CHRIST CHURCH CofE FIRST SCHOOL & NURSERY :: What makes our school so special?

What makes our school so special?

Christ Church C of E First School and Nursery is a happy and supportive Christian learning community where we recognise and develop the unique gifts and personal qualities of all.

Our mission is to enable all children to “live life in all its fullness” (John 10:10, the Bible) ... to enjoy a life filled with meaning and purpose, underpinned by Christian values, a love of learning and an eagerness to make the world a better place. We aim to provide an outstanding education for every girl and boy so that all Christ Church pupils will flourish in childhood, adolescence and adulthood - equipped with the knowledge and skills, personal resilience and creativity, and emotional intelligence and social skills that will give them every opportunity to experience lifelong success and happiness in the 21st Century.

We work in partnership with parents and carers (also the parish and local community; the Anglican Diocese of Bath and Wells; Somerset County Council; Frome Town Council and the Mount, Marston and Keyford Association) to find ways of ensuring that every child at Christ Church has the chance to discover their strengths, and to make the most of their talents within school and beyond.

Our staff and governors are committed to ensuring that our distinctive Christian values and our school maxim (“Children don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care”) are at the heart of all we do to ensure that every child feels nurtured, respected and proud to belong to the community of Christ Church.

Christian Values At the heart of all we do

Our five core Christian values

  • Perseverance
  • Forgiveness
  • Respect
  • Thankfulness
  • Responsibility

We are an inclusive, values-driven school

Christ Church is an inclusive school. Our five core Christian values were selected because they are pertinent to the mission of our school as it serves the local community and wider Frome in a spirit of love and warmth, sensitivity and compassion, ambition and aspiration, hope and peace.

In April 2016, Christ Church was identified by Somerset County Council as being situated in the fourth most socially deprived neighbourhood in Somerset. The school's locality is characterised as a “socially challenging area” with high unemployment, lower than average family incomes and higher than average levels of adult illiteracy. The school's RAISEonline data Summary Report (DfE, October 2016, pages 31–33) states:

  • 43.6% of learners at Christ Church are eligible for a free school meal (national 2016 = 25.2%).
  • 33.2% of learners at Christ Church receive support for a Special Educational Need (national 2016 = 13.4%).
  • 17.8% of learners at Christ Church are Gypsy/Roma/Traveller (GRT)(national 2016 = 0.4%).
  • 7.4% of learners at Christ Church speak English as an additional language (EAL) (national 2016 = 18%).
  • 4.8% of learners at Christ Church are Black or Minority Ethnic (BME) (national 2016 = 24.4%).
  • 4.7% of learners at Christ Church are White Other i.e. not White British, Irish or GRT (national 2016 = 5.6%).

In keeping with the Christian concept of Koinonia (a Greek word meaning “fellowship” or “community”). Our staff and governors are committed to creating a warm, welcoming, nurturing school where all children are valued and able to achieve their full potential.

Mr Kaye (Headteacher) says:

At Christ Church we have high expectations and ambition for all. We are committed to ensuring all children make rapid and sustained academic progress over time from their respective starting points, high or low. At Christ Church, we are relentless in our commitment to move mountains whenever this is required. My goal is for Christ Church to be the best first/primary school in Somerset when it comes to pupil progress and attainment. And we can only achieve this if every child with SEN and/or a disability reaches her or his potential."

To read more about how the school’s Christian ethos and values are reflected in its commitment to inclusion and aspiration click here.

What the Bible says about the importance of having values:

“Train children in the way they should go, teaching them to seek God’s wisdom and will for their abilities and talents. Then, even when they are old, they will not depart from it.”
Proverbs 22:6, paraphrased from the Amplified Bible

“Your word is like a lamp that shows me the way.
It is like a light that guides me.”
Psalm 119:105

What school inspectors say about our school's core Christian values:

“Christ Church First School is confident in its Christian character and distinctiveness. The school maxim, ‘Children don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care’ is lived out. Strong Christian attitudes and values are expressed clearly in classroom and corridor displays.”

