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SIAMS (Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools) Church Inspection. 

We were delighted to receive an 'Excellent' grade for our SIAMS inspection. Please read the report below.

Delamere Church of England Primary Academy
Stoney Lane,

Diocese: Chester
Local authority: Cheshire West and Chester
Date of inspection: 8th November 2018
School's unique reference number: 136553
Head of School: Mrs. Julie Clayton
Inspector's name and number: Lisa Horobin (900)

 School context

Delamere Church of England Primary Academy is a smaller than average sized rural school with 169 pupils on roll. The majority of pupils are of white British heritage. The number of pupils eligible for pupil premium funding is well below average. The percentage of pupils who have special educational needs or disabilities is also below the national average. The school has expanded significantly over the last 5 years and performance results are exceptionally high. The school is a member of The North West Academies Trust. The current head of School has been in post since September 2017.

The school’s Christian vision

“Beyond outstanding, helping children fly.” Our Christian school values are Respect, Care, Peace and Love. We all share the same vision and Christian Values aiming for all of our children to achieve the highest standards guided by the Biblical narrative of Jeremiah 29:11 and the parable of The Good Samaritan.

The distinctiveness and effectiveness of Delamere Church of England Primary Academy as a Church of England school are outstanding.

  • The behaviour and attitude of pupils is exemplary. It is firmly based on their understanding of the Christian values of love, care, peace and respect.
  • Pupils' personal, spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is exceptional. It is achieved through the provision of an enriched curriculum, high expectations and support for all.
  • The leadership and vision of the headteacher, senior leaders and governors have successfully driven change and maintained the explicit Christian character of the school.

Key findings

• The dedication of the leadership of the school to live out their Christian vision and enable all members of the school community to become the best that they can be is outstanding.

• The words of Jeremiah 29v11 are at the core of school life and the wellbeing of each child and member of staff is at the forefront of every decision made and action taken.

• The academic excellence of the school is exceptional however, it is the focus placed on meeting the needs of each individual that is truly special.

• The links with St Peter’s Church and involvement of the local clergy has made Delamere the hub of the community. 


Areas for development

• Review the school website and policy documents to ensure that they overtly reflect the school’s practice of living out their Christian vision which is clearly evident in all other aspects of school life.

• To increase the impact of collective worship, develop the knowledge of all staff so that their understanding of spiritual development is extended to include pupil’s engagement with the environment, the arts and sporting activities. 


Inspection findings

When Delamere converted to academy status it was in danger of closing. Now, the school is a thriving hub at the centre of the local community and a place where pupils and adults flourish. This about-turn is due to the exceptional commitment and dedication of the school leadership to the wellbeing and nurture of every pupil as an individual. The Christian vision is firmly founded on Jeremiah 29v11 (‘“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”’). The staff and pupils are motivated by the four Christian values that emerge from the vision: respect, care, peace and love. They work together to ensure that every member of the school community becomes ‘the best person they can be’. Staff are encouraged and supported in pursuing further qualifications and new career pathways. Parents say that the Christian values affect attitudes at home and influence family life. The focus on meeting the needs of each child has led to high quality provision and exceptional results well beyond national averages. Staff have designed the curriculum in such a way that it enhances the ethos of being a family who learn and grow together. Governors are certain that ‘everyone understands the Christian purpose of this school, it is a place where everyone is accepted for who they are’. Every pupil and their families are welcomed. The manners and behaviour of pupils is exemplary and their respect for one another clearly visible. The school policy of Reprimand in Private and Praise in Public ensures that a pupil’s dignity remains intact. Pupils were most adamant that everyone should be and is treated equally and one commented that ‘we do not judge others’. Difference and diversity are celebrated.

Delamere is only one of 11 schools in the country to have successfully attained the Wellbeing for Schools Award. Motivated by wanting everyone to prosper as God intends (Jer29:11), working for and achieving the Wellbeing Award has resulted in the already existing good practice being developed further to an exceptionally high standard. After listening to the pupil’s voice through the school council a nurture room has been created and its use is a natural part of school life. The whole school family values this space and the availability of the school’s counsellor.

Teachers and parents work in collaboration to educate their children. A good example is the tireless work of the Parents in Partnership (PIP) group raising additional funding for school that is used for the sole purpose of enriching the curriculum. The contributions made by the PIP make a significant impact on educating the whole child spiritually and culturally. Parents commented that their children really do have their ‘eyes opened to a world of possibilities’ within a nurturing environment where they are happy, listened to and safe. School offers an assortment of extra-curricular activities that interest both pupils and staff. From archeology to breakdancing, a wealth of opportunities to develop new skills and interests are available and pupils are eager to participate. Every dimension of the curriculum contributes to pupils knowing ‘that God has good plans for us,’ and raises their aspirations for the future.

The school enjoys a close working relationship with the local parish church, St Peter’s. The vicar is a regular visitor in school to lead worship, share resources and give pastoral support to both pupils and adults. Messy church, held in school and organised by the vicar along with a team of parishioners, is very popular. The issues raised by the previous SIAMS inspection have been addressed in full. As a result, pupils are now actively involved in the planning, delivery and evaluation of collective worship. Each week a class leads worship in St Peter’s church. Pupils said that they enjoy being able to add their ‘own creative touch’ to times of worship. They feel very strongly that collective worship gives them time to think and brings a sense of peace to the school. The content of worship is well planned and relevant. Pupils have a sound knowledge of the Trinity and the church year. Elements of Anglican liturgy are woven into school worship. Pupils spoke about the importance of prayer and opportunities for prayer and reflection are evident in classrooms, corridors and the playground. They commented that they regularly use the prayer box. One said, ‘The prayers we write are always read in church and we know God is listening.’

Religious education (RE) fulfils all statutory requirements and is a priority subject in the curriculum. An effective system of assessment shows that standards are high and pupils, challenged by creative lessons, make excellent progress. The RE subject leader works hard to ensure that the school is well resourced and up to date with current thinking in this subject. She regularly attends local network groups and shares good practice across several schools. Pupils spoke about the importance of RE and the way in which the subject gives them a deeper understanding of Christianity as a living and diverse faith. One pupil stated that ‘without RE we wouldn’t understand church or our values’. Pupils spoke confidently that their increasing knowledge about other world religions strengthens their respect for ‘others who are different’. They had particularly enjoyed building Jewish Sukkoth shelters on the school field and visiting the school hall when it had been transformed into a Hindu Temple for the day. Parents commented that they fully appreciate the ways in which the school ensures that their children are given a breadth of experiences that are inclusive of all religions and cultures.

The pupils at Delamere are being well prepared to be citizens of our diverse world in the 21st century. They have a keen sense of concern for others both locally and globally. They are aware of the situations of injustice around the world that need to be challenged and the enormity of this task. In order that the charities being supported during the year can be democratically chosen, each September the new house captains research and present information about several organisations to the members of their house. All fundraising events are initiated and organised by the pupils. Staff arrange for members of the charitable organisations to visit school. The pupils are conscious of their responsibilities as stewards of God’s creation. This stewardship is visibly present in the school environment and budget. For example, the pupils are proud of their eco-printers.

The success of Delamere was the inspiration behind the establishment of the North West Academies Trust (NWAT). The Trust welcomes schools that are at the start of journeys similar to the one made by Delamere. Just as the values, policies and practice of Delamere transform the lives of pupils in their care, as a model of excellence for other members of the MAT they are influencing the lives of pupils in schools elsewhere. Therefore the school’s strong Christian vision is reaching far beyond the walls of Delamere.



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