A PRIMARY school in Thornbury is celebrating “outstanding” feedback following a church-led inspection.

St Mary’s Church of England Primary School, which teaches 214 pupils from the Thornbury area, was visited on May 11 by SIAMS inspectors from the Church of England, who gave it an “Outstanding” grade.

The Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS) report, carried out on schools across the country by the church, evaluated the distinctiveness and effectiveness of teaching spiritually, morally, culturally and socially.

It has been highlighted however that, since the school was last inspected in 2012, where it achieved the same grade, the updated processes carried out in the inspection are more rigorous than before, and more in-line with Ofsted standards, which the school have also been ranked as “Outstanding” in their latest report.

The report highlighted that “St. Mary’s delivers high academic standards whilst fostering a strong sense of community and belonging,” adding that “the school’s Christian ethos, inclusive nurturing provision and strong collaborative community relationships enable all pupils to feel personally valued, happy and secure.”

The school was given two points in the report which inspectors felt it could improve; giving the pupils more opportunity to plan, deliver and evaluate all aspects of school worship and building on the introduction of understanding Christianity to deepen and challenge pupils thinking in religious education.

St Mary’s head teacher Karl Joyce told the Gazette how pleased he was by the result and that it reflected the time and effort put in by everyone at the school.

“As a church school, the SIAMS report is just as important to us, if not more important than an Ofsted report,” he said.

“We have to show that we have been delivering to the high standard which is expected of us.

“It is good to know what you are doing is of the best quality and standard, and that the children are benefitting from our work.

“We are very proud of that recognition and on top of our Ofsted results, we must be doing something right.

“I want to say a big thank you to all the staff, the children, the governors and the parents. They are all big parts of what has led to our success, and are the ones who continually push for us to do even better.”