SIAMS “Outstanding” inspection report, April 2015

“The teaching of disabled pupils and those with special educational needs is good, often providing specialised activities to help the neediest. Consequently some parents from outside the local catchment area choose this school for their children if they have such needs. Pupils who fall behind and need extra help with their reading are taught very effectively so that they catch up quickly.” displays.”

Ofsted “Good” inspection report, October 2012

What Christ Church pupils say about school values:

The Christian value that helps me with my WORK is...

PERSEVERANCE, because I always try my best and never ever give up.”

Y2 pupil

THANKFULNESS, because I thank the teachers
for helping me learn new things.”

Y1 pupil

PERSEVERANCE, because a wise person learns from their own mistakes and the mistakes of others, and keeps on going until they succeed. But a foolish person doesn’t learn from their own mistakes or the mistakes of others, and they give up too quickly.”

Y4 pupil

The Christian value that helps me with my BEHAVIOUR is...

RESPECT, because we respect everyone around us.”

Y1 pupil

FORGIVENESS, because when a person makes a mistake they need to begin again. When I was in Year 2, if I messed up I used to get angry and never say sorry and things would just get worse and worse. Now, I count to ten, say sorry to the teacher and make a fresh start. Just like in the Lord's Prayer ... forgive us our trespasses.”

Y4 pupil

RESPONSIBILITY, because we have to look after each other and trees.”

Y2 pupil

The Christian value that helps me with my RELATIONSHIPS is...

PERSEVERANCE, because – just like God never ever gives up trying to be our friend, even when we make wrong choices and don't follow his rules we should keep being kind to other children even when they are unkind to us because we should never give up trying.”

Y4 pupil

THANKFULNESS, because I thank God for my toys and for my friends and I let my friends play with my toys.” trying.”

Y3 pupil

FORGIVENESS, because when I make someone upset I say sorry and they say, ‘That's okay.' Then we are friends again and I feel happy.”

Y2 pupil

What do our school's core Christian values mean to the children?

Perseverence –

  • we challenge ourselves and learn from our mistakes
  • we praise, encourage and admire the determination of other people
  • we don’t give up, we ask for help

Forgiveness –

  • we tell the truth and say sorry when we have done the wrong thing
  • we believe in fresh starts, good choices and new beginnings
  • we say the Lord’s Prayer: “Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us”

Respect –

  • we cherish diversity and are tolerant of different ideas and beliefs
  • we serve one another and help people who are in need
  • we remember Jesus’ Golden Rules: “Love God” and “Love your neighbour”


  • we are always polite and thank other people when they help us
  • we celebrate our own successes and the achievements of others
  • we say thank you prayers to God

Responsibility –

  • we take responsibility for our own thoughts, words and actions
  • we contribute to our team’s success, remembering that “Together Everyone Achieves More”
  • we take pride in our work

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Inspirational Teaching Enriching experiences for all

We promote ambition and aspiration

At Christ Church we aim to ensure that all staff and governors are positive role models for the pupils. Staff have high expectations for themselves and for the children they teach. Work is of high quality across all classes and in all subjects. Children take the utmost pride in the presentation of their work. Effort and hard work are recognised and rewarded...

  • Daily – with verbal and written praise, stickers and an opportunity for children to move their name “up to the rainbow”
  • Weekly – with certificates in our Friday act of celebratory worship and class Golden Time
  • Half-termly – with a Headteacher Commendation Assembly (to which parents and carers are invited) which is followed by a Golden Time Party

We believe that the school’s rich curriculum – including trips and visits away from school, and visiting speakers coming into school – makes an excellent contribution to children’s spiritual, social, moral and cultural development, as well as promoting personal ambitions and aspirations.

What the Bible says:

“Teachers, show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned.”

Titus 2:7–8

“Pay others the honour and respect you owe them.”

