St Joseph’s Catholic High School

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About St Joseph’s Catholic High School

Name St Joseph’s Catholic High School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Ciran Stapleton
Address Shaggy Calf Lane, Slough, SL2 5HW
Phone Number 01753524713
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 940
Local Authority Slough
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

At the very heart of St Joseph's Catholic High School is a vision to unlock belief in all.

Aspiration, ambition and determination are deeply rooted within the school. A feeling of warmth and love permeates St Joseph's. As the headteacher told the lead inspector: 'We have to love our children, but more importantly they have to know that they are loved.'

Pupils are happy and smiley and enjoy coming to school. They feel a sense of belonging. One pupil explained to the lead inspector that he had moved from another school and was welcomed with open arms.

Pupils treat each other, staff and visitors with respect. Positive attitudes and a motivation to lea...rn characterise pupils' behaviour. Instances of unkind behaviour or language are rare.

Swift action taken by staff quickly nips these things in the bud. As a result, pupils feel well looked after and cared for.

Opportunities for pupils to participate in clubs and the Duke of Edinburgh scheme help to develop their talents and interests.

Pupils are keen to make a difference to others by raising money for charity and exploring environmental issues. Talks from visitors help to broaden pupils' horizons and hear about stories of success.

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

Setting the tone of the school are a highly committed headteacher and senior leadership team who have high expectations of themselves, staff and pupils.

Working together and empowering others are important ways through which they bring the school's vision to life.

Leaders have developed a curriculum that ensures that pupils study a broad range of subjects. They have set out what it is that they want pupils to learn and know how to do in every subject from Years 7 to 13 so that pupils' knowledge and skills gradually build over time.

There is an ambition for all pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), to achieve as much as possible. For example, high numbers of pupils are entered for the English Baccalaureate.

Many approaches are used in the classroom to ensure that pupils make progress.

For example, teachers are asked to ensure that pupils revisit learning from previous topics or years at the start of their lessons. This helps to lodge these bits of learning in pupils' long-term memories. However, many of these approaches are not consistently used by teachers and there is variation between departments.

The way departments are led varies and senior leaders know that they need to do more to ensure consistency between heads of departments.

High expectations of pupils pave the way for a calm, purposeful and inclusive learning environment. This leads to positive behaviour in lessons.

Rising to the challenge, most pupils are motivated to do well and take pride in their work. This is particularly the case in the sixth form where students' attitudes are highly positive. In key stages 3 and 4, pupils listen attentively to teachers, but there are sometimes a lack of opportunities for them to develop thinking skills and independence.

Staff have an excellent understanding of pupils' needs. This ensures that pupils with SEND make similar progress to other pupils. Some subtle but very effective strategies are used to support these pupils.

Staff take the personal development of pupils seriously. They are committed to ensuring that pupils become learned and wise and that they are prepared well for the future. The school's personal, social and health education programme is very well thought out.

During their time at St Joseph's, pupils learn about a whole host of topics, for example healthy relationships and how to stay safe. They learn about their own faith and others too. A planned careers programme ensures that pupils have opportunities to learn about different career pathways.

The headteacher and other senior leaders know St Joseph's very well. They have put a lot of actions in place to further improve the school. However, they accept that they need to develop how well they evaluate the school's strengths and priorities for improvement so that their action planning is much more precise and focused.

A healthy partnership between school and multi-academy trust leaders, members of the local academy committee and the Diocese of Northampton supports the continuous development of St Joseph's. School leaders are held to account through regular challenge and support.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Relationships are key at St Joseph's and staff develop very positive relationships with pupils so that they understand what is going on for them and their families. This means that they spot possible causes for concern quickly. Staff are trained well and know how to report any concerns they have to leaders.

Swift action on the school's part often leads to other agencies providing more support for pupils and their families. Leaders do not shy away from challenging other agencies when things are not happening quickly enough for pupils. Records of concerns are incredibly detailed, as are the actions the school takes.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The approaches used to teach the planned curriculum are inconsistent across departments. This slows the progress pupils make in their learning. Leaders should ensure that the implementation of the curriculum is consistent in all departments.

Middle leaders are keen to play their role in the school's development. However, checking and monitoring the implementation of the curriculum are at an early stage of development. However, leaders have already begun work to strengthen middle leadership.

Leaders should continue to support the development of middle leaders in the school. ? Leaders' self-evaluation is not evaluative enough. This means that the school's strengths and priorities for improvement are not as clear as they could be.

This leads to a lack of focus about what it is that needs to improve. As a result, leaders' action plans are not as precise as they need to be. Leaders should ensure that they strengthen self-evaluation and action planning processes.

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