Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
National Society Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools Report
All Saints Benhilton Church of England Primary School
Address: All Saints' Road, Sutton, Surrey, United Kingdom, SM1 3DA
How effective is the school’s distinctive Christian vision established and promoted by leadership at all levels, in enabling pupils and adults to flourish?
Overall Grade: Excellent
The impact of collective worship: Excellent
The effectiveness of religious education (RE): Excellent
With knowledge we can know, with faith we can act. With knowledge, faith and love we can change the world. ‘Go and do likewise’ Luke 10:37. All we do stems from the Good Samaritan’s truth. As we flourish, others do too. Guided by God’s love we give rather than take, putting others' needs above our own.
- The transformational Christian vision underpins everything the school does. The school’s dynamic leadership ensures the vision is shared and promoted by all and through all. This vision makes the school a beacon of hope to the local and global community.
- Pupils and adults are cared for exceptionally well. As a result of the vision, all feel safe, valued and equipped to release their full potential. This highly loving and positive school environment creates the climate for pupils to make excellent progress, regardless of their starting points. Adults also flourish well in their continuing professional development.
- Spirituality has priority status. All are offered highly meaningful opportunities to develop spiritually, whether they have a faith or not. There is a rich culture of deep reflection. Pupils are inquisitive and are actively encouraged to ask and answer ‘big questions’.
- Collective worship is life-affirming. Prayer is highly valued by the entire school community. Through collective worship, pupils are educated, developed, inspired, moved and motivated to become bold courageous advocates. Students gain and exercise a deep sense of justice as a result of the excellent collective worship provision. However, opportunities to extend their courageous advocacy and to share this exemplar worship practice with other schools are limited.
- Religious education (RE) is inspirational. Pupils have a deep love and appreciation for the subject. Curriculum planning is very strong, ensuring pupils are given a depth of knowledge of Christianity and other world faiths.
Areas for development
- Explore ways to share the school’s excellent practice in collective worship, in order to extend the impact of the vision.
- So that pupils flourish more deeply in their courageous advocacy, extend the extra-curricular offer even further so that it is pupil led.
How effective is the school’s distinctive Christian vision, established and promoted by leadership at all levels, in enabling pupils and adults to flourish?
This excellent school lives out its Christian vision in every way. All members of the school community are powerfully inspired to ‘go’ and ‘change the world’. Leaders lead by example, modelling the vision through the decisions they make, the way they work and the partnerships they develop. They ensure that pupils and adults understand how they can flourish through knowledge, faith and love. Governors closely monitor the impact of the vision and are actively involved in the life of the school. Consequently, pupils thrive, behave extremely well and excel academically, spiritually, morally, socially and culturally. They have a deep regard for each other. Adults too are enriched professionally and spiritually. This vision is, undoubtedly, a community-wide vision which brings exceptional community-wide results.
Pupils at the school are true courageous advocates, empowered by the school’s Christian vision. The vision dates back to 2019, when a pupil was moved to compassion and action after seeing a homeless person on a street in the local community. Leaders responded to the pupil’s relentless desire to see that individual (and others in similar situations) supported. Together with their pupils, the inspirational leadership of the school co-constructed a Christian vision with transformation and service at its heart. Pupils and adults take their responsibility of being a ‘Good Samaritan’ seriously and all serve with humility and integrity. Pupils are passionate about local, regional and global issues of equity and justice. Their extensive work around refugees, their international link with a school in Jordan and their passion for the homeless is transformational. This work has seen pupils engage with Sutton Night Watch, a local charity to support and raise awareness of homelessness in the borough. They have not only provided food and clothes. They have also written letters to the local MP and travelled to the Houses of Parliament as part of their campaign to improve access to housing for homeless people. Through their own interest and research, pupils flourish in devising effective advocacy projects. Pupils’ activism is sincere, unforced, spontaneous yet intentional. For example, pupils support Reverse Rett, a charity that supports young girls who suffer with Rett syndrome. Pupils have detailed knowledge of the disability and talk about wanting those affected to be able to function and be successful. All pupils in Year 5 complete the Young Leaders’ Award. These young leaders support younger pupils with their learning, particularly as teaching assistants in Physical Education lessons. Pupils of all faiths and none speak of the duty they have to take care of the natural world. Amongst many initiatives, pupils are currently starting an Eco environmental club to strategically respond to the challenges of climate change.
Collective worship brings a profound sense of wholeness to the entire community. It is highly inclusive, invitational and inspiring. Pupils hold worship in high esteem and they see it as a time that anchors their day and gives it purpose. All major Christian festivals, as well as those of other faiths, and significant national and international events, are acknowledged and celebrated. Pupils actively lead worship times and all themes flow from the Christian vision. Music is an integral part of worship and pupils engage with great enthusiasm and conviction. Hymns and reflection are embedded into lessons. All students have spiritual Journals which allow them to reflect more deeply on the big questions expressed in collective worship. These spiritual journals are directly linked to the vision. Pupils are constantly reflecting on these two questions in their journals: ‘How can we change the world? And ‘How can we serve?’ What is particularly exceptional about the impact of worship at the school is that it is then taken into the local parish church that the school has a fruitful partnership with. Pupils who choose to have the opportunity to share reflections, songs and creative pieces (that they have planned and delivered during the school week) at the church during its Sunday worship services. Pupils value the quiet time that worship offers in school. One pupil’s comment encapsulates the purpose and impact of prayer in worship: ‘I am listening to God and he is listening to me’. During lockdown, collective worship was the highest expression of the school’s ethos and vision. The school was a beacon of light, offering prayer, reflection and stillness for the entire local community. The school, in partnership with the parish church, held an Easter Remembrance Service during lockdown. This was held on the school’s field, in remembrance of members of families who had died. ‘Ribbons of hope’ were placed on the school’s gates in memory of each loved one that was connected to school families. This grew organically to countless members of the local community joining and placing their own ribbons for their own loved ones. This Easter service was watched by the local community ‘from behind their curtains’ and it inspired and gave hope at a very difficult time.
The school’s broad and balanced curriculum and extra-curricular provision supports the academic and wider development of all learners. Lessons are carefully planned, are engaging and deepen pupils’ thinking through high level discussion. Pupils are encouraged to think critically. The curriculum is fully inclusive, pupil driven and involves strong contextually-relevant PSHE provision. Relationships education supports the flourishing of all pupils and ensures that all live harmoniously and respectfully as a community. Pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are supported closely through individual support plans and flourish very well at the school. Leadership of this area is centred around identifying the gifts in every child and using these gifts and talents to build success in the other areas of pupils’ learning. Pupils are offered therapeutic spaces that serve as a calm sanctuary for their self-regulation. This is because mental wellbeing is a priority of the school for all students and staff. Activities such as chicken raising and gardening support the nurturing of more vulnerable students so that they too can truly live out the school’s vision. Not only are pupils supported but so are parents and carers, with professionals such as Education Wellbeing Practitioners. Support is proactive rather than reactive. Inspirational guest speakers such as Paralympians visit the school. They ensure that pupils of all abilities, including those with SEND, can also identify with excellence and flourishing in diverse and inclusive ways.
Pupils achieve very well in RE. The strong leadership in this area ensures that all teachers who teach RE have the confidence and skill to do so to an excellent standard. Teachers facilitate meaningful and engaging debate and discussion in RE. The school uses the locally agreed syllabus and adds suitable and engaging material to reflect the school’s vision. Strong practice in RE planning is shared with other non-church schools.