A PRIMARY school is celebrating after getting top marks in its latest church school inspection.

Bedford Hall, on Breaston Avenue, Leigh is one of the first Methodist schools in the country to be rated “excellent” under the new Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodists Schools (SIAMS) inspection framework.

The school was praised by inspectors for its Christian distinctiveness and rated “excellent” across every category, with inspectors reporting that “the vision for learning, loving and living without limits permeates all aspects of school life and is well-understood by all stakeholders.”

Inspectors noted that “the vision for learning without limits inspires an innovative curriculum and excellent spiritual development. This equips pupils to look beyond the boundaries of their community and engage with new challenges with resilience. The school supports all in living life in all its fullness.”

Among the areas analysed during the inspection was the relationship with the local church and the effectiveness of religious education (RE) at the school, with the inspectors commenting that “the exceptionally strong partnership with the chapel greatly enriches both school and church. It results in exciting collective worship which inspires pupils to compassionate action.”

The report added: “The worship committee, which includes members of the congregation, the chaplain and staff, facilitates creative thinking. The wonderful reflective stations around school make a profound impact on pupils’ understanding of prayer”.

Head teacher Amy Burkes said: “At Bedford Hall Methodist Primary, we are very proud of our Methodist vision. It is an essential part of our school’s identity and lies at the heart of everything we do.

“Our values help to encourage the children to develop confidence and independence and we actively strive to instil in our children a sense of individual worth and respect for others.”

The inspection team said they were particularly impressed with the way that Methodist values help to shape the sense of community at the school.

They stated that: “Loving without limits informs the way in which the school provides transformative pastoral and practical care for all members of the school family.

"It results in groundbreaking work, which is seen as ‘prophetic’, to promote the dignity of each valued individual. A rich programme of visits and visitors enhances understanding of religious and cultural diversity.”

The report continued: “The school is a highly inclusive and welcoming community. The vision for putting love into action results in a strong commitment to securing mental wellbeing for all. This extends to supporting the wider school family and local community.”

Julie-Ann Hewitt, CEO of the Acorn Trust, of which Bedford Hall Methodist Primary School is part, added: “This report is testament to the strength of our community and the exceptional partnership work that has become a proud feature of the Acorn Trust.

“Our dedicated, nurturing teaching staff work alongside pupils, families and the wider community to provide the best possible opportunities for every child. We encourage children to achieve excellence in all areas, providing opportunities for all and enabling them to build the skills and resilience needed to become valuable contributors to society. We believe there are no limits to what our children can achieve.”