Romans 13:7

What school inspectors say about Christ Church:

“Teaching and learning are good across the school and some teaching is outstanding. Teachers plan interesting lessons that engage and motivate pupils. Reading is taught well so that most pupils make strong progress. Any pupils who fall behind are helped to catch up quickly. Pupils have positive attitudes to their learning and enjoy lessons. They behave well and feel safe because the school provides a secure learning environment. The curriculum is organised well so that pupils who need extra help with their learning receive exceptionally good support.”

Ofsted “Good” inspection report, October 2012

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British Values Promoting respect and tolerance

Fundamental British values:

  • Democracy (respecting others, sharing ideas and making choices)
  • The rule of law (following rules and accepting consequences)
  • Individual liberty (being free to be oneself and develop one's own identity, interests, gifts and talents)
  • Mutual respect and tolerance (meeting, welcoming and learning about and from people with different faiths and beliefs)

School Golden Rules

Fundamental British values are reinforced by our school Golden Rules:

  • Be honest: tell the truth and take responsibility
  • Be kind: respect everyone and everything
  • Be helpful: look after and support each other
  • Try hard: work hard and persevere

Values underpin every facet of school life at Christ Church, and define the priorities/actions/relationships that we want at the heart of our community.

Parker J. Palmer reminds us:
“We teach who we are.”
(The Heart of the Teacher: Identity and Integrity in Teaching, 1997, p.15)

First and foremost, British values are promoted through the attitudes, actions and interactions of adults in school. Staff, parents, governors and visitors at Christ Church are all expected to model and exemplify the very values we want the children to live by day by day.

Children learn about British values in both extra-curricular activities and in the formal timetabled school curriculum.

For example, British values are taught explicitly through Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education (PSHCE) and Religious Education (RE). British values – along with our core Christian values – are taught across the curriculum and reinforced by the everyday things we do in school. For example, Christ Church children are taught to be thoughtful, responsible school citizens – they are always expected to be polite, well-mannered and respectful. Christ Church children look after their own property and care for the property of others and the school. Tolerance and respect are actively promoted.

We promote values by ensuring that our curriculum planning and delivery includes real opportunities to explore, discuss and understand them and live them out in school and at home. British values are promoted through daily acts of collective worship and whole-school systems and structures such as electing and running a successful School Council.

What the Bible says:

“The Lord has told you what is good. He has told you what he wants from you. Do what is right to other people. Love being kind to others. And live humbly, trusting your God.”

Micah 6:8

“God will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity.”

Psalm 98:9b

“The Lord God wants you to honour all human authorities ... Be kind and tolerant to everyone. Love your community. Know about God and follow his rules. Show respect for your country's leader.”

1 Peter 2:13, 17

“Pray for all those in power so that we may live quiet and peaceful lives as we worship and honour God.”

1 Timothy 2:2

What school inspectors say about Christ Church:

“There are opportunities for pupils to contribute to the life of the school by being councillors and monitors.”

Ofsted “Good” inspection report, October 2012

“The collective worship themes raise aspirations, and encourage spiritual and moral reflection. In particular they challenge children to take responsibility for their own conduct, for example they are often given a task to follow after the main worship in their classroom or during their own time.”

SIAMS “Outstanding” inspection report, April 2015

British values at Christ Church

For younger children this will include learning:

  • to share
  • that everyone is different and that is okay
  • how to communicate their needs
  • to listen to others
  • how to wait and take turns
  • that some actions are right or wrong

For older children it will also include learning:

  • that others may have different views from themselves and each other
  • that they have a voice (i.e. they can share their own feelings and thoughts)
  • that they choose how they behave and can make good choices
  • that people have different religious or faith-based views
  • that people are equal
  • how to show respect for everyone
  • how to take responsibility around the school and in their own choices

How do British values match Christian values?

