Church School and SIAMS
The Taunton Academy is a Church of England Secondary School and part of the Richard Huish Education Group. We support, care for and inspire our students, while maintaining high aspirations. Our mission is to guide our students to become independent learners – securing the best possible outcomes and engendering pride in themselves and their community.
‘That they shall have life, life in all its fullness’, John 10:10
Our over-arching vision, encompassed in John 10.10 is one of human flourishing for all. It is one in which there is an expectation of excellence and academic rigour at all levels and embraces the spiritual, physical, intellectual, emotional, moral and social development of students.
The Taunton Academy cares, nurtures, and values everyone regardless of faith and background. We respect individuality and diversity and encourage students to reflect upon themselves and the world around them.
Richard Huish Education Group is an independent charitable organisation established by Richard Huish College, an academy sponsor approved by the Department for Education, to support local schools. The group has a clear vision to provide exceptional education and training through the delivery of a holistic and vocational curriculum achieved through a shared set of values:
- Students are at the centre of everything we do – all decisions are considered in relation to the impact on students.
- We consider the environmental impact of our activities and actively seek more sustainable solutions – through our behaviour and decisions we are committed to reducing our environmental impact.
- We are determined and rigorous in our pursuit of educational excellence – we are individually and collectively committed to making improvements for the benefit of students.
- We strive to add value and are committed to supporting all members of the community to achieve beyond what might be expected.
- We have a culture that cares for the individual and promotes inclusivity, equality and mutual respect – specialist support is available for all and diversity is embraced.
- Honesty and integrity are central to our work – we are committed to being transparent, open and trusting.
- We work collaboratively and constructively as a team in order to best serve the local and wider community – all stakeholders work together positively and professionally.
The School Pastors are volunteers from local churches who assist with supporting the wellbeing of students, they wear a distinctive uniform so they can be easily seen and identified by students, parents, and staff. At the end of the school day, they patrol outside our school and in our community to support the safety of students as they travel home. They are available for students to talk to as they leave school and on their way home.
Many of our school pastors also assist with other aspects of school life:
- Listening to students read
- Supporting lunchtime drop-in sessions in the chaplaincy
- Helping on school trips and visits
Take a look at our short film about the work of School Pastors https://youtu.be/VSdzp4-BGmI
Christian Ethos Group
The Christian Ethos group involves school staff, governors & local clergy who have a variety of experience in education, school management, youth work, pastoral care, and spiritual leadership. The group supports the school in maintaining and developing its Christian ethos in line with the school vision and values and in reviewing the areas of development highlighted through SIAMS inspections.
Reflecting on the SIAMS Health Checks, the group discusses and reviews the impact and provision of the seven strands within the SIAMS inspection:
- Vision and Leadership
- Wisdom, knowledge and skills
- Character Development: Hope, Aspiration and Courageous Advocacy
- Community and living well together
- Dignity and Respect
- The impact of collective worship
- The effectiveness of religious education
Our School Chaplain, Mrs Vercoe, is part of our pastoral team promoting positive wellbeing throughout the school and is also our Transition Lead. She spends lots of time listening and talking to students. Students can talk to the chaplain for many different reasons including worries, anxiety, exam stress, bereavement and spiritual support.
The role of our School Chaplain
- Helping to develop the school’s distinctive Christian vision and reviewing its effectiveness
- Supporting the emotional and spiritual wellbeing of students and staff
- Supporting the school as a place where students feel cared for and safe
- Building links with local churches, faith communities and wider community
- Supporting and reviewing the impact of the school’s collective worship
- Liaising with School Pastors and regular meetings with School Pastor Coordinator