SIAMS and our Church School Status
In December 2019, Thorncombe St Mary’s Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School was awarded ‘Good’ at SIAMS (Statutory Inspection of Anglican, Methodist and ecumenical Schools). This explored the effectiveness of the school’s distinctive Christian vision in enabling pupils and adults to flourish. The inspector commented positively on our broad and balanced curriculum; and on how the children enjoy the school’s extensive outdoor space and the opportunities for appreciation of nature through Forest School. He noted how dignity and respect helps drive a good sense of justice and concern for global issues. Our vision of ‘Living, Learning and Growing Together’ is seen to promote our sense of community through supportive partnerships between school, church and village.
In the Parish of Thorncombe our school is part of the Chard team. We are the only school in Dorset to belong to Bath and Wells Diocese rather than to Salisbury Diocese. Based in Wells, our Diocesan centre is available for resources and courses. Karen Sancto, the School Effectiveness Advisor, visits to support school improvement and promote Christian values. Our retained connection with Salisbury Diocese provides the opportunity to liaise with local Dorset schools. We belong to a local Pyramid of church schools. Involving Somerset, Devon and Dorset schools, this cross-border group enables heads and church leaders to meet to: share good practice; tackle shared issues; and to create opportunities to meet in faith related activities.
Christian ethos flows through school life. In Collective Worship we celebrate our Christian Values: love and compassion; thankfulness; service; hope; endurance; and forgiveness. Teaching and learning embed these values and the children participate in activities around Harvest, Remembrance, Christmas and Easter; on these occasions the whole school attend services in church with parents. The Rev. Philip Butcher, Vicar of St Mary’s Church and the Two Shires Benefice, visits half termly to lead Collective Worship in school.
The school fosters good relations with the village church and is always looking to strengthen ways of working together to benefit pupils and the community. Led by Patricia Barnes, our former Chair of Governors, church members deliver weekly ‘Open the Book’. The children are encouraged to take part in these sessions based on Bible stories; they enjoy participating as actors or readers.
Click here for our latest SIAMS report:
and RE Displays
Worship and Front