Christian values, virtues and the “Fruit of the Spirit” complement and uphold British values. At Christ Church we recognise that the “fundamental British values” we teach are not unique to Britain and should not be followed unquestioningly. Whilst we teach about the importance of following rules and laws (school rules, UK laws, the Ten Commandments, the Golden Rule of Jesus) we do not shy away from explaining to children that where laws are unfair and unjust, God expects good people to challenge them. We talk about “Daniel in the lions’ den” – a Bible story about a good man guilty of breaking a law which restricted religious freedom. (Today, Amnesty International would call him a prisoner of conscience.) We also talk about Emmeline Pankhurst in the UK, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi in India and Martin Luther King Jr. in the USA; three 20th Century champions of social justice, whose civil disobedience helped to tackle prejudice and end discriminatory laws.

In line with Christian values of peace, justice and respect, we help children understand that people of all faiths and none have a responsibility to act both morally and non-violently, even when this brings them into conflict with the state. This approach supports the UK Government’s “Prevent” (anti-extremism and anti-terror) strategy, which teaches that hate and violence are wrong. Jesus, Ghandi and King were all countercultural non-violent men who courageously challenged and changed the status quo.

This table shows the matrix of values which we promote at all times and in all places, notably in acts of collective worship and across the curriculum including – but by no means limited to – PSHE and RE lessons:

4 x fundamental British values 20 x Christian values for schools 9 x Fruit of the Spirit 5 x School core Christian values
The rule of law
Individual liberty
Mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith
Community (Koinonia)
Love (Agape)

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Beautiful Environment Expansive outdoor space

Christ Church is a lovely place to learn

Christ Church is blessed with spacious grounds and a wonderful view across a buttercup meadow containing a dozen ponies to the hills beyond. The vista is simply breathtaking.

Our expansive grounds provide the children with a wide range of outdoor learning and recreational activities including playtimes, Forest School activities, sporting events and fairs. In addition to two playgrounds and two grassy playing fields, Christ Church has its own mini-allotment area and an orchard of plum, pear and apple trees.

Using the Soil Association’s “Food for Life Partnership” materials, Christ Church staff work with the local community allotmenteers and Incredible Edible Frome to give children opportunities to grow and cook seasonal, local and organic food for themselves. Our regular Friday afternoon Golden Time Gardening Club is helping a new generation to explore how their food choices impact on their own health and the well-being of the planet. For some children, though, simply being trusted to use a hoe, spade, garden fork or rake is the highlight of their week!

Working on the soil and taking responsibility for living things is also a reminder of our human connection to God’s earth, and our responsibility to be good stewards of the planet.

What school inspectors say about Christ Church:

“Strong Christian attitudes and values are expressed clearly through all relationships and in the school environment.”

SIAMS “Outstanding” inspection report, April 2015

  • gardening.jpg

What the Bible says:

“In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.”

Psalm 95:4–5

“How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you made them all – the earth is full of your creatures.”

Psalm 104:24

“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work in it and take care of it.”

Genesis 2:15

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Achieving Potential Nurturing talents and gifts

We nurture talents and gifts

Our highly skilled, experienced teachers ensure that children are excited by learning, and that all are stretched and challenged. Children with special learning needs – including gifted and talented pupils – receive extra support to help them make the most of their abilities.

Like many schools, we promote a “growth mindset” amongst children and staff at Christ Church, encouraging everyone to learn from one another and see “failure” as a learning opportunity on the road to future success.

By the time they leave us at the end of Year 4, pupils are confident, motivated and independent learners, ready to seize opportunities and explore new directions.

Local clubs and activities

We are fortunate to have a wide range of enrichment opportunities on our doorstep, and actively publicise as many of these clubs and groups as possible. We celebrate children’s out-of-school successes on the “Our Achievements” display. Please see below for a list of many of the opportunities open to children in Frome:

  • Beavers, Cubs and Scouts
  • Rainbows, Brownies and Girl Guides
  • Firestar Circus Arts
  • Frome Dance Centre (Bojangles)
  • Frome Amateur Boxing Club
  • Frome Chess Club
  • Frome Collegians Football Club
  • Frome Town Youth Football Club
  • LG Football Academy
  • Frome Leisure Centre
  • Frome Rugby Football Club
  • Frome Selwood Tennis Club
  • Frome Swimming Club
  • Frome Town Youth Band
  • Frome Youth Choir
  • Jack’s Music Club
  • Karate Jutso
  • Liberty Gymnastics
  • Theatre School – drama and dance

What the Bible says:

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:9

“I have learned to be content, whatever the circumstances may be. I know now how to live when things are difficult and I know how to live when things are prosperous. In general and in particular I have learned the secret of facing either poverty or plenty. I am ready for anything through the strength of the one who lives within me.”

