St. Michael’s Church of England Preparatory School

School Context:

St. Michael’s School is an independent school in South East Essex.  This year we have celebrated our centenary. At present, there are about 250 pupils on role.  We are supported by the Chelmsford Diocese.

Why did you consider applying for the RE Quality Mark?

As an independent school, we do not have a SIAMs inspection so we were interested in applying for the REQM because it provided an assessment and recognition of the Religious Education provision that we provide at the school.

What did you appreciate about the REQM process? Were there any highlights?

I appreciated the process of the award as it focused my work on auditing the RE that happens at the school. It highlighted areas that required further development and I made time to implement these changes.

What were the benefits for the RE Dept?

The benefits for the RE department were that the subject has had a very deep dive and key areas of concern have been highlighted and addressed. In preparing the evidence, the REQM helped to bring the department together as we had a common goal to focus on. We then celebrated our success together as we had all been involved in achieving the mark.

What were the benefits for students?

The benefits for the students were that the quality of the RE provision improved over the time it took to compile the
evidence. Where weaknesses were discovered we worked as a team to amend what we were doing. Also, the pupil
questionnaire gave the children a voice about the positives and negatives of their learning in the subject. They too felt part of the process and have enjoyed celebrating the achievement of the award.

What were the benefits for the wider school?

The benefits for the wider school in completing the award were that it raised the profile of the RE within other subjects. In completing the award, diversity, FBV, and SMSC were analysed across the school (to support the application of REQM) and changes were made. The structure of the REQM provided a skeleton for deep dives in other subjects and therefore educational provision for all subjects was improved. The school now has an assessed award for our RE provision, which is something we are very proud of.

Would you recommend other schools apply for the REQM, and if so, why?

I would definitely recommend the award to other schools (I have done so at my cluster meeting). This is because it gives a clear structure to help the RE lead thoroughly analyse and assess what is good about the subject and what needs improving.