Cardinal Heenan Catholic High School

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About Cardinal Heenan Catholic High School

Name Cardinal Heenan Catholic High School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Ms Karen Smyth
Address Honeysgreen Lane, Liverpool, L12 9HZ
Phone Number 01512351430
Phase Secondary
Type Voluntary aided school
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Boys
Number of Pupils 1360
Local Authority Liverpool
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Cardinal Heenan Catholic High School is a learning community where pupils have great respect for each other. Teachers support pupils to become highly articulate young people who can express their views well on a wide range of issues.

The pupils who spoke with inspectors said that they feel happy and safe at school.

Pupils enjoy coming to school and their attendance is very high. They are confident that staff will deal with any concerns that they have.

Leaders have very high expectations of pupils' behaviour.

Pupils behave exceptionally well in lessons and around the school. They are polite, courteous and very well mannered. Relationships between staf...f and pupils are warm and supportive.

For example, pupils enjoy playing games with the headteacher at lunchtime.

Leaders do not tolerate any derogatory behaviour. Pupils told inspectors that incidents of bullying are extremely rare.

They said that if bullying does happen, teachers respond quickly and firmly to resolve any issues.

Pupils benefit from studying a wide range of subjects. Leaders have put in place an ambitious curriculum.

Leaders and teachers have high expectations of all pupils. Most pupils achieve well.

Leaders organise many opportunities to broaden pupils' horizons and to deepen their understanding of the world.

Pupils enjoy taking part in a variety of clubs and sports.

What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?

Leaders and governors have a clear vision for the school. They promote a culture of 'positive attitude and ambition'.

Leaders have taken effective steps to make many improvements since the previous inspection, especially in relation to pupils' behaviour. Parents and carers are very supportive of the school. A typical comment received from a parent was that the school is 'fantastic'.

Leaders have developed detailed and appropriate curriculum plans, including in the sixth form. These plans ensure that the curriculum is ambitious for everyone. Plans include the precise knowledge that pupils should learn and in what order.

Teachers use curriculum plans well to design learning activities that enable pupils to build on what they already know and can do.

Pupils revisit their learning regularly. Teachers use assessment information well to identify any misunderstandings that pupils may have in their learning.

Teachers take effective steps to address any misconceptions. As a result, pupils know more and remember more of the curriculum. Students in the sixth form also achieve well.

Leaders have placed the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) at the heart of the curriculum. More pupils now study languages than was the case in the past. The number of disadvantaged pupils studying chemistry, physics and biology is also increasing.

As a result, the proportion of pupils studying the full suite of EBacc subjects is rising. Students in the sixth form follow appropriate and well-planned courses.

Teachers identify the specific needs of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) effectively.

They are equally adept at adapting subject content so that these pupils can learn the same ambitious curriculum as others in the school.

Leaders have a clear focus on developing pupils' reading and vocabulary knowledge. Pupils read regularly and fluently.

Pupils use their vocabulary well to construct detailed arguments and debates. This is especially the case for sixth-form students.

A small number of subject leaders are new to post or lack experience of leadership.

Sometimes, the systems within these subjects to check on the quality of education are less well developed. This stops them from gaining an accurate insight into the strengths and weaknesses in the subjects that they lead and sometimes hinders their ability to promote further improvement.

Leaders have created a culture in which pupils are highly motivated.

Pupils show exemplary behaviour. They demonstrate consistently positive attitudes to their learning. Pupils make a valuable contribution to the life of the school.

This is particularly evident in the work of the school council.

Leaders have put in place a strong programme to support pupils' personal development. Pupils, and students in the sixth form, understand how to look after their own physical and mental health.

They use this knowledge to keep physically healthy and maintain an active lifestyle. Teachers support pupils to be confident, resilient and independent. Disadvantaged pupils, and those pupils with SEND, take a full part in many of the aspects of school life.

Pupils, and students in the sixth form, benefit from being part of pupil and student associations. For example, they are particularly proud of their medical association.

Pupils have an age-appropriate understanding of healthy relationships.

They are confident in discussing issues relating to relationships and sex education. Teachers also prepare pupils for life in modern Britain effectively. Pupils are tolerant of those with different faiths and beliefs.

Pupils benefit from a well-designed careers programme that meets statutory requirements, including the Baker Clause. Leaders help a high proportion of pupils to continue their education further, including at universities.

Staff enjoy working in the school.

Senior leaders, including the headteacher, manage the school well. Teachers said that leaders consider their well-being and workload.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders have created a strong safeguarding culture throughout the school. Leaders have very effective arrangements in place to identify pupils needing help. They work well with other agencies to provide timely support to pupils and their families.

Staff know how to identify those pupils who are at risk of neglect, grooming or sexual exploitation. They are vigilant for concerns and know how to spot signs of abuse. Staff help pupils reduce their risk of harm.

They take a proactive approach to issues, including online abuse.

Pupils, and students in the sixth form, are clear about where they can get help.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In a small number of curriculum areas, leaders are new to post or lack the skills that they need to evaluate the quality of education in their subject.

As a result, the systems to check on the effectiveness of the curriculum in these subject areas are sometimes less well developed. This stops leaders from knowing what they need to do to improve the subject area further. Senior leaders should ensure that appropriate training and support are in place for all subject leaders so that they can successfully check on the quality of the curriculum.

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