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This week at Kennington CE Academy: It's Half Term. Children return to school on Monday, 28th October

Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS) Report





Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS) Report

Kennington Church of England Academy

Upper Vicarage Road, Kennington, Ashford, Kent TN24 9AG

Current SIAMS inspection grade




Previous SIAMS inspection grade


Date of academy conversion

November 2014

Name of multi-academy trust


Date of inspection

29 September 2017

Date of last inspection

24 February 2015

Type of school and unique reference number

Junior. Formerly Voluntary Controlled 141329


Katie Wratten

Inspector’s name and number

Anne Southgate 820



School context

Kennington became a sponsored academy in November 2014. It is part of the Aquila diocesan multi-academy trust. Most of the pupils come from the nearby infant school, which is not a church school. Kennington is larger than the average sized junior school. Pupils come predominantly from the local area, which is socially diverse. Just over half of pupils come from families who identify themselves as Christian. The headteacher has been in post for a year and there is a new senior leadership structure. The governing body is also newly reconstituted.



The distinctiveness and effectiveness of Kennington as a Church of England school are good


  • Behaviour, wellbeing and achievement have improved rapidly as a result of the clear focus on strengthening and deepening the school’s Christian character.
  • Everyone’s voice is heard and valued, so that everyone in the school community feels part of the whole.
  • Pupils reflect very well on their actions and so behaviour is good.




Areas to improve


  • Ensure that everyone, including parents, understands that the drive to improve the school is based explicitly on Christian teaching.
  • Widen pupil leadership of worship so that all pupils feel fully included.
  • Be more explicit about the impact of the Christian values on learning, so that everyone understands this.





The school, through its distinctive Christian character, is good

at meeting the needs of all learners

The statement on the wall in reception, ‘no matter our gender, colour or faith, we are all God’s family’, greets visitors as they enter the school. This highlights the impact on the school community of the recent clear emphasis on Christian values. As a result, the school is a highly inclusive community where each individual is valued and their differences are respected. The chosen Christian values are giving, love and care, forgiveness, using your talents and everyone is important. These are well known and they are used by pupils and staff throughout the school day. Adults and pupils recognise the positive impact that these values have had on behaviour and wellbeing. This is enhanced by the awarding of ‘values stickers’ and by the way that the environment proclaims the Christian character of the school. As a result, pupils reflect on their behaviour and they think before they act. Pupil voice is very strong. Adults are also listened to, and so everyone feels that they contribute towards the development of the school. Interactive displays around the school pose questions, which make pupils think. Many pupils choose to respond using the welcoming and effective prayer areas. Consequently, pupils develop well spiritually and they show confidence in expressing their thoughts. There is a clear link between the values and biblical stories and most people in the school understand this. Parents and carers appreciate the difference from the community infant school from which most pupils come. However most parents do not fully recognise the Christian basis to the school’s work and values.


As a result of improved behaviour and of the way in which everyone is valued, achievement has risen. Pupils attain standards at or above national averages. Staff can see that improvement has been driven by Christian values. Older pupils also comment on how the school has changed. They recognise that the Christian values have made their school ‘a happier place where everyone matters’. As a result, attendance is good. The many clubs foster a wide variety of interests and talents. This, together with the way that pupils reflect carefully on their attitudes and behaviour, ensures that pupils develop well spiritually, morally, socially and culturally. Whilst the impact of Christian values on behaviour is very clear, the impact that they have on learning is less so. However, pupils are confident learners who respect and support each other well. The new curriculum in religious education (RE) challenges pupils and promotes deep thinking. RE is taught well and it helps to foster respect for differing opinions and beliefs. Kennington is outward looking and the whole school community reflects on major national and international events. This ensures that pupils understand that there are Christians across the world.

The impact of collective worship on the school community is good

Engagement of both adults and pupils in collective worship is high. Everyone is challenged by the messages and all feel able to contribute their thoughts. Worship has been moved to the start of the day. This has increased participation. It enables pupils to reflect on and to pray about the message throughout the school day. Pupils are confident to offer their thoughts and often do so perceptively for their age. For example, one pupil said that ‘angels come in all shapes and sizes and bring messages from God’. Pupils sometimes respond to the questions posed in worship using the classroom prayer areas. The content of collective worship is explicitly Christian, but everyone’s opinion is respected. Bible stories are used frequently. This helps to build pupils’ knowledge of Christian stories as most join the school with little knowledge of the Bible. Each of the school’s Christian values has a termly focus. The regular use of biblical stories ensures that pupils understand that the values have their roots in Christian teaching. Aspects of Anglican practice are well established. These include greeting and sending out sentences, led by pupils, and using colours representing different times of the church’s year. Pupils develop a good understanding of key Christian beliefs, including that God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. All senior staff and several other teachers lead worship, together with the local vicar and representatives of other Christian denominations. Therefore pupils experience a range of styles of worship. A ‘prayer challenge’ led to the adoption of a school prayer, which is led daily by older pupils. Pupils are also familiar with the Lord’s prayer. Prayer is a natural part of the school day with grace said at lunchtimes and a prayer before pupils go home.


A group of older pupils, called worship warriors, has recently been established. These highly enthusiastic pupils are already having a positive impact. They lead aspects of worship, and record pupils’ responses. They are developing their confidence to plan and to lead further. This is a very positive development, but younger pupils would also like the opportunity to play a greater role in collective worship. Pupils generally comment that they would like more opportunities to be actively involved in worship, for example in drama. The worship warriors help to evaluate worship and pupils appreciate their views being collected. Leaders are aware of the desire for greater involvement but have not fully implemented their plans. Worship often encourages pupils to think of those less fortunate than themselves. The school community supports a range of charities, such as the Pilgrim’s Hospice and Macmillan, as a result. Collective worship also has a clear impact on pupils’ attitudes and behaviour as it encourages them to reflect on the impact of their actions.

The effectiveness of the leadership and management of the school as a church school is good

The new headteacher, supported by senior leaders and governors, has taken swift action to deepen the school’s Christian character. Governors recognise that at the time of the previous denominational inspection the Christian values were a ‘bolt on’. They are now intrinsic to the work of the school. Parents can see that there has been a ‘dramatic change for the better’. Leaders have therefore had a profound impact on deepening the school’s Christian character thereby bringing about school improvement. This impact is particularly strong in relation to behaviour and wellbeing. The headteacher’s Christian vision is to create a community where everyone is a part of the whole, akin to St Paul’s vision for the church. The impact of this can be seen in the way in which adults and pupils all feel that their views are valued. However, not everyone understands the wider impact of the vision, particularly in relation to learning. Self-evaluation is rigorous and accurate. The resultant action plans are clearly and appropriately focused and are already having a positive impact.


The headteacher invests in developing the staff. As a result they are well supported and they frequently access appropriate training, including that provided by the diocese. The Aquila trust supports the school very well. It provides helpful opportunities for training and collaboration and therefore enables teachers to develop as future leaders of church schools. Statutory requirements for RE and collective worship are fully met. Effective actions have been taken to address the development points from the previous denominational inspection. RE is led well by a well qualified and experienced practitioner. As a result teaching has improved and staff confidence and enthusiasm has increased. Partnerships with the diocese and local church are strong and beneficial. Parishioners come to the school to hear pupils read and the school choir sometimes sings in church on Sundays. Parents and carers feel that school leaders are approachable and that communication is good. As a result, parents are keen to support the school in whatever ways they can, often supporting fundraising and charity events. Leaders have ensured that Kennington is now very clearly a school based on Christian values. This is driving continual improvement.


SIAMS report September 2017 Kennington Academy, Kennington TN26 9AG