Ellacombe Excellent SIAMS

Ellacombe Church of England Academy celebrates its recognition as an ‘Excellent Church of England School.

Pupils and staff at Ellacombe C of E Academy welcomed the Archdeacon of Totnes this week who presented them with their Excellent SIAMs certificate! The children enjoyed a special celebration Worship as the Archdeacon formally recognized Ellacombe an ‘Excellent Church School’ in their recent Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS).

The Archdeacon praised the work of the whole community in developing as such an Excellent church school in such a short space of time, as they returned to their roots as a Church school just 3 years ago. Part of the Multi Academy Trust, the Learning Academy Partnership, leaders at Ellacombe worked closely with colleagues from other Outstanding Church schools; both Ilsham and Warberry in Torquay as well as All Saints’ Thurlestone in the South Hams in developing a Christian Vision unique to their own community.

During the celebration, The Venerable Douglas Dettmer, Archdeacon of Totnes, formally recognised the key findings of the report:

  • The exceptionally skilful Head of Academy and all leaders have created a vibrant, dynamic Christian learning community which lives out its vision enabling every member to flourish.
  • The partnership between the school community, churches and the Learning Academy Partnership is exceptionally strong, mutually beneficial and having a tangible impact on all involved.
  • The school’s vision creates a highly spiritual dimension to every aspect of daily life at Ellacombe.
  • The substantial support given to families is having a significant impact on the lives of pupils and demonstrates the way this school is a centre of reconciliation and support.
  • Religious education strongly reflects the school’s vision by developing a deep love of learning about people of other faiths as well as Christianity and thus of being ‘together’.

The inspection during the summer term explored ‘How effective is the school’s distinctive Christian vision, established and promoted by leadership at all levels, in enabling pupils and adults to flourish?’ Mrs Semmens, Head of Academy, said, “We feel very proud that the inspection recognised Ellacombe C of E Academy as Excellent in every single strand, which is the highest possible outcome!”

During the process, the inspector looked at learning across the school, met with groups of parents and staff and took a tour of the school led by children. She also met with several different groups of children throughout the day, including members of the school’s Ethos Group and found that, ‘The curriculum at Ellacombe empowers pupils to be confident skilled learners who challenge themselves to be the very best they can be, as God created them to be.’

The inspection also explored the relationship that the school has with its Church Community. Ellacombe is in a unique position following the closure of Ellacombe Christchurch in 2016, it has strong partnerships with not one church community but two! Both St Mary Magdalene and St Matthias support the work of Ellacombe and the SIAMS report noted the particular partnership. Reverend Sam Leach, representing St Mary Magdalen, joined with Mrs Semmens and the staff at Ellacombe in celebrating with tea and cake after Wednesday’s special worship. Mrs Semmens gave thanks to Reverend Sam who, along with Reverend Stephen Yates and Reverend John Beckett from St Matthias, have provided the school community with invaluable spiritual and theological support and continue to do so.

Mrs Semmens said: “We are thrilled with the SIAMs report as it recognises and highlights the many excellent features of our school. Ellacombe is one big school family, with our children and their families at the heart of everything we do. The whole team go above and beyond every day to ensure all of our children flourish in everything that they do and this was captured in the report:

“Pupils recognise and understand that the ’brighter future’ of their vision means that their dreams and hopes can be fulfilled through learning.” 

Commenting also on the ‘family feel of Ellacombe,  also gave thanks to the families for their overwhelming encouragement and support, not just during the inspection, but each and every day as we work together for all our children.

Spiritual development is also promoted in an exceptionally transformational manner through singing. This is described by pupils as filling ‘the school with joy and happiness’.” The Archdeacon was treated to this uplifting singing of the whole school at the end of the celebration event.

Mrs Atkinson, Chief Executive of the Learning Academy Partnership said: “This report recognises the excellent quality of provision that  Ellacombe C of E Academy continues to provide. This Excellent report  is testament to the exceptional leaders, staff and children at the school and the support from parents, leaders and teachers from  across the family of schools within the Trust partnership; all working together for the benefit of every child. We are delighted that this report fully recognises the hard work and commitment of Mrs Semmens and her team and what a very special place Ellacombe C of E Academy is.  Ellacombe is well placed to continue to go from strength to strength in the future.”

The Learning Academy Partnership is a values led family of exceptional schools. The schools work together within a Multi Academy Trust, currently consisting of 9 primary schools and All Saints Teaching School Alliance, supporting school improvement across the South West. The Learning Academy Partnership are due to open a brand new school in Paignton. Torbay primary schools also include Warberry, Ilsham and Ellacombe.


Ellacombe Excellent SIAMS