St Nicholas Catholic High School

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About St Nicholas Catholic High School

Name St Nicholas Catholic High School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Craig Burns
Address Greenbank Lane, Hartford, Northwich, CW8 1JW
Phone Number 01606706000
Phase Secondary
Type Voluntary aided school
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1208
Local Authority Cheshire West and Chester
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils feel happy in the caring community of St Nicholas Catholic High School. Students in the sixth form value the personalised support that they receive from their teachers.

This helps to prepare them well for the next stage of their education, employment or training.

The school has high expectations for all pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Pupils benefit from a well-designed, ambitious curriculum.

They enjoy learning. Most pupils apply themselves in lessons and achieve well.

The school's values underpin pupils' respectful behaviour.

Pupils said that they are kind to each other. They know t...hat they will be listened to by staff if they have any concerns or worries. As a result, pupils feel safe in school.

Many pupils value the range of clubs and activities on offer to them. The diverse experiences that the school provides help pupils to nurture their wider talents and build their leadership skills. Pupils develop a strong sense of the importance of citizenship and helping others, for example by raising money for local charities.

In the sixth form, students benefit from global travel opportunities, for example some students spoke enthusiastically about a planned expedition to Vietnam and Cambodia.

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

All pupils follow the same broad and balanced curriculum, including those in the specially resourced provision for pupils with SEND. The school has addressed previous weaknesses in a small number of subject curriculums through the strengthening of training and support for staff.

Staff are empowered to carry out monitoring and evaluation of the subject curriculums to ensure they remain current and effective.

Typically, teachers implement the curriculum well. They have detailed subject knowledge and explain concepts well.

Students in the sixth form benefit from teachers' expertise and enthusiasm for the subjects that they teach. Teachers regularly check what pupils know and remember. They identify pupils' misconceptions and, in the main, rectify these quickly.

The school has recently introduced strategies to improve reading. It has accurately identified pupils who find reading more difficult. However, the additional support that the school has put in place to help these pupils to catch up quickly is relatively recent.

The school is also in the early stages of implementing initiatives to increase pupils' exposure to rich texts. Some older pupils have not benefited from the various reading strategies put in place.

The additional needs of pupils with SEND are identified well.

The recent strengthening of the training and information that staff receive relating to pupils with SEND has improved how these pupils are supported to access the curriculum. Staff understand the needs of pupils with SEND and make suitable adaptations in their teaching where necessary. Consequently, most pupils with SEND achieve well.

Some pupils, including some who are disadvantaged, do not achieve as well as they should. The school is not clear enough about the impact of the curriculum for these pupils. Added to this, the school does not fully analyse how these pupils' attendance and behaviour contribute to their lack of achievement.

Most pupils attend school regularly. The school has systems in place to address low attendance and to support pupils to be in school as much as possible. Despite this, a small number of pupils, including some who are disadvantaged, do not attend school as often as they should.

This hinders how well some of these pupils achieve.

Pupils' behaviour around the school is calm and courteous. Pupils and staff said that the behaviour system is fair.

Pupils value the rewards that they receive for their positive behaviour and attitudes.

The school has designed a strong curriculum for personal, social and health education. Pupils can recall a range of knowledge that helps them to keep safe, build healthy relationships and make positive contributions to the wider world.

This continues for students in the sixth form. Pupils receive a wide range of information and guidance about careers education and their future opportunities. Pupils are aspirational for their future education and employment.

Leaders are ambitious for the future developments of the school. Governors are clear about their roles and responsibilities. They ensure that they provide appropriate support and challenge to the school as it continues to develop.

Most parents and carers were positive about the information that they receive about how well their children are learning.

Staff said that the school carefully considers their workload. For example, staff are consulted on any changes before they are introduced.

Staff are proud to work at the school.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The school's strategies to support pupils who have gaps in their reading knowledge are at the early stages of development.

This means that some pupils, including those who are disadvantaged, do not read as well as they should. The school should ensure that staff are suitably equipped to support pupils to catch up with their reading. This will help these pupils to build fluency in their reading and access all areas of the curriculum.

• The school lacks a coordinated approach to evaluating the impact of its work to support pupils who are disadvantaged. This means that some disadvantaged pupils do not achieve as well as they should or benefit from all that the school has to offer. The school should ensure that it makes effective use of the information that it has so that it is better placed to remove the barriers to success that some disadvantaged pupils face.

Also at this postcode
St Wilfrid’s Pre-School St Wilfrid’s Catholic Primary School

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