St Bede’s and St Joseph’s Catholic College

About St Bede’s and St Joseph’s Catholic College Browse Features

St Bede’s and St Joseph’s Catholic College

Name St Bede’s and St Joseph’s Catholic College
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 26 September 2019
Address Highgate, Heaton, Bradford, BD9 4BQ
Phone Number 01274941941
Type Secondary
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1884 (49% boys 51% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 18.0
Local Authority Bradford
Percentage Free School Meals 16.2%
Percentage English is Not First Language 20.4%
Persisitent Absence 16.8%
Pupils with SEN Support 14.3%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

What is it like to attend this school?

Leaders and staff show a strong commitment to the Catholic faith. They care greatly for pupils. The relationships between staff and pupils are strong. Pupils are happy and enjoy coming to school. Older pupils say that because more permanent teachers have joined the school, teaching has improved. This is helping pupils to learn more effectively. Pupils try their best. If pupils need more help with their learning, staff are available to help them.

Pupils behave well. The school feels calm and friendly. At both school sites, pupils move in an orderly fashion around the buildings. They are polite to each other and staff. Leaders and staff expect the best of all pupils and want them to achieve well. Pupils agree. Pupils also told us that bullying is rare but when it does happen, teachers deal with it quickly.

Staff offer a very wide range of opportunities for pupils to get involved in. Pupils say that ‘there is something for everyone here!’ Leaders are passionate about helping pupils to become ‘well rounded’ young people who value teamwork, understand the wider world and show respect and tolerance for others.

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

Leaders have not planned out what pupils should learn in some subjects in enough detail. They have not considered the order that pupils will be introduced to new topics. Learning does not always build on what pupils have learned previously. Leaders are already in the process of making these changes. They have detailed plans in place and have trained staff in how to deliver them. They have reviewed what is currently taught and have thought carefully about what they want pupils to learn and in what order, in most subjects. In key stage 3, pupils spend three years studying a wide range of subjects. Pupils continue with their GCSE choices in Years 10 and 11. This means that in most subjects, teachers cover a broad range of topics and explore subjects in depth. Mathematics at key stage 4 and Spanish at key stages 3 and 4 are still works in progress.

Teachers use assessment in most subjects to check what pupils know and can do. Teachers use the results of these assessments to make changes to what they will teach. For example, in computing, teachers have identified that the current Year 7 pupils have gaps in their knowledge of some key concepts. As a result, teachers adapted the key stage 3 curriculum to ensure that all pupils have the knowledge needed when they begin their GCSE work in Year 10. Staff work together to improve their subject knowledge by attending training and sharing their expertise.

Leaders bring subject teaching and wider experiences together well. Pupils welcome the extensive programme of activities on offer. For example, pupils visit places abroad as part of an extended experience offer. Pupils say that ‘the school opens a lot of doors … with lots of sport, drama and music, developing our confidence and teamwork’. Careers education is a strength.Most pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) spend most of their time alongside their peers in mainstream classes. They access the same learning and experiences as everyone else. Staff identify pupils’ learning needs quickly and plan any support that is required. The use of teaching assistants has been reviewed so that they provide more focused support for pupils with SEND in lessons.

Staff work very hard to make sure that all pupils attend school regularly. The attendance of pupils is improving. However, disadvantaged pupils are still more likely to be absent from school than other pupils.

The headteacher and his senior leaders expect the best of pupils and work well together as a team. They have reviewed staffing to make sure that every subject is taught well. Governors keep a strong oversight of the school’s work. However, their understanding of the school curriculum and its implementation is basic. Following the merger of the two schools, staff morale is high. Nearly all staff say that the school is well led and managed and that leaders consider staff workload carefully.

Subjects in the sixth form are carefully designed and sequenced. Teachers’ subject knowledge is strong. In most subjects, teachers use questioning and assessment well to check what students remember. Students achieve well. Attendance is high. They have a wide range of opportunities to develop their personal and social skills. For example, some students are currently training to become mental health first aiders.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders make thorough recruitment checks to ensure that staff are safe to work with pupils. Leaders make sure that safeguarding records are accurate. Teachers receive regular training in safeguarding, including how to recognise signs of child sexual exploitation. Staff know the potential risks in the local area and what to do if they have concerns about pupils. Pupils know what to do to stay safe, including when online. Leaders also make sure that pupils who attend alternative education provision are safe.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

Leaders have reviewed the curriculum carefully. In most subjects, subject plans are carefully designed and well sequenced. Leaders must ensure that an ambitious, coherent and well-sequenced curriculum, which exists in subjects such as English, history and computing, is now embedded in other subjects such as mathematics in key stage 4 and Spanish.Assessment is used effectively in most subjects across the school. Leaders must ensure that teachers, especially in mathematics and Spanish, check if pupils have remembered what they have been taught and, as a result, learn more and can do more. . Attendance is improving overall but not at the same rate for all pupils. Leaders should continue to work proactively with disadvantaged pupils and their families so that the rate of persistent absence for this group of pupils continues to improve. . Governors have a clear understanding of the school’s vision. However, the governing body would benefit from deepening further their knowledge around curriculum planning and implementation, so that they can enhance the quality of challenge and support they provide to school leaders.