National Society Statutory Inspection of Anglican Schools Report
Coningsby St. Michael’s Church of England Primary School
Local authority: Lincolnshire
Dates of inspection: 22 and 29 April 2010
Date of last inspection: June 2007
School’s unique reference number: 120567
Headteacher: Mr John Orrey
Inspector’s name and number: Fiona Griffiths 999
This school is a larger than average primary school and serves the village of Coningsby with
many of the children belonging to RAF families. The 265 pupils come from mostly white
British background with a small proportion from minority ethnic backgrounds. The proportion
of children with learning difficulties and/or disabilities is broadly average. The headteacher
has been in post since April 2009.
The distinctiveness and effectiveness of Coningsby St. Michael’s Church of England
Primary School as a Church of England school are outstanding.
Christian values and Christian worship underpins all aspects of school life. The warmth of this
school community is exceptional as is the caring and supportive relationships between pupils
and staff. The leadership of the headteacher and governors in creating the school’s
distinctive ethos is outstanding. The sensitivity shown to pupils and their families was greatly
· The Christian atmosphere of love, care and support which permeates throughout the
· Strong and effective leadership by the headteacher, governors and collective worship co- ordinator.
· The excellent relationships and value placed on each individual in the school.
Focus for development
· Ensure opportunities for the pupils to meet and or talk with children from other faith
backgrounds within the UK.
· For governors to access training opportunities provided by the Diocese.
· To develop quiet areas within the school grounds for reflective purposes.
The school, through its distinctive Christian character, is outstanding at meeting the
needs of all learners.
The Christian character of the school is clearly identified by the exceptionally warm and
friendly, inclusive attitude of the staff and pupils. It is also acknowledged and celebrated by
the signs and artefacts as you enter the school and through displays in the hall and
classrooms. The whole approach of the staff, encouraged through the vision of the
headteacher, is that every child matters. The headteacher has a clear vision for ensuring that
the school remains at the heart of the local community. One child said ‘He is the glue that
holds us all together’. Pupils’ personal development and behaviour are outstanding and they
enjoy learning within a stimulating environment. Pupils are well mannered, confident and
friendly. They enthusiastically take on appropriate responsibilities including being on the
school council and the collective worship council. Pupils say they really enjoy school and
they feel valued and safe. They talk of how ‘this is more than a school, it’s a family’. There is
a well developed curriculum, supported by a range of clubs and enrichment activities which
promotes pupils’ outstanding spiritual, moral and social development. A recent African
themed arts festival provided an opportunity for outstanding work in pupils’ cultural
development. The school has plans to involve the wider community in the process of
establishing multicultural links within the United Kingdom (UK) which will enable pupils to gain
a greater understanding of other world faiths and cultures.
Pupils get on exceptionally well with each other and with the staff and these excellent
relationships help pupils develop self-confidence and independence. They speak with pride
about their school and acknowledge and understand how the Christian values which the
school promotes so well impact on the whole of their school life. Pupils understand the need
to forgive and be forgiven and talk of further Christian values such as respect and love. There
are a number of disabled pupils in school and one child said ‘We treat the children like they
are not ill. We respect each other’. Quiet areas within the classroom enable the pupils to hold
palm-size crosses when they wish to reflect. Children in Foundation Stage and Year 1 were
saddened by the recent death of one of their peers and used the quiet area to remember their
friend. The school has plans for creating more quiet areas for reflection and prayer within the
school grounds. Pupils’ believe that their ideas have played a part in the development of the
school and are proud to have had an impact on the life of the school. Pupils help to raise
money for the school and for charitable causes in the UK and abroad. They are also aware of
the need to adopt healthy lifestyles.
The impact of collective worship on the school community is outstanding.
Collective worship is central to the life of the school and great strides have been made since
the last inspection to ensure that it is of high quality and encompasses all pupils and the
majority of staff. Excellent use is now made of music with a choir welcoming the children into
worship. Collective worship usually takes place in the school hall where there is a display
with a candle, cross and Bible which creates an effective focal point. The pupils greatly enjoy
these times of music, prayer, reflection and celebration. The children and staff said ‘the
worships are always memorable’. The pupils show great interest and are responsive and
participate readily. The two acts of worship observed made an outstanding contribution to the
pupils’ spiritual development. Children speak of the impact of worship on their lives and
cherish the opportunity to ‘sit down and relax and think about God when we go to church’.
Pupils say they enjoy worship and see it as an important part of the day, something that is
special to being in a church school. Many of the pupils spoken to could recall a variety of
collective worship times, the message behind them and why they remembered them.
The school’s collective worship council is a highly effective body. Pupils value the
opportunity it gives them to plan, deliver, evaluate and make suggestions for improvement
and so feel involved in worship as a result. School and individual achievements are
celebrated every week at a special worship. Members of the collective worship council
interview those being congratulated and will survey members of their class to ascertain if
worship can be enhanced in any way. The school has its own prayer which was decided
upon through a school competition. The chosen prayer contains areas of importance to the
children. Children say that prayer is important as it gives them the chance to say ‘thank you
to God’ for all He does for them and so this is now embedded into their everyday lives. No
child is withdrawn from worship and the school makes sensitive provision for children who are
not of the Anglican tradition. The pupils’ understanding of Anglican practice is excellently
supported by the incumbent’s monthly visits which support class and family collective
worships and through services held at special times during the Church calendar which he
leads. Parents said ‘we look forward to the end of term services’.
The effectiveness of the leadership and management of the school as a church school
The clear vision and leadership of the headteacher is outstanding and central to the success
of the school as a Church school. With the excellent support he receives from the chair of
governors, collective worship co-ordinator, members of staff and the governing body, the
school is realising this vision. All work closely to successfully monitor and evaluate the work
of the school and are focussed on meeting the needs of all learners within a Christian
context. Christian values now guide all aspects of school development and form a strong
feature of school policy and documentation. Collective worship and religious education have
a high status within the school and are well led and receive outstanding support. Governors
have begun building effective and inclusive recruitment and induction procedures to explain
and explore the school’s Christian character. Foundation governors are fully involved in
supporting this process and committed to developing their roles. Matters relating to the
school as a Church school are prominent in the School Development Plan. Staff and
governors should now develop their roles further and this could take place through training
led by the Diocese specifically targeted at church school distinctiveness. The school enjoys a
close and productive relationship with the local Anglican community and the wider
community. The local clergy, along with the foundation governors are proactive in promoting
the school’s vision. They talk with pride about the school and its achievements. Pupils and
parents speak appreciatively of the school’s Christian ethos and the contribution it makes to
the children’s all round development. All members of the school community feel that their
voices are not only heard but they are encouraged to reflect on ‘big questions’ and play an
active and responsible role in the school. An illustration being teaching assistants leading a
recent charity day for Disability Awareness. All feel valued and this contributes greatly to the
happy and supportive atmosphere among staff. Parents and members of the wider
community hold the school in high regard. Parents acknowledge that the school’s successful
and purposeful family atmosphere is generated and sustained through the school’s caring
Christian relationships. Parents and the wider community feel well informed about the
school’s activities and enjoy the fact that they are positively encouraged to get involved in its
life in a number of ways. The school has made excellent progress within the last two years.
Issues identified in the previous denominational inspection have been successfully achieved
and the school’s self-evaluation provides a secure base for future development. Links with
the parish church and the local community have enhanced the development of the school
and its contribution to community cohesion.