Thomas Becket Catholic School

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About Thomas Becket Catholic School

Name Thomas Becket Catholic School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Paul McCahill
Address Becket Way, Kettering Road North, Northampton, NN3 6HT
Phone Number 01604493211
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 872
Local Authority West Northamptonshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

This school is improving fast.

It is a welcoming school community. It is a calm and orderly place to learn. Most pupils are happy and feel safe.

Staff know pupils well and look after them well.

Leaders have high expectations of pupils. Most pupils work hard and behave well.

Pupils are very pleased when they get 'golden tickets' for doing the right thing. A small number of pupils need help to improve their behaviour. Staff support them well.

Pupils say that bullying happens. Staff deal with it quickly and fairly.

Reading is important in this school.

Pupils listen to their form tutor reading their form book once a week. pupils visit the library regularly. Staff help pupils to read more confidently.

The school is inclusive. Pupils can be themselves. All pupils study the full curriculum.

Events such as inclusive sports competitions make sure that everyone can take part in all aspects of school life.

Leaders prioritise pupils' personal development. All pupils take part in the 'electives' programme to build teamwork and resilience.

Pupils show leadership when they help out in local primary schools. Students in the sixth form organise charity events, such as 'sleeping out for hope', to support their local community.

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

Leaders are committed to the pupils in this school.

They have worked with determination to improve the school rapidly. They have clear plans to improve the school further and to make sure that the improvements will last.

Leaders are ambitious for all pupils, including pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

Pupils in key stage 3 study a wide variety of subjects in depth. They make well-informed choices about their courses in key stage 4 and beyond.

Subject leaders have thought carefully about what they want pupils to learn.

They have set out what pupils should learn at each stage. Most teachers have strong subject knowledge and give clear explanations. They make sure that pupils get plenty of opportunities to practise using new knowledge.

Teachers make sure that pupils go back over what they have learned before. Pupils value this approach. However, some teachers do not check pupils' learning.

Some others do not give feedback that helps pupils to develop their knowledge and understanding.

The provision for pupils with SEND is strong. Leaders identify pupils' needs and they give teachers the advice they need to support pupils well in lessons.

Teachers put this advice into practice and pupils learn well. Pupils who need help to improve their reading get effective support.In the sixth form, leaders have made sure that the range of academic and vocational courses matches pupils' needs.

Teachers in the sixth form are experts in their subjects. Most teach the curriculum well, although this is not yet consistently the case. Students learn to be independent and organised.

Leaders provide students with good advice about their next steps in education, training or employment. Students do work experience and benefit from the school's links with universities in the region. Students make meaningful contributions to their school and the wider community.

Leaders have high expectations of how pupils behave and treat others. They communicate their expectations clearly. They teach pupils exactly how to behave in different situations.

Staff reward pupils for doing the right thing. Most pupils behave well in lessons and around school. The small number of pupils who find it difficult to show respect receive close support from leaders to ensure that they know how to treat others.

The school does not tolerate bullying. Records show that leaders consistently take swift and appropriate action. Leaders support the victims and help the perpetrator to understand the error of their ways.

Through the curriculum, assemblies, visits and discussions, pupils develop character and confidence. The 'electives' programme gives pupils access to cultural and social learning opportunities that they would not otherwise have. Pupils learn to value and respect those who are different from themselves.

Not all pupils have a secure understanding of key learning in personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education. Leaders have recognised this. They recently updated their curriculum for PSHE education and relationships and sex education (RSE).

Trust leaders and governors provide school leaders with effective support. Leaders provide a programme of high-quality professional development for staff. Staff said that leaders consider their well-being and workload.

They are proud to work here.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Safeguarding leaders are committed and skilled.

They have expert knowledge of the challenges that their pupils might face in the local area. They have established strong partnerships with local agencies, including police and health services. They are tenacious in securing the help pupils need.

The school has a counsellor and a team of trained mental-health first aiders to support pupils.

Pupils know that they can speak to staff if they are worried. Staff are well trained.

Like leaders, they know pupils well. They are vigilant and know how to act when they have a concern about a pupil.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Some teachers do not check pupils' learning.

Some do check, but do not make use of this information to provide pupils with effective feedback that helps them to improve. Pupils do not learn as well as they could. Leaders must ensure that teachers check pupils' learning consistently and provide effective feedback that helps pupils to use knowledge fluently and develop their understanding.

• On occasion, some pupils do not behave in ways that meet the high expectations of leaders. For example, some pupils do not respect others. Leaders should ensure that all pupils understand what constitutes positive, respectful behaviour.

The new programme for PSHE education and RSE is not yet fully embedded. Some pupils do not have a secure understanding of all the important knowledge in this curriculum. Leaders must ensure that the new programme is implemented consistently well, so that all pupils learn the important knowledge identified in the curriculum.

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