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Bath and Wells MAT

Christ Church First School sees light shine again

A school that joined Bath & Wells Multi Academy Trust six months ago has received a huge boost after a church inspector gave it a Good rating. 

The inspector, Penny Burnside, said Christ Church First School in Frome, which has the motto ‘Let Your Life Shine’, was beginning to thrive again.

“The Bath and Wells Multi Academy Trust (MAT) has played a crucial role in Christ Church’s recent improvement journey and in helping the school’s light to shine again,” her report said.

Ms Burnside, who carried out a Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (Siams) visit in June, said the Christian vision of the school and the MAT was at the heart of the 107-pupil school’s improvement.

 “Adults are united in their desire to see every pupil flourish. The appointment in January 2023 of an experienced Church school headteacher from within the MAT is proving key to the school’s recovery. Inspired by the vision, she leads with hope and determination,” the Siams report said.

Among the many positives noted by the inspector were:

  • Joyful, high-quality collective worship
  • Skilful and effective support for vulnerable pupils and those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)
  • improving behaviour and relationships
  • increasing evidence of kindness in the school
  • a good relationship with the local church.

 “Adults live out and explicitly teach values of kindness, courage, respect, responsibility, perseverance and forgiveness. With adult support, pupils are learning to practise forgiveness. Additional professionals, such as a psychotherapist and a behaviour consultant, are successfully improving pupils’ resilience and developing staff skills,” the report said.  

Christ Church First School joined BWMAT in 2022/23 and Ms Burnside praised pupils, staff, governors and the trust central team for playing their part in the school’s recovery.

She said bold decisions and a “determinedly flexible” approach had uncovered additional strengths that were showing increasingly effective and sometimes transformative results with the school’s many vulnerable pupils.

The Siams report gave the school a grade of Good overall and Good for the impact of collective worship.

Headteacher Nicola Smith said: “We are delighted that the Siams inspector acknowledged the tireless work of our dedicated team, who believe in every pupil and strive to support all of them to be the best version of themselves.

“Our Christian vision, and that of our trust is at the heart of everything we do and I am proud that this report shows how we are letting our light shine again.”