A Chester village church school is a haven of Christian love and service, an inspector found.
She concluded that Barrow C of E Primary in Great Barrow had retained its ‘Outstanding’ status having again achieved the highest possible grades following an assessment of its effectiveness as a church school.
The visit by inspector Jean Forward was made under the Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools arrangements. These are separate from Ofsted inspections.
The below average size school, with 74 children on roll, is seeing a steady increase in pupil numbers, says the inspector.
Last year the percentage of pupils reaching expected standards in reading and maths was above the national average and slightly below in writing.
The inspector commented: “The distinctiveness and effectiveness of Barrow as a Church of England school are outstanding.
“The strong Christian leadership and vision of the acting headteacher, supported by committed staff and governors, ensure that the school’s Christian distinctiveness and ethos are central to daily life.
“The school creates a secure and inclusive environment rooted in explicit Christian values. This has a direct influence on pupils’ well-being and positive attitudes to school life.
“The school demonstrates outstanding Christian service to its families, transforming lives through a deep sense of compassion and love.
“Relationships across the school community are extremely strong and have their foundation in Christian love and respect. As a result, every individual feels valued and supported.
“Worship is central to the school day. It sets Christian values in their biblical context and enriches the spiritual life of all members of the school family.”
She describes Barrow as ‘outstanding at meeting the needs of all learners’ and believes it is ‘a haven of Christian love and service’.
The school’s Christian values are embedded and consistently practised and ‘are a thread which runs through every aspect of the school’s life’.
Pupils talk about the importance of the school’s Christian values in their daily life and say they are encouraged and supported by the staff and are able to share their concerns, knowing that these will be addressed in a caring way.
A Year 4 pupil said ‘I can always say when I don’t understand something.’
Individual needs are being met through a ‘balanced and creative curriculum’ and pupils have access to a variety of extra-curricular activities which broaden their experience and help to develop teamwork and social skills.
The inspector suggests the effectiveness of the leadership and management of the school as a church school is outstanding. The school knows its pupils and their families ‘extremely well’.
She describes the primary school as having ‘extremely strong links’ with St Bartholomew’s Church.
Acting head Lucy Wainwright said: “The report confirms and celebrates the wonderful work that happens in our school on a daily basis.
“The inspector recognised the dedication and commitment of our whole school community to help every child in our care to achieve their optimum potential.”
She added: “We are very proud of the children and our school.”