St Mary’s Catholic School

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About St Mary’s Catholic School

Name St Mary’s Catholic School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Emma Patterson
Address Benton Park Road, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE7 7PE
Phone Number 01912153260
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1434
Local Authority Newcastle upon Tyne
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

St Mary's is an ambitious and nurturing school where pupils thrive. They are taught how to live out the school's Christian values in everything they do.

This includes a continual focus on the importance of positive relationships, gratitude and service of others. Pupils are happy and safe in this exceptionally supportive atmosphere, where leaders ensure that pupils benefit from a high-quality and expansive curriculum.

The school sets extremely high expectations for pupils' conduct and achievement.

Pupils rise to these expectations with pride. Pupils understand the rules in school and appreciate that staff apply them with fairness and consistency. Instances of ...low-level disruption and bullying are very rare.

Pupils recognise the importance of excellent behaviour. They respect the differences between people and are mindful of the well-being of others. Staff actively promote these values through tutor time themes of the week such as unity and friendship.

Pupils make extremely good use of the many opportunities they have in the wider curriculum. This enhances their excellent academic outcomes. Pupils engage in an extensive range of clubs, trips and events, including the annual spiritual retreats.

Sixth-form students commit to a minimum of one hour's school service every week. They act as mentors, become student leaders, run clubs and even help around the school site. Sixth-form students are proud to act as a role models for younger pupils.

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

Leaders have designed a highly effective curriculum. They have carefully identified clear end points in each curriculum and topic area. They ensure that learning is sequenced and broken down so that pupils can reach the highly ambitious goals they set for pupils.

Staff equip pupils with the ability to use sophisticated vocabulary to examine complex subject matter. As a result, the quality of pupils' discussion is exceptional. For example, in a Year 9 English lesson, pupils used terms such as 'inherent' and 'atrocity' to explore the nature of evil in 'The Lord of the Flies'.

In lessons, teachers use a wide range of effective strategies and high-quality resources to help pupils to learn exceptionally well. They have excellent subject knowledge. They make sure pupils, including those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), have extremely deep knowledge upon which to build their future learning.

Curriculum planning is finely attuned to common misconceptions and teachers swiftly address them if they do occur. This enables pupils to make rapid and secure progress through the curriculum. For example, in a Year 13 maths lesson, students were able to give in-depth and precise answers to complex further maths problems because of the exceptional teaching they had received.

The school places a sharp focus on ensuring pupils can access the full curriculum. Reading is prioritised so that any pupils who have fallen behind can catch up with their peers. This programme of reading intervention is carried out by trained staff for the pupils who need it the most.

For pupils who simply need to build their reading confidence, a programme of peer mentoring is in place. Sixth-form mentors support their younger peers with reading aloud as part of their school service. Sixth-form students receive training for this important role and speak positively about the experience.

The school's high expectations for pupils' behaviour and attitudes are modelled by all staff in the school. As a result, the school is a nurturing and warm environment. Pupils' commitment to their education is reflected in their high levels of attendance and punctuality.

School leaders enrich pupils' personal development through a carefully considered curriculum and range of planned activities. The school's approach to the taught curriculum means pupils have an excellent understanding of protected characteristics and fundamental British values. Pupils, including those in the sixth form, also know about age-appropriate risks and how to keep themselves safe in a range of different situations.

Furthermore, the school ensures pupils engage with a variety of beliefs and ideas that are different from their own. Pupils are considerate when exploring these sensitive issues. This was evident in a religious education lesson when pupils were discussing ideas about stereotyping.

The school ensures pupils are well prepared for their next steps. They are committed to a strong careers education. Through this, pupils engage with a wide range of employers and education providers.

All pupils in Year 10 and Year 12 undertake work experience.

Strong leadership at all levels, including governance, is underpinned by constant evaluation and self-reflection. Leaders are highly committed to continued and sustained improvement.

St Mary's acts as a beacon for the multi-academy trust, supporting and developing other schools. Leaders relentlessly focus on the well-being and professional development of their staff. Staff are enthusiastic about this.

They report positively on their career progression and workload. They feel that leaders listen carefully to their views.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

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