National Society Statutory Inspection of Anglican Schools Report
Crich Carr Church of England Controlled School
Main Road, Whatstandwell, Matlock, Derbyshire, DE4 5EF
Local Authority ;Derbyshire
Date of inspection: May 23rd 2008
Date of last inspection: January 31st/February 3rd 2003
School’s unique reference number: 112866
Headteacher: Anne Punchard
Inspector’s name and number: Mrs Kate Gough 257
Crich Carr school is situated in the small picturesque village of Whatstandwell and has 50 pupils on roll. Recent extensions to the building have greatly enhanced the previously cramped accommodation. No children receive free school meals, and all are from white British backgrounds.
The distinctiveness and effectiveness of Crich Carr as a Church of England school are outstanding
This popular school attracts families from surrounding villages and towns who value its distinctive Christian character and exceptionally loving inclusive atmosphere. The staff are a tight-knit team inspired by the head teacher who is passionate in her commitment to provide a happy environment in which individuals can thrive academically, spiritually and emotionally. Positive, mutually beneficial relationships with the local community and church are well established and continue to grow.
• An outstandingly supportive family atmosphere underpinned by Christian values
• Inspirational collective worship impacting on all areas of school life
• Visionary leadership, enthusiastic teamwork and committed support from the wider school family
Focus for development
• Develop the role of the foundation governors to include formal monitoring and evaluation of collective worship
• Celebrate the relationship between the school and the church on the website and in the school brochure
• In the school ‘Aims’ and other relevant documentation make more explicit the individual nature of the distinctive Christian ethos in this school
The school, through its distinctive Christian character, is outstanding at meeting the needs of all learners
There is an outstanding ethos of love and care, commended by Ofsted and endorsed by visitors, parents and the whole school family. Deep-seated Christian and moral values influence all that is said and done. There is an exceptional culture of empathy; the older children understand and use the word and demonstrate it in their attitudes and relationships. They have a deep sense of responsibility for the wellbeing of others and express how happy and secure they are at school. One parent described the school experience as, “How I would want my child to be brought up if I wasn’t there!” Another commented on her child’s changed behaviour and attitudes since attending Crich Carr. A recently created ‘Calm corner’ upstairs provides space for reflection and is appreciated by many. The staff are excellent role models, relating to each other with good-humour, openness and honesty; all individuals within school know each other well and love working together. Decision making is collaborative and creates a real sense of ownership, for example, the children’s sale event, in aid of the annual residential holiday, is totally planned and executed by them. Investment in global education ensures that the school has a well developed awareness of the wider world. Sponsorship of William, a schoolboy in Uganda, is one example of this; the children describe him as their friend and are challenged by his lifestyle and his deep faith in Jesus. The beautiful scenery around school is not taken for granted; many children expressed their delight in their surroundings and their excitement at the recent addition of a school allotment. Community involvement is encouraged and nurtured; the Harmony Group have entertained local senior citizens and sung at many fund-raising events and the school are pro-active in looking for opportunities to share their special gifts with others.
The impact of collective worship on the school community is outstanding
Acts of worship are well planned and recorded; there is no system of formal evaluation at present but a recent survey of learners’ views on collective worship demonstrates that they regard it as a truly special event. Their comments are displayed in school and include, “It makes me feel like God is there and watching over us” and, “It makes me think about the less materialistic things in life”. Staff and visitors are often moved to tears by the children’s response to worship. Since the addition of the upstairs teaching space, more room has been created for collective worship downstairs, enhanced by a vibrant focus display which changes to reflect the seasons or worship topic. The vicar regularly leads worship along with a wide range of other visitors; their contributions bring a rich diversity of style and are appreciated by all. Parents expressed amazement at the depth of understanding demonstrated by their children after hearing stories from the Bible during worship times. Prayer is relevant and at times spontaneous. Enthusiasm for the Lord’s Prayer, after a session exploring its meaning, resulted in putting it to music. Preparation for Easter culminated in the creation of a special display ‘A journey through Holy Week’. The final act of worship had particular impact and was described by the vicar as one of the best assemblies he had ever seen. The school has a strong musical tradition and this contributes to the atmosphere of worship, from the lovely harmony singing to the rendition of a quiet chorus as the children leave. Crich Carr joins with other local schools in a joint service at the parish church, St. Mary’s; this occasion is greatly enjoyed and valued by the wider school family. Visits to other places of worship, for example the Wirksworth churches and Derby Cathedral always involve a time of worship or a time of stillness and reflection.
The effectiveness of the leadership and management of the school as a church school is good
Parents, staff and governors interviewed unanimously affirmed that they have absolute confidence in the leadership of this school. Governors are extremely committed in their support and the two recently appointed foundation governors are keen to fulfil their role to the best of their ability. They are already valued and popular friends of the school and are involved in many aspects of its life. They are however not fully aware of their particular responsibilities and would benefit from attending foundation governor training. The head teacher is passionate about providing a happy, secure environment in which learning can be fun; she is unafraid to challenge initiatives and recommendations which she feels are inappropriate for the school. Her vision is clearly shared by all the staff. Parents and learners’ opinions are regularly sought through discussion and questionnaires and their responses are acted upon, where appropriate. There are excellent links with the diocesan RE advisor whose expertise is tremendously valued. The head teacher takes every opportunity to attend training sessions on collective worship. RE is integrated into topic work; it has a high profile in this school and is taught with sensitivity and enthusiasm to a good standard. The website and relevant documentation, including the school brochure do not sufficiently celebrate the good practice and the particular distinctive qualities of this church school. All the issues identified in the last report have been addressed.
SIAS report May 2008 Crich Carr Voluntary Controlled Primary School. Main Road, Whatstandwell, Matlock, Derbyshire, DE4 5EF