Monthly Archives - March 2019

Ofsted Praises Happy Children, Happy Parents and Happy Staff at St Austin’s

Pupils and staff at St Austin’s Catholic Primary School are delighted with their latest Ofsted judgment of ‘Good’ following a recent one-day inspection. St Austin’s has not been inspected since 2011 and has been through a period of significant change, becoming part of The Painsley Catholic Academy in September 2018.    The latest Ofsted report concludes “the leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the last inspection. They have worked well together to identify priorities for improvement and strengthen existing good practice.’ The report goes on to state that ‘you (as Executive Headteacher) have high expectations of yourself, your staff and your pupils.’ Highlighting the happiness of parents, pupils and staff at the school as key strengths, the inspector reports, “Parents and carers are very positive about the school and its leaders.  All the parents who responded .. said they would recommend the school to another parent... Pupils..overwhelmingly agreed that they were very happy at school.  Staff enjoy working at the school.  They feel happy and well supported…with staff saying that they were proud to work at the school.” Ofsted concludes that St Austin’s is a ‘warm and welcoming’ school. Executive Headteacher, Mrs Bernadette Corbett said, “I’m really delighted by the positive comments in the Ofsted Inspector’s report.   School should be a positive partnership between children, parents, and staff in order to enable pupils to learn effectively, enjoy learning and reach their full potential.   I would like to congratulate the whole school community on this wonderful outcome.” Mr Steve Bell, Chief Executive Officer of The Painsley Catholic Academy commented, “This is a great result for the school.  Schools need to be happy places whilst maintaining high standards in terms of behaviour and teaching and learning.  St Austin’s has clearly managed to achieve this and I am confident that their students will continue to benefit from this balance.”

Gold Standard for Painsley from UNICEF

Painsley Catholic College is the first secondary school in Staffordshire to be accredited as ‘Gold’ by UNICEF UK as a result of the college’s continued commitment to the Rights Respecting School (RRS) programme. UNICEF UK is the world’s leading organisation working for children and their rights. The Rights Respecting Schools Award is granted to schools that show commitment to promoting and realising children’s rights and encouraging adults, children and young people to respects the rights of others. Gold is the highest accolade given by UNICEF and shows a deep and thorough commitment to children’s rights at all levels of school life.  Painsley is not only the first secondary school in Staffordshire to be awarded Gold, but it is also the first RRSA Gold Catholic secondary school in the Archdiocese of Birmingham, an area which extends from Stoke-on-Trent in the North to the Thames in the South and includes seven cities and five counties. A Gold level Rights Respecting School not only teaches about children's rights; it also models rights and respect in all its relationships, whether between children or between children and adults and demonstrates that these principles are fully embedded in school life. Acting Principal at Painsley Catholic College, Mrs Rachel Waugh said, “As a result of our Rights Respecting work we have seen many benefits such as pupils’ enhanced moral development, more positive and caring attitudes towards diversity in society and the removal of prejudice. A big ‘thank you’ and congratulations to all students and staff involved in the achievement of this important and respected initiative. Our whole college community is excited to continue to develop and grow as a Rights Respecting School in keeping with our ethos and mission statement, ‘to love and respect others as children of God’.  RRS is recognised as being in harmony with the college mission statement. The Catholic ethos of our college recognises the universal nature of rights and the vocation of our college places children at the heart of our mission. “Our commitment to RRS will be reflected in a consistent approach to the student voice, the role of the school council and the student leadership group and We will continue to support a variety of charitable projects as well as supporting the local, national and global community.” The official report from UNICEF highlights two particular strengths of Painsley Catholic College as: “The genuine empowerment of the students made possible by the way in which the overwhelming majority of adults not only respect but also welcome their opinions and ideas and act upon them.” and “The powerful sense of community which is clearly founded on strong values and principles including non-discrimination and mutual respect.” The rights respecting students of Painsley Catholic College are clearly making a difference, with and for each other and for the wider world. One student, relatively new to the school observed, “In other schools it more like occasional people doing things for others from time to time. Here it’s everyone, all the time…because we know about the rights we are really driven.” Painsley’s commitment to being a Rights Respecting School is demonstrated through a variety of ways in the daily life of the college: At the start of each academic year, all students and staff agree to a classroom code of conduct charter that reflects the importance of their rights and the rights of others. This code of conduct charter is visible in every classroom and referenced by staff in the promotion of behaviour for learning.  RRS is also reflected in the behaviour policy of the College.

Trip of a lifetime for brother and sister Scouts

Two students from Blessed William Howard Catholic High School have made it through a rigorous selection process to be chosen to represent Staffordshire and Stafford District Scouts on a trip of a lifetime.  The trip to Ghana will take place in 2020. For brother and sister team, Reece (15) and Mia Watkins (13), this trip is a fantastic opportunity to make a difference in a third world country.  They will be involved in building schools, teaching and supplying other resources to some of the poorest communities.  The students’ first challenge is to raise the funds to cover the costs of the trip, £2300 each. Blessed William Howard school has already donated £250 to each of the students from a special Endowment Fund to kick-start their fundraising. “We are very proud of Mia and Reece for making it through the selection process.  Involvement with such a large charitable project really fits in with our Catholic school ethos and as such we will be supporting them as much as we can to ensure that they meet their fundraising target,” commented Mr Karl Brown, Principal at Blessed William Howard. The students’ first fundraising initiative is a giant Easter egg raffle.  Tickets are available from the school office at just 20p each.

