Nicholas Breakspear Catholic School

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About Nicholas Breakspear Catholic School

Name Nicholas Breakspear Catholic School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Declan Linnane
Address Colney Heath Lane, St Albans, AL4 0TT
Phone Number 01727860079
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1037
Local Authority Hertfordshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils at Nicholas Breakspear School receive an exemplary education. They are cared for deeply by all school staff. Pupils also show high levels of mutual care and respect for one another.

This positive school culture enables pupils to be and feel safe. One parent described the school as a 'treasure'. It is a view typically shared by many.

All pupils are unwaveringly polite, kind, confident and thoughtful. They welcome visitors and share their school experiences enthusiastically. Adults constantly model the positive behaviours they want to see in the pupils.

Pupils respond incredibly well to this. Lessons and social times are consistently calm. In corridors d...uring lesson changeover, pupils enjoy talking about what they have learned.

Staff's expectations of pupils are very high, both academically and in their everyday school life. Pupils meet these expectations, not because they have to, but because they value the teaching and support they receive.

The inspirational opportunities pupils have to achieve the school's aim to be a 'better person' are extensive.

These include extra-curricular activities and visits abroad, including pilgrimages to Lourdes. Individual personal development is threaded all the way through the school's ethos.

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

The school's curriculum is ambitious across all subjects.

The delivery of this curriculum is consistently precise across the school and staff are aspirational for all pupils. As a result, the quality of work the pupils produce is of a high quality. The thorough way in which teachers check pupils' knowledge enables pupils to really understand where they could improve their work.

Pupils act upon this feedback immediately, so misconceptions are addressed. Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are supported to access and thrive in lessons. Staff working with pupils with SEND are fully informed as to how best to help them succeed.

The high expectations of all pupils' learning are the same. This means all pupils, including those pupils with SEND, achieve exceptionally well.

The school considers reading to be hugely important.

There is a comprehensive range of reading programmes, which ensures that the weakest readers keep up with their peers. These programmes also include regular library lessons and support from trained sixth-form reading mentors.

Pupils' behaviour is a major strength of the school.

The school is tenacious in ensuring that, on the rare occasion things go wrong, pupils are supported to understand and learn from the consequences of their actions. Pupils do this well. As a result, levels of suspension are extremely low and pupils can learn without any disturbances.

Sixth-form students act as role models of confident and good-mannered individuals to younger pupils.Pupils attend school regularly. Lateness to lessons is not something that happens.

This enables pupils to engage effectively in the high-quality education provided by the school.

The school provides a huge range of out-of-class activities to enable the pupils to grow as individuals. For example, sixth-form students describe a range of enrichment activities that frequently provide them with the opportunity to develop their character.

Students also give their time to support pupils in lower school through a well-developed mentoring programme. The personal development curriculum is extraordinary. This programme extends far beyond what is required.

The 'NBS Way' is a thread which runs through all elements of school life. Pupils have the opportunity to experience a variety of visiting speakers. They also arrange and participate in a range of highly successful charitable events.

Sixth-form students are able to attend a retreat prior to their examinations. All pupils receive regular and appropriate information in relation to careers and education options.

Strong, principled leadership has been fundamental to the school's improvement.

Governors, trustees, and school leaders are relentless in their drive to ensure that pupils receive the highest quality education. They fulfil their statutory duties well.

The passion that the school has for ensuring pupils succeed, in all aspects of their school and wider life, is mirrored by the unstinting support they receive from parents.

School staff, including those at the very beginning of their careers, are proud to work at the school and feel their well-being is taken seriously. They describe the support from leaders as second to none.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

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