In the week before half-term, we had a SIAMS inspection. SIAMS stands for Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools, and is a process that all Church of England schools go through, on a 5 year cycle. This is a rigorous process with many similarities to an Ofsted inspection, although with a tighter focus. Our inspector was in school for a whole day, observing lessons and collective worship, as well as talking to students, staff, parents and governors. We were judged as outstanding in all 4 key areas of the inspection: Christian character, collective worship, religious education, and leadership and management, as well as being judged outstanding overall.

Having been judged as good at the last inspection in February 2012, it was great to have this distinctive and central part of the academy recognised as having developed further to achieve outstanding status. The inspector recognises Abbey Grange as “a rich, diverse and highly effective church school and a happy place for students to learn”, noting that “Christian values are promoted and lived throughout the academy”. I am very pleased that the quality of our collective worship and the effectiveness of our RS department are judged as outstanding, recognising the huge contribution of both Kay Brown, our Chaplain, and Steph Hanbridge, our head of RS and also Associate Assistant Principal.

I am very conscious that we are in this positive position because of the strength of the community that Abbey Grange represents – a partnership of students, staff, parents, governors, Abbey Multi Academies Trust, and the Diocese of Leeds. Thank you to our parents for the part that you and your child play in ensuring the ongoing distinctiveness and effectiveness of Abbey Grange as a Church of England academy.

Although this is definitely a time to celebrate the journey that we have completed thus far, looking forward we will continue to look to develop our Church of England status; the report gives us a couple of areas to develop, which we will work on in the months and years to come.