Finchley Catholic High School

What is this page?

We are, a schools information website. This page is one of our school directory pages. This is not the website of Finchley Catholic High School.

What is Locrating?

Locrating is the UK's most popular and trusted school guide; it allows you to view inspection reports, admissions data, exam results, catchment areas, league tables, school reviews, neighbourhood information, carry out school comparisons and much more. Below is some useful summary information regarding Finchley Catholic High School.

To see all our data you need to click the blue button at the bottom of this page to view Finchley Catholic High School on our interactive map.

About Finchley Catholic High School

Name Finchley Catholic High School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Niamh Arnull
Address Woodside Lane, Finchley, London, N12 8TA
Phone Number 02084450105
Phase Secondary
Type Voluntary aided school
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Boys
Number of Pupils 1188
Local Authority Barnet
Highlights from Latest Inspection


Finchley Catholic High School continues to be a good school.

What is it like to attend this school?

This school is a happy and welcoming place to be.

Pupils' behaviour and attitudes are a strength. Leaders have established strong routines that are understood and followed throughout the school. Pupils are respectful towards staff, and to their peers in class and around the school.

They are safe. Beth, the therapy dog, provides support to improve pupils' mental health.

Many parents commented on how effectively the school supported their children's move from primary school to secondary school.

Students in the sixth form said how welcomed and respected they f...elt when they started in Year 12, and shared how leaders made great efforts to ensure that their start in Year 12 went smoothly.

The school has high expectations of pupils' academic achievements and their attitudes towards others. Leaders have also ensured that pupils study a wide range of knowledge across a broad range of subjects.

This includes pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). One parent or carer, typical of many, said: 'Teachers have gone above and beyond our expectations.'

Leaders organise a range of extra-curricular activities for pupils.'

Lab rats' science club, modern foreign languages food club and chess club are popular. Independent careers advice and guidance encourages pupils and students in the sixth form to be ambitious for their futures.

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

Leaders have worked closely with staff and subject leaders to improve the curriculum across all subjects.

Mostly, leaders' curriculum thinking continually builds pupils' knowledge. In art, for example, pupils in Year 7 confidently analyse colour used in stained glass windows and by Year 11 they use their skills to analyse how artists such as Turner and Munch used colour.

Teachers have expert subject knowledge that supports pupils to learn the school's curriculum effectively.

Generally, teachers provide clear explanations for pupils to help them learn new content. The quality of pupils' work across subjects is typically high too.

Teachers normally check that pupils understand the key knowledge that they are learning.

For example, in mathematics teachers carefully built pupils' knowledge of key content. Staff identified pupils' misconceptions quickly and then re-taught concepts where necessary.

However, on occasion, the school does not identify and address pupils' misconceptions as routinely.

Therefore, some pupils do not understand with sufficient depth some of what they are learning, or the vocabulary that they use to speak and write. Occasionally, pupils are not given the necessary time to memorise key knowledge securely.

Leaders make clear their high expectations of pupils' behaviour.

When pupils struggle to meet these high expectations, leaders support pupils and work closely with their families to improve pupils' behaviour successfully. Students in the sixth form are mature and ambitious for their futures. All this enables pupils' learning to proceed uninterrupted and without distraction.

The school has maintained a focus on pupils' attendance and punctuality since the school reopened to all after the COVID-19 pandemic. The school's successful work has had a positive impact on raising pupils' attendance rates overall.

The school has well-established systems in place to identify and support pupils with SEND.

Usually, teachers adapt teaching and resources so that pupils with SEND learn the same curriculum as their peers. This is reflected in positive published academic outcomes for these pupils over time. Leaders encourage a culture of reading in the school.

For example, they have allocated time for all pupils to read for pleasure each week. The school identifies and supports weaker readers to improve their reading confidence and fluency.

Leaders organise many extra-curricular opportunities for pupils across all year groups.

The school organises educational visits across all subjects, including in music, drama and history. Pupils are motivated to be ambitious for their futures. They attend 'insight lectures' given by guest speakers who work in professions including law and financial services, and they meet employers from a wide range of industries.

Leaders arrange work experience for pupils in Years 10 and 12. As part of this activity, pupils in Year 10 are taught how to write a summary of their skills, achievements and experience, submit a job application and reflect on their time in the workplace afterwards.

The school works hard to improve the quality of education and provides staff with training.

Leaders have an accurate view of the school's strengths and areas for development. Staff said that leaders are professional, organised and listen to the views of all. They said that leaders make decisions with their workload and well-being in mind.

The governing body challenges and supports leaders in equal measure.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• On occasion, teaching does not check that pupils understand and recall the key content that the school has identified for pupils to know.

This means that, sometimes, pupils' misconceptions are not identified and addressed. The school should ensure that in all subjects pupils' understanding and recall of important concepts and key knowledge is checked, and that any misconceptions or gaps are addressed.


When we have judged a school to be good, we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains good.

This is called an ungraded inspection, and it is carried out under section 8 of the Education Act 2005. We do not give graded judgements on an ungraded inspection. However, if we find evidence that a school would now receive a higher or lower grade, then the next inspection will be a graded inspection, which is carried out under section 5 of the Act.

Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the ungraded inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will deem the ungraded inspection a graded inspection immediately.

This is the second ungraded inspection since we judged the school to be good in November 2013.

  Compare to
nearby schools