English Martyrs Catholic School and Sixth Form College

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About English Martyrs Catholic School and Sixth Form College

Name English Martyrs Catholic School and Sixth Form College
Website https://ems.bhcet.org.uk/
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Sara Crawshaw
Address Catcote Road, Hartlepool, TS25 4HA
Phone Number 01429273790
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1459
Local Authority Hartlepool
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

English Martyrs Catholic School and Sixth Form College is undergoing a period of change.

Leaders from the trust have made significant changes to leadership, particularly pastoral leadership, to ensure that school improvement continues to move forward. Many new systems are in the process of being embedded. A new behaviour policy has recently been introduced.

Despite this, there is still evidence that some pupils' behaviour is, at times, not good enough. Some pupils and staff talk about lessons sometimes being disrupted by poor behaviour. Not all staff challenge this behaviour consistently.

Some pupils feel that this is unfair.

Pupils have mixed views ...on bullying. Some pupils feel that bullying is not a problem.

They say that the school teaches them that bullying is not acceptable. They also agree that school will take initial action around bullying. However, some pupils feel that the action taken is not effective.

Despite some pupils talking confidently about equality, other pupils say that discriminatory language is used. Leaders are taking action to educate pupils further around tolerance and equality.

Currently, the quality of education and the standards that pupils achieve are not good enough.

Leaders are raising expectations for what pupils should achieve. Sixth-form students benefit from a strongly academic focus. They value the personalised support they receive from being in a small sixth form.

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

Leaders have prioritised creating a broad and ambitious curriculum for pupils. The number of pupils who study the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) suite of subjects at key stage 4 is high. The majority of pupils in Years 8 and 9 study two languages.

The school offers the choice of three languages from Year 10. EBacc is at the heart of the school's curriculum. The range of subject options available to those in sixth form is impressive.

It includes government and politics, law and sociology A levels.

Leaders have thought carefully about what they want pupils to learn in different subjects. This content is mapped out logically so that pupils can build knowledge over time.

However, there is still too much variation in how effectively this curriculum is delivered across the school. Some teachers do not check carefully what all pupils know, and so do not identify gaps in learning. Some teachers use questioning effectively to check understanding.

However, some teachers move on with lessons before pupils are secure in their learning. This means that some pupils struggle to explain what they know. Teaching is much more secure in sixth form, where small class sizes mean that teachers check precisely what all pupils understand.

Support for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) is strong. Pupils with SEND are supported effectively to achieve alongside their peers.Leaders have created an inclusive environment for these pupils.

Pupils with SEND and parents talk positively about the support staff provide. Recently appointed leaders are introducing further strategies to boost the progress of disadvantaged pupils, who achieve significantly less well than their peers. Leaders are in the early stages of being able to assess the impact of their changes.

Leaders have ensured that support is in place for pupils who find reading more difficult. Leaders check the impact of this support. Newly appointed staff have begun to prioritise reading across the curriculum and reading for pleasure.

The library is a busy, much-valued space. However, many of the plans to encourage pupils to read widely are in their infancy. Younger pupils talk positively about reading routines.

This same attitude is not shared by older pupils.

Pupils learn about issues that will prepare them to be positive citizens in virtues lessons. Leaders have recently devoted more curriculum time to virtues lessons, where pupils learn about personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education.

Pupils learn about diversity and tolerance. Younger pupils talk clearly about respecting other people and equality. Year 7 pupils have taken part in an art project focused on diversity.

Pupils are taught about healthy relationships and consent. Leaders make sure that pupils have chances to debate important issues in their curriculum subjects. Students in the sixth form value the advice and guidance they receive about their future plans.

They receive effective support from staff to ensure they make the right choices.

Leaders have made changes to the school day by lengthening lunchtime to make sure that all pupils can access extra-curricular clubs. Younger pupils talked with enthusiasm about the range of opportunities they enjoy.

The school promotes the Duke of Edinburgh's Award. These activities are especially well attended. During the inspection, a large number of Years 7 and 8 pupils were attending a retreat.

Leaders have an accurate view of their future priorities for the school. As a consequence of changes, some staff feel that workload is an issue. Other staff feel that their workload is considered by leaders.

The majority of staff are proud to work at this school.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

There is a strong culture of safeguarding in school.

Leaders have ensured that all staff are clear about what signs they should look out for and report. Staff are confident in how to use child protection systems in school. There is a strong communication system which enables leaders to have a clear overview of pupils' welfare.

Detailed records show that leaders are tenacious when working with external agencies. They challenge decisions when necessary. Leaders make sure that pupils and their families get the support they need.

Pupils are taught how to keep themselves safe. Leaders make sure that the information pupils receive is well matched to any risks that they might face.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• There is too much variability in how well teachers deliver the curriculum.

Some teachers do not check systematically what pupils know and understand in lessons. This means that sometimes lessons move on before pupils have learned the curriculum securely. Leaders should ensure that the delivery of the curriculum is of a consistently high quality.

• Some staff do not consistently challenge poor behaviour. Staff do not all have the same high expectations of pupils' behaviour. This can lead to perceptions of unfairness from pupils.

It also means expectations of behaviour are not reinforced consistently. Leaders should ensure that all staff have the same expectations of pupils' behaviour and apply the behaviour policy consistently. ? Leaders have introduced many new systems and policies.

These are still embedding in the school. This means that leaders have not had the opportunity to evaluate the impact of many of the systems. Leaders should ensure that they have robust systems in place to monitor the impact of the changes they have made.

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