One of the biggest schools in Brighton and Hove has been rated good by Ofsted – the second highest rating and an improvement since its previous full inspection.
Staff, parents and students are celebrating at Cardinal Newman Catholic School after the official watchdog praised pupils’ attainment and progress.
Head teacher James Kilmartin said: “This report confirms the improvements the school has put in place over the last few years since the previous inspection.
“We are very pleased that the school has now been recognised for its academic achievements and our ‘caritas’ spirit has been seen throughout the school.”
Ofsted said: “Leaders have an ambitious vision for the school.
“The head teacher actively promotes a culture where leaders are reflective, highly motivated and given the respect to succeed. Leaders have developed a detailed plan for the school’s priorities.
“Consistency in the quality of teaching and learning is now more evident across all year groups.
“Teachers’ strong subject knowledge supports pupils to make good progress.
“At its most effective, teachers use their subject knowledge to inspire and motivate pupils to work hard and challenge themselves in their work.
“The positive relationships between teachers and pupils promote an effective climate for learning.”
- Pupils’ attainment is well above average.
- Across a range of subjects, including English and mathematics, pupils make good progress.
- Good behaviour means that teachers are able to teach well-planned lessons which pupils enjoy.
- Pupils’ personal development and welfare is outstanding.
- A strong sense of community permeates the school which pupils and students value and contribute to willingly.
- Relationships sense of community permeates the school which pupils and students value and contribute to willingly.
- Staff are proud to be associated with the school.
Parent feedback was also taken into consideration with a large majority of parents who responded to a request for feedback believing that pupils were well taught.
One parent said: “I think that Cardinal Newman Catholic School is an exceptional school which provides my son with a great education in a supportive and caring environment.”
A key strength of the school was its work in promoting pupils’ personal development and welfare which was seen to be outstanding.
The report said “The clear and explicit moral purpose of the school is very warmly evident.
“Pupils specifically value the extremely caring culture and the school’s diversity.
“One pupil summed up the views of many others: ‘This is a school where we are a community. We care about what happens to each other and know how to do that.’”
Ofsted said: “The Caritas code of conduct is followed well by pupils and students alike.”
The school said: “The good Ofsted rating also reflects the fantastic GCSE results the school has had for the last two years which have been well above the national average.
“In 2017, 92 per cent of students gained a grade 4 or above for English and 84 per cent gained a grade 4 or above for mathematics.
“The ‘Progress 8’ score was +0.3 making it the top performing secondary school in Brighton and Hove.
“Newman College, the sixth form of Cardinal Newman Catholic School, was also rated as good.”
Ofsted said: “Leaders have ensured that they deliver an effective 16 to 19 provision with a range of both academic and vocational courses which meet the needs of students.
“Current strengths include teachers’ subject knowledge, teacher-student working relationships and teachers and leaders knowing their students very well.”
The school said: “The college was seen as a good springboard for future study and careers where inspectors noted that ‘students hoping to have careers in medicine or law access work experience and those following vocational courses gain practical experience as part of their studies’.”
Ofsted said that pupils were well prepared for their next steps, adding: “They aspire to a wide range of challenging study and careers.”
Dr Kilmartin said “There is a real sense of community here at Cardinal Newman Catholic School and I would like to thank all of our staff, parents and students for their hard work in making our school such a great place.
“We strive for the highest quality of learning and teaching that inspires us all to discover and develop our God-given gifts and talents, to excel in the present and aim high for the future.
“Our students are a true reflection of this and we are very proud of each and every one of them.”
To view Ofsted’s report, click here http://www.cncs.co.uk/ofsted-report-jan-2018-find-out-more-here.