31st October 2022
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St Anne’s Catholic School and Sixth Form College has been judged to be Outstanding for the second time in a row.
Ofsted inspectors returned to the school and sixth form college for two days in September 2022, six years after the school’s previous visit, and reconfirmed the top judgement against a new, more stringent framework under which the number of Outstanding schools is expected to halve nationally.
Headteacher, James Rouse said: “We are delighted that St Anne’s has been found to be Outstanding by Ofsted yet again, and the report reflects the continued success of the whole St Anne’s community. Ever since our last inspection, we have refused to rely on past glory but continued to strive to be the best that we can be every day for the sake of our current and future pupils. As the report says, we are always looking for ways to make things better. As a result, we continue to ensure the pupils in our school get the very best learning experience.”
Inspectors described the school as a “lively, diverse and inclusive school” where “pupils are well cared for and have excellent opportunities”. Staff described to inspectors how they felt “valued” and “love working” at the school. The report describes how “parents are very positive about their experience, describing the school as ‘amazing’ and ‘wonderful’”.
Mr Rouse was particularly delighted with what inspectors confirmed in terms of achievement: “Although it is clear that pupils achieve exceptionally well at St Anne’s both at GCSE and sixth form, we are really pleased that inspectors found compelling evidence that our disadvantaged pupils, those who speak English as an additional language, and pupils with SEND achieve just as well as others.
This demonstrates our moral purpose as a school community, to ensure that no pupil is left behind.”
On being around the school for two days and speaking to pupils, staff and parents, inspectors described the behaviour of pupils as “exemplary”. The report explains the reasons for this as: “School rules are clear and fair”, pupils “treat each other with courtesy” and “they value and respect other people’s beliefs whether they are the same or different from their own”.
They found that “sixth-form students set an excellent example to their community. Bullying is extremely rare and staff tackle it expertly if it happens.”
As a result, “the school keeps its pupils safe.”
Quality of Education
Teaching was found to be of the highest-quality, with inspectors stating that “Teachers are highly expert in their subjects. They accurately check what pupils know and have remembered”.
As a result, “pupils produce an extremely high standard of work, and they achieve very well in public examinations.”
Sixth Form Provision
As part of the decision that the school remains outstanding, inspectors visited sixth form classes, spoke to sixth form students and to their teachers about post-16 provision.
They found that the students in sixth form did particularly well because of the way that learning built carefully on prior knowledge: “Subject leaders design courses that revisit key knowledge at a more advance level, as pupils work their way up the school. Older learners use this knowledge to take on tougher challenges.”
The provision beyond the classroom in the sixth form college was also found to be high-quality: “Sixth-form students are well prepared for their next steps” and “get appropriate advice and support”.
As a result, “many go on to higher education or apprenticeships.”
Wider Personal Development
Inspectors also looked at what pupils were offered beyond the classroom. They found that school leaders provide “exceptionally well” for pupils’ wider development:
“There are many opportunities for pupils to take on responsibilities. This develops their character and resilience. Sixth form students often lead their younger peers in clubs and sports. Leaders check carefully that all pupils are given the opportunity to participate in these activities.”
Executive Headteacher, Lyn Bourne, said: “We are delighted that inspectors highlighted how the Catholic ethos of the school has a vital role to play in our success: “Spiritual values are celebrated all around the school. In keeping with the founders’ values, staff strongly encourage all pupils to live life to the full.’”
Our Catholic ethos underpins every decision we make and it is clear that it is the reason why our children and staff are so happy here, and why parents want to send their children to our school and to our sixth form college.
We will continue to work hard for the good of all our young people.
Ofsted have confirmed that St Anne’s remains one of the nation’s best schools, and we look forward to ensuring that remains the case for years to come.”
The full report will be published on the Ofsted Website within the next week. In the meantime, a copy of it can be found on our school website.
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