Philippians 4:13, J.B. Phillips New Testament

What school inspectors say about Christ Church:

“The strong focus on pupils’ achievement has helped to raise expectations and improve rates of progress.”

Ofsted “Good” inspection report, October 2012

“The large majority of disabled pupils and those with special educational needs are making at least the expected progress from their starting points and most make better than this, especially in reading and mathematics. This is because their learning is tracked very precisely and activities are tailored specifically to help them learn, no matter how complex their learning needs.”

Ofsted “Good” inspection report, October 2012

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Out of School Clubs Amazing activities for all

There are amazing activities for all

Christ Church offers an exceptionally broad curriculum, which is enriched through creative activities, clubs, themed days, visits, outings and residential trips.

At the end of the school day we have a wide range of clubs available to children. Some are run by our teachers and teaching assistants, as well as sports coaches and outside providers. In 2015–16, we ran the following after-school clubs and extracurricular activities:

  • Arts and crafts
  • Athletics
  • Choir
  • Cooking
  • Country dancing
  • Creative crafts
  • Cricket and rounders
  • Drama
  • First Aid
  • Football
  • French
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Lego
  • Multi-skills
  • Rugby
  • Tennis

Our older children also like to run lunchtime clubs for younger children including Skipping Club, Dance Club and Colouring Club.

Christ Church has extensive grounds and wonderful outdoor play equipment, which children love to make full use of at playtime. Every child enjoys at least two hours of sport each week, sometimes supported by specialist sports coaches who use our school field for track and field sports. Children are encouraged to take part in sport for fitness, fun and competition, and their tremendous determination, team spirit and talent is on show every sports day.

Christ Church teams play friendly football and tag-rugby matches with neighbouring schools. We also take advantage of sporting opportunities organised by the Frome Learning Partnership (FLP) and Somerset Activity and Sports Partnership (SASP). In 2015–16, Christ Church children enjoyed extraordinary success:

  • FLP gymnastics competition – Y3/Y4 winners
  • SASP gymnastics competition – Y3/Y4 winners
  • FLP athletics competition – Y3/Y4 third place
  • SASP athletics competition – Y3/Y4 seventh place
  • FLP tag-rugby tournament – Y3/Y4 second place

Our children take an active part in sport locally and we have received coaching from:

  • Bath Rugby Club
  • Frome Selwood Tennis Club
  • Somerset County Cricket Club

What the Bible says:

“You know that in a race all the athletes run, but only one will win the gold medal? Remember: all athletes train hard and practise so that they can achieve their goal. So, run your fastest and achieve your personal best.”

1 Corinthians 9:24

I have come in order that you might have life — life in all its fullness.”

John 10:10

What school inspectors say about Christ Church:

“A wealth of opportunities for pupils to participate in sports-related activities, to get involved with events, to learn to play an instrument and to work with artists and authors extends their experiences and enhances their personal development.”

Ofsted “Good” inspection report, October 2012

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Community Action Links with church and parish

We serve the parish and community

At Christ Church we enjoy working with our friends and neighbours at the parish church and in the wider community. In the 2015–16 academic year, our school raised over £4,000 for different causes – local, national and international:

  • Children in Need
  • Children’s Society (Christingle Appeal)
  • Christian Aid
  • Daryl (an ex-pupil in need of urgent and expensive medical treatment)
  • Fair Frome (providing food, help and support to struggling local families)
  • Operation Christmas Child (presents to go in shoebox parcels for children overseas)
  • Positive Action on Cancer
  • Royal British Legion (Poppy Appeal)
  • Sport Relief

Some Christ Church children sang Christmas carols to elderly people in the Key Centre community building. Others attended the Frome Remembrance Sunday service in the town. School Harvest, Christmas and Easter services are held at Christ Church parish church. The vicar, Fr. Neil Maxted, also comes into school to lead worship in the hall.

