication of the whole team at Old Cleeve.

“I am proud of the key strengths highlighted that reflect the efforts over the past three years.

“The feeling of care, guidance, and support are reflected in the family feel of the school, driven by Mrs Murch.

“The high-quality leadership of religious education has driven improvement and this is reflected in the high quality practice witnessed during the inspection.

“I am sure, like myself, staff, pupils and parents take enormous pride in this achievement, and we look forward to the school’s continued growth and successes in the future.”