St Thomas’s Netball Squad Ranked Third in County

Students from Year 5 and Year 6 from St Thomas’ Catholic Primary School, Tean, came in third place at the recent Staffordshire High 5 County Netball Tournament held at Fenton Manor Sports Hall.   

The top ten teams from all over the County were at the competition and the standard of netball was extremely high. St Thomas’ were in group A and played four group games, with them finishing in first position in their group. They then went through to the semi-final to play St Theresa’s Primary School, Trent Vale, who they unfortunately lost to in the last minute, with the end score being 3-2. The team then played in a third / fourth place play off against Shobnall Primary School and won 2-1, finishing the tournament as the 3rd best team in Staffordshire. 

“High 5 is a great way for children to get active and enjoy themselves.  A key part of High 5 is players rotating round positions. This means that all the children get to experience every position on court and makes for fitter more adaptable players as they get older.  Our team played really well, demonstrating some fantastic skills and team work. I am very proud of them all.”commented Miss Charlotte Leyland, PE Coordinator at St Thomas’s.


Success for St Mary’s Catholic School, Brewood

Following its official ranking in the league tables that placed St Mary's Catholic Primary School in Brewood as one of the top two primary schools in Staffordshire, it has received a glowing report from Ofsted after a recent one-day inspection.  The report recommends that the school’s next inspection should be a full ‘Section 5' inspection, indicating that there is evidence to suggest that the school may have improved from ‘Good’ to ‘Outstanding’.

The report highlights the high level of academic achievement by pupils, as well as exceptional behaviour.  It also mentions the family ethos of the school and the excellent skills of the teaching staff,

St Mary’s is a happy, friendly school where all pupils feel safe and welcome.  Parents and carers say that school is like a family and their children love coming to school.  This is reflected in pupils’ positive attitudes to learning.  Pupils engage in lively, intelligent discussions about their work.  Teachers skilfully address the needs of all pupils in mixed-age classes.  This is a strength of the school.”

St Mary’s Executive Headteacher, Mrs Bernadette Corbett, said, “This is a wonderful outcome for St Mary’s and recognises the ongoing commitment of all staff, parents, governors, directors and children.  It just goes to show what working together can achieve.   I am very proud and intend to build on this success to ensure that St Mary’s goes from strength to strength.”

St Mary’s became part of The Painsley Catholic Academy in September last year.   Mr Steve Bell, Chief Executive Officer of the multi academy commented, “This is great news.  I am very pleased with the high levels of academic achievement at St Mary’s, but even more so with the fact that the children ‘love coming to school’.   There is no better accolade that.  I would like to congratulate all involved.”

Students celebrating success with Mrs Lisa Boland, Head of School (left) and Mrs Bernadette Corbett, Executive Headteacher (right)

Ofsted rates Blessed William Howard as a ‘Good’ School

Blessed William Howard Catholic High School has been judged to be a ‘Good’ school following a recent inspection by Ofsted. The school has been through a period of rapid change in recent months, becoming part of The Painsley Catholic Academy in September and appointing a new Principal.  There have been significant changes to the structure of the senior leadership team and new policies implemented to ensure that Blessed William Howard is moving towards being an outstanding school.  The Ofsted inspection report highlights the excellent progress at Blessed William Howard. Recognising improvements in student behaviour and an ongoing commitment to raising academic standards, the report states: “There is clear evidence that pupils make more progress and that their behaviour has improved……..The vast majority of pupils enjoy school and come across as happy, confident and considerate.” The report continues, “Your (the school’s) focus on establishing a culture of high expectations and pursuit of academic excellence is having a positive impact on the quality of teaching and the attitudes to learning of pupils……Teaching is well structured and focused on supporting the progress of all pupils.”Principal, Mr Karl Brown, is delighted with the inspection findings and commented, “The outcome of the inspection is fantastic news for our school and the community we serve. The result reflects the hard work of students, staff, the Local Governing Body and the Board of Directors of The Painsley Catholic Academy. This judgement demonstrates the impact of the new strategies being employed, which are designed to secure an outstanding rating.  I thank parents/carers for their ongoing support during this period of change.  Whilst the report is extremely positive, myself and my colleagues intend to take every opportunity to reflect on the findings in order to provide an outstanding education at Blessed William Howard Catholic High School.” The school has published the full report on its website, as well as sharing the key findings with parents and students. Blessed William Howard is further boosted with the forthcoming arrivals of two new Vice Principals in the next few weeks. Mr Dan Vince will join the school from his senior position at the Birmingham Diocese in which he has supported schools in their pursuit of excellence, and Mr Richard Howes, a Senior Leader with a vast experience of school improvement. Mr Bell, Painsley Catholic Academy's Chief Executive Officer, added, "My congratulations to the Principal and his team at Blessed William Howard.  I am delighted with the progress being made at the school and know that the school will go from strength to strength.  These are exciting times for all involved at Blessed William Howard in the pursuit of academic and pastoral excellence."