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Towards Christian life, learning, and love

by Michael Ford last modified 13 Mar, 2019 02:07 PM

Woodford Valley VA Academy has been graded Excellent in a recent school inspection.

SIAMS* Inspector Marcia Headon noted that, “The well-established Christian vision, strongly guided by biblical narrative, directs the school’s every action.”

The vision is expressed simply as ‘Towards Christian life, learning, and love.’

Ms Headon added, “All associated with the school know the vision, the theology behind it and the values associated with it. Pupils and adults know its relevance to their lives and are united in their responses to it.”

One parent said, “The vision is like the skin of the school and the values are its organs.”

The school has a rich, varied curriculum, supporting pupil development exceptionally well, allowing them to grow as socially aware, caring individuals with strong values that they act upon.

Productive and purposeful partnership work with the local church was seen in the church’s valuable support for the ‘Easter Experience’, and the contribution of the vicar and lay readers to Collective Worship strengthens the school’s distinctive character and develops pupils’ spirituality.

Headteacher Rebecca Carson said, “We’re overwhelmed with the recognition of all our hard work to this point. We also recognise it’s always a moving forward, taking on new challenges as the school evolves.

“Thank you to our school family, our children, staff, governors, and parents. Despite it being a wet and windy inspection day, we managed to shine!”

Evidence was found that pupils have good knowledge of the Bible, with older pupils able to ask and answer challenging questions of faith. Younger pupils need more opportunity to develop this, and teachers need to work on confidently teaching about world faiths, to help pupils deepen their knowledge and understanding.

Woodford Valley VA Academy is a primary school with 198 pupils on roll. The school has very low levels of religious and cultural diversity and very few pupils speak English as an additional language.

The proportion of pupils who are considered to be disadvantaged is below national averages. The proportion of pupils who have special educational needs and/ or disabilities (SEND) is in line with national averages.

Numbers have increased rapidly in recent years and the school is oversubscribed. Since the previous inspection, the well-established resource base for pupils with an autistic spectrum disorder has closed.

*Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools

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