The Wintershall Character Education programme and resources (Virtues Enquiry) have been designed to support schools in meeting the requirements of Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS) and are endorsed by Diocesan Advisers, Senior leaders and RE Coordinators in relation to how they meet specific criteria.
‘SIAMS inspection focuses on the effect that the Christian ethos of the church school has on the children and young people who attend it. Church schools will employ a variety of strategies and styles, which reflect their particular local context or church tradition in order to be distinctive and effective. Inspectors will, therefore, not be looking to apply a preconceived template of what a church school should be like. The principal objective of SIAMS inspection is to evaluate the distinctiveness and effectiveness of the school as a church school.’ quoted from The Church of England website. For more details about SIAMS click here
See below viewpoints of Diocesan Advisers, SIAMS’s Inspectors and Senior leaders in schools about this connection:
Jane Whittington Schools Officer with responsibility for Christian Distinctiveness Anglican Diocese of Guildford comments on Wintershall Education Virtues Enquiry Resources and how they contribute towards the SIAMS criteria:
“In the diocese we define Christian values as those about which you say “taking Jesus as an example of the value of XX (e.g. patience)”. The Wintershall Character Education Resources reinforce this and root Christian values firmly in the Bible and the life of Christ. The Wintershall production and Character Education Materials contribute toward the SIAMS criteria around a series of key questions as follows:
- Core question 1 – How well does the school, through its distinctive Christian character, meet the needs of all learners? Through the clear presentation of Christian values and the impact that living by them can have on a community.
- Core question 2 – What is the impact of collective worship on the school community? The Virtues Enquiry provides resources for at least one collective worship based around one of the Christian values presented by the pupils.
- Core question 3 – How effective is the Religious Education? The presentation of the events in the Life of Christ production and the characters around Him enables pupils to have a greater understanding of the context in which Jesus acted and taught. This enables pupils and staff to appreciate how radical and revolutionary much of Jesus teaching and lifestyle was at the time. Seeing the characters around Jesus during the events adds a lot to the understanding of the context of some of the passages in the Bible. Pupils can enquire into the words of Jesus and the reactions of various people and groups to His words more easily following a visit to the production and use of a video extract compared to use of the written text alone.
Rachel Farage, Acting Deputy Head at Frimley Church of England Junior school, sent the following excerpt from The SIAMS inspectors report of their recent SIAMS inspection which demonstrated where the impact of the Virtues Enquiry ‘Love Day’ was clearly articulated by pupils:
‘Children are clear that the values have a central place in the life of the school. ‘Our values make us a church school’ is a typical comment from children who explain that the way they behave shows that the values are integral to school life. Children have an excellent grasp of how these values ‘work at different levels’. They describe how love can mean’ many different things’ and change as they get older. They talk about the moral responsibility that love entails and give convincing arguments that show this in action. For example, they talk about ‘deep down love’ that never gives up – ‘even if something went really wrong, you wouldn’t give up on them’. Children explain how the values link with each other and work at their best when connected. Children are very clear that these values are based on Christian teaching and specifically in the teaching of Jesus. The Christian character is outstanding because of the depth of understanding that children have of values and the significant impact they have on their learning.’ SIAMS report October 2016 for Frimley Church of England Junior School, Surrey