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Trinity Academy Cathedral is a school with a very special atmosphere and sense of purpose.
Leaders have improved the school rapidly and created an exceptional setting in which pupils thrive. Pupils have access to a high quality, knowledge-rich curriculum, as well as the school's very popular performing arts pathway.
At the heart of the school, leaders have established comprehensive systems of pastoral care and personal development.
Pupils behave exceptionally well, are mindful of each other and work very hard. If bullying occurs, pupils are confident to use the 'Call it Out' system. They told inspectors that staff deal with concerns effectively.
Pupi...ls are enthusiastic participants in the impressive array of sporting, cultural and creative activities on offer at the school. They value the opportunities the school arranges and the support their teachers give them.
Leaders at all levels are confident and passionate about the community they serve.
They have worked with their trust to bring about rapid change to the school, without losing sight of its local identity and distinctive Church of England ethos. Leaders are very proud of the achievements of their pupils and the destinations they go on to.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders have high expectations of all their pupils.
They have established a rich and ambitious curriculum, with a strong emphasis on the full range of English Baccalaureate subjects, as well as the specialist performing arts programme. Curriculum design is systematic and planning precisely identifies what pupils need to learn in each subject. Teaching focuses on pupils gaining and remembering the most important knowledge.
This helps pupils to be continually ready for the next step in learning. For example, in music, pupils quickly develop a strong knowledge of the key elements of music. Pupils use this knowledge with confidence to describe music and to reflect on their rehearsal of increasingly complex pieces.
The quality of planning and the school's approach to classroom delivery support all pupils in their learning. Effective assessment plays an important part in this, with careful checks on understanding using the school's 'masters of recall' approach. Information about special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) is used very well to plan support for pupils in lessons and throughout the school.
Working with the trust, leaders have established a rigorous programme of professional development based around the 'teaching and learning elements'. This programme is rooted in ongoing research and supported by bespoke resources. As a result, the curriculum is led and delivered by expert staff who are adept in the way they teach.
Staff value the practical and professional support they receive from leaders. Teachers, including those starting their career, feel their workload and development are very well supported. They are very proud to work at the school.
Leaders expect the very best from pupils. They have established very high standards of pupil behaviour. These standards are backed by effective systems.
As a result, behaviour around the school is impressive, with pupils showing care, courtesy and maturity. Learning is rarely interrupted by low-level disruption, and pupils sustain highly focused, industrious efforts in lessons.
Leaders have established a rigorous approach to early intervention.
For example, pupils who need help to become accurate readers are identified early. They are then supported through a range of well-targeted and effective programmes. As a result, pupils are gaining the knowledge they need to enjoy the school's excellent curriculum and wider reading programme.
Pupils who have accessed this support told inspectors that they value the programme, and have discovered renewed confidence in themselves.
Leaders' approach to the personal development of pupils is exemplary. Their vision for all pupils to have belief in themselves, and to develop strong character traits, is embedded in the day-to-day offer.
Nothing is left to chance and all areas of personal development, including careers education, are systematically planned and tracked. Teachers ensure that education about safety in the community and online is emphasised in the school's personal, social, health and economic education programme. Leaders have ensured that the range of experiences on offer to all pupils is wide and of noteworthy quality.
Pupils value these experiences and tell inspectors that they are almost spoiled for choice by the options available.
Well-established systems of challenge and support between the trust and the knowledgeable governing body have ensured rapid improvement across all areas of the school.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Leaders have established a meticulous culture of vigilance across all aspects of safeguarding. Regular high-quality training, as well as effective reporting and recording systems, is thoroughly embedded. Staff are knowledgeable about signs of concern and how to report these.
Diligent and highly tenacious leaders respond to concerns in a timely manner, working extensively with external agencies and families. Pupils feel safe and very well supported by adults in the school. Where pupils access off-site provision, leaders are exceptionally careful around ensuring pupil safety.
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