St Michael’s Catholic Academy

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About St Michael’s Catholic Academy

Name St Michael’s Catholic Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Clare Humble
Address Beamish Road, Billingham, TS23 3DX
Phone Number 01642870003
Phase Academy
Type Academy sponsor led
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1030
Local Authority Stockton-on-Tees
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

St Michael's Catholic Academy is a caring and welcoming school. The religious ethos is evident throughout the school.

Leaders seek to develop in pupils the school virtues, such as respect and compassion. Pupils are polite and courteous.

There are harmonious relationships between staff and pupils.

As a result, pupils feel safe and looked after. They know who to turn to if they need help and support.

Most pupils do not think bullying happens often, but say that if it does, it is dealt with quickly.

The anti-bullying initiative has a large number of pupil volunteers that work with the pupil leadership team on positive campaigns in the school. A...s a result, anti-bullying has a high profile in the school.

Pupils are well behaved around the school.

Lessons are calm and orderly. This creates a positive environment in the school. Staff demonstrate a consistent approach to managing routines.

There are a small number of pupils who do not behave as well as expected. Leaders recognise this and have strategies in place to improve the behaviour of these pupils.

Pupils benefit from a strong personal development curriculum.

They take part in a range of extra-curricular activities to develop their interests, for example the musical theatre club and debating. Pupils also have opportunities to develop leadership qualities through recycling initiatives and projects about the importance of healthy relationships.

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

Leaders have created well-designed curriculum plans.

These plans identify the most important content that all pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), need to know and in what order it is to be taught. This, in part, ensures that pupils can recall prior learning and are well prepared for future learning. For example, in English, Year 7 pupils are introduced to the tragedy genre through studying the text 'Romeo and Juliet'.

The knowledge of this genre is then built on effectively in subsequent years.

Teachers have strong subject knowledge. They present information clearly.

The majority of teachers plan appropriate activities in lessons to enable pupils to gain an understanding of important content. For example, recall and retrieval tasks are used appropriately to check pupils' knowledge. Nearly all teachers question pupils well.

However, there are still times when assessment is not precise enough. As a result, gaps in pupils' knowledge are not fully identified and pupils' misconceptions develop.Teachers adapt lessons to ensure that pupils with SEND follow the same learning as their peers.

In some subjects, such as science and history, teachers consider the detailed pupil information within 'learner profiles' effectively to help make the curriculum more accessible. New leaders have identified how systems to record information about pupils with SEND could be improved further. Leaders are aware that this is necessary to ensure that pupils' learning needs are fully understood by all staff.

Pupils are well informed and prepared for their next steps in education, employment or training. Year 10 pupils told inspectors that they enjoyed the experience of 'College Discovery Week'. They say that this supports their future post-16 applications to colleges.

Pupils' personal development is important to school leaders. They have ensured that a comprehensive curriculum is in place that details learning in areas such as the dangers of knife crime, risks associated with social media and mental health.

Leaders place a priority on supporting the school's weakest readers.

Recently, leaders have developed plans relating to staff training in phonics. At the time of the inspection, phonics training had not been implemented with all the relevant staff. There is more work to do to support the weakest readers.

Pupils behave well. Clear policies and expectations for behaviour are well understood by teachers and pupils. As a result, pupils behave with respect and courtesy towards each other.

Effective systems and procedures exist to monitor and evaluate pupil attendance. Most pupils attend school regularly.Leaders, including governors and trustees, have a clear vision for the school.

They know what to do to improve the school further. Effective plans have been developed to inform their actions. Governors know the school well and fulfil their statutory duties.

They are knowledgeable about the school's priorities and hold leaders to account. Staff told inspectors that leaders help them manage their workload effectively.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders have a good understanding of the local community and the safeguarding risks that pupils may face. The personal development curriculum ensures that pupils are taught about these dangers and risks.

Staff are well trained to identify and report on any safeguarding concerns they may have.

Leaders with responsibility for safeguarding are knowledgeable. They make sure that they follow up referrals to external agencies swiftly and case file notes are comprehensive, supporting pupils' welfare well.

The strong relationships developed between the school and external agencies mean that pupils and families receive timely and appropriate levels of support if it is needed.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• While there are clear curriculum plans, some teachers do not implement the curriculum consistently well or check on what pupils know effectively. As a result, some pupils do not gain strong knowledge of the most important curriculum content. Leaders should ensure that all teachers use assessment consistently and with purpose so that they are clear on what pupils know and remember, adapting future learning to meet each pupil's needs.

• Plans to support the weakest readers are in place but are in their infancy. Leaders must ensure that the reading plans are fully implemented, and that relevant staff receive training swiftly. This will support the weakest readers to confidently access the curriculum.

• Leaders do not sufficiently evaluate the information they collect or analyse management information in enough detail. There is more to do to ensure that staff are given the information they need to improve their work. Senior leaders should ensure that leaders at all levels have the right support to analyse, evaluate and share the information available effectively.

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