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St Anne's Catholic High School for Girls continues to be an outstanding school.
What is it like to attend this school?
Everyone here describes the school community as being a family. Positive and supportive working relationships are displayed in abundance.
Pupils rise to the high expectations that leaders have of them.
The curriculum enables all pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) to thrive. Pupils remember in detail what they learned in previous lessons and from previous years.
This allows their learning to develop and deepen successfully over time.
Leaders and staff provide many different extra-curricular an...d leadership activities for pupils to take part in. Pupils also start up and run clubs and societies themselves.
Pupils enjoy participating in a range of charitable and outreach projects, which aim to help both the local community and those further away.
In lessons, pupils display exemplary attitudes towards their learning. They enthusiastically offer their answers and opinions.
Pupils are confident and engaging when discussing life at their school. Leaders ensure that any bullying or misbehaviour is rare and if it does occur it is swiftly dealt with. Pupils are kept safe.
At break and lunchtimes, pupils talk and socialise with each other in friendly and positive ways.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
The curriculum for each subject is carefully designed and ordered. Teachers ensure that pupils meet key ideas on several occasions.
This helps pupils to commit these ideas to their long-term memories. In the sixth form, the curriculum enables students to gain increasing mastery in their chosen subjects. They discuss their knowledge in detail and with confidence.
Throughout the school, pupils achieve very highly.
Leaders regularly evaluate the effectiveness of the curriculum, including with support from external advisers. Where appropriate, adaptations are made to ensure that pupils build their knowledge deeply.
The history curriculum is an example of this. Leaders have carefully considered when pupils learn about key ideas and themes. In Year 8, for instance, they learn carefully selected knowledge about the Tudors.
Students in Year 12 then use this knowledge to understand King Philip of Spain's influence on the reign of Queen Mary. This careful sequencing means that pupils find learning to be a seamless journey at the school.
Assessment is used purposefully, both to check pupils' understanding and to help them to remember key ideas.
In science, for example, staff use well-chosen strategies to help pupils to remember the key parts of a cell. Staff also focus on finding out how well pupils are learning the planned knowledge and skills. The information gathered is then used to plan adaptations and to provide extra help for pupils who need it.
Pupils appreciate how staff guide and support them with their learning in all subjects.
Leaders and teachers support pupils with SEND well. Teachers have the information they need to understand pupils' barriers to learning and adapt lesson materials to meet pupils' needs.
Well-trained learning support assistants frequently work with pupils in lessons, providing bespoke support. This allows pupils with SEND to access the same learning as all pupils. Expert support is in place for pupils who attend the additional resourced provision.
Pupils here access an ambitious curriculum. This is delivered by teachers with strong subject knowledge and an acute understanding of pupils' specific needs.
Leaders encourage a love of reading.
Pupils read regularly during some of their tutor sessions and all have a book with them at all times. Leaders have recognised the need to support those pupils at the earliest stages of reading. For these pupils, leaders make sure that they get the support they need to learn to read fluently and accurately.
This includes phonics teaching delivered by well-trained staff.
Leaders have high expectations of all pupils. These are shared with staff and pupils and help to foster a positive approach to behaviour.
Pupils' behaviour and attitudes are exemplary.
The provision for wider development of pupils is extensive, and includes a carefully planned personal, social and health education (PSHE) programme. PSHE is delivered through timetabled lessons by teachers who receive bespoke training.
Pupils also take part in an exceptionally rich range of extra-curricular activities. For example, sixth-form students work with a local community outreach team, which is supporting older people to boost their IT skills.
Careers guidance is comprehensive and is appreciated by pupils.
This is well demonstrated by the careful thought that has been put into the GCSE options process.
Leaders are tenacious in ensuring that the quality of education for pupils goes from strength to strength. As part of this work, they place great emphasis on providing high-quality professional development for all members of staff.
They also take account of staff workload and well-being. The governing body has a strong understanding of its role and provides effective support and challenge to leaders.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Leaders have put in place a thoroughly trained safeguarding team. They have a strong knowledge of the issues facing young people in the local area. Appropriate referrals are made for all pupils who may be at risk of harm, and leaders make sure that vulnerable pupils receive extensive, well-targeted support.
Leaders have recently increased the number of staff who are able to offer counselling support in the school. They have made sure that clear processes are followed for managing the safer recruitment of staff.
Staff receive appropriate training each year and leaders have worked to enhance their safeguarding professional development.
Leaders keep accurate records of the support provided. Pupils are taught how to keep themselves safe.
When we have judged a school outstanding, we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains outstanding.
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 first ungraded inspection since we judged the school to be outstanding in December 2016.
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