The church and school communities are concerned for each other’s welfare, and communication is effective. For instance, there are noticeboards in the church dedicated to the school and vice versa.

Regular half-termly prayer meetings are held in school and open to parents, carers, staff governors and friends of Christ Church C of E First School.

What the Bible says:

“Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.”

Romans 12:16

“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together but encouraging one another.”

Hebrews 10:24–25

“Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”

Romans 12:4–5

“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!”

Psalm 133:1

What school inspectors say about Christ Church:

“The church and school communities are concerned for each other’s welfare and communication is effective. For instance, noticeboards in the parish church are dedicated to the school and vice versa.”

SIAMS “Outstanding” inspection report, April 2015

“The school is outstanding at providing variety in its collective worship, led by different groups and individuals, such as pupils, the incumbent and visitors. The collective worship themes raise aspirations, and encourage spiritual and moral reflection. In particular they challenge children to take responsibility for their own conduct, for example they are often given a task to follow after the main worship in their classroom or during their own time. As a result worship is seen as a constant and a continuum, always there to challenge and engage. Parents report that children often come home and tell them about their collective worship and are ‘singing the hymns they learn in school.’ The worship environment, wall displays, artefacts and worship structure, all give children an understanding of Anglican tradition. Collective worship has a strong focus on the Trinity – children’s understanding of the Trinity is reinforced through the use of the symbols of the Bible, cross and candle, to represent God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Parents and carers are often invited to worship and value this.”

SIAMS “Outstanding” inspection report, April 2015

“The leadership team reach out in the Christian spirit of partnership to help develop the learners, the parents and the community and there has been and continues to be strong relationship between the Church, the Diocese and the school. The school also engages well with other local groups in the community for the benefit of all.”

SIAMS “Outstanding” inspection report, April 2015

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Music and Arts Performing joyfully

We “live life in all its fullness" at Christ Church

At Christ Church we educate each child as a “whole human” (with a body, mind, spirit and soul). This means the whole curriculum matters – not just the four Rs: reading, ’riting, ’rithmetic and religious education LOL. Music, Art, Drama and Dance have their place in the timetabled taught curriculum. Children at Christ Church have opportunities to develop their talents and, where a child is identified as having a specific aptitude and/or gift then additional tuition may be provided.

As a church school, we recognise that because each and every human being is made in God’s image it means each and every child has the capacity to be a creator in their own right; to write, compose and design using a variety of media; to communicate with clarity and meaning; to experience awe and wonder and ascribe meaning to existence; and to seek meaningful and sustaining relationships.

Because sublime beauty and ingenious design can both speak to the human spirit, and provide a conduit of expression when words are painful or insufficient, Music and Art are also used at Christ Church to therapeutically help children who have particular social and/or emotional needs.

Furthermore, Music, Drama and Dance have an important place in collective worship, especially in our Harvest, Christmas and Easter services at Christ Church parish church.

What the Bible says:

I have come in order that you might have life — life in all its fullness.”

John 10:10

“Through him all things were made – without him nothing was made that has been made.”

John 1:3

“Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth – break forth into joyous song and sing praises! Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre, with the lyre and the sound of melody! With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord!”

Psalm 98:4–6

“He has filled them with skill to do every sort of work done by an engraver or by a designer or by an embroiderer in blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen, or by a weaver – by any sort of workman or skilled designer.”

Exodus 35:35

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

Ephesians 2:10

What school inspectors say about Christ Church:

“The school, through its distinctive Christian character is outstanding at meeting the needs of all learners. In line with its Christian character the school is excellent at providing for all its learners; academically, socially and spiritually.”

SIAMS “Outstanding” inspection report, April 2015

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