Find out what’s been happening over the last term with the latest newsletters from our secondary schools for the Month of November 2021…
Pupils from Catholic schools across Teesside have sent a powerful message to world leaders as they prepare to gather for next month’s crucial United Nations Climate Change Conference.
Children from St Augustine’s and St Gerard’s Catholic Primary Schools in Middlesbrough visited St Mary’s Cathedral in Middlesbrough to give their backing to CAFOD’s Eyes of the World campaign ahead of the Glasgow summit, which is also known as COP26.
Pupils from St Patrick’s Catholic College in Thornaby and St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Middlesbrough also gave their backing to the campaign.
The Catholic aid charity wants to show leaders they will be held to account if they fail to deliver lasting solutions to protect our planet.
Martin Macaulay, executive headteacher at St Augustine’s and St Gerard’s, hopes governments will take far more radical steps than ever before to ensure a sustainable future.
“Throughout their childhood, young people have heard the increasingly stark warnings about the impact of climate change and they are making their voices heard in terms of demanding that world leaders act now,” he said.
“Through the Eyes of the World campaign, young people are directly telling world leaders that they are watching them.
“Our pupils are acting on Pope Francis’ call in Laudato Si’ to care for our world and protect the environment as part of the common good.”
As well as visiting the cathedral, children throughout both schools also took part in assemblies, made posters and wrote prayers and letters.
“I believe that the campaign and the actions of our children will inspire others across the UK to play their part in tackling climate change and wider issues around social injustice,” said Mr Macaulay.
“I hope the voices of the younger generation will be heard so that future generations will inherit the world they deserve. We must not fail them.”
CAFOD Middlesbrough community participation coordinator Carol Cross said she was deeply moved by the children’s concern about the environmental crisis.
“The pupils of St Gerard’s, St Augustine’s, St Patrick’s and St Joseph’s have demonstrated that when we work together we can raise awareness, get our voices heard and bring about change,” she said.
“These schools have been wonderful supporters of CAFOD for many years and it is fabulous to see children taking a stand for what they believe in. Other children and young people from across the diocese have participated in the campaign and raised their concerns too.
“The eyes of the world are on us this year as Britain hosts world leaders for the climate change talks. They will make important decisions that will shape the future of our global family.
“With schools across the UK taking part in the Eyes of the World campaign, we hope the urgency of the climate crisis and the demand for world leaders to take urgent action on vaccine fairness and debt cancellation will be heard.”
Staff and pupils at St Patrick’s Catholic College in Thornaby are celebrating after the school was judged to be Good in all areas by Ofsted, having previously been given an Inadequate rating in 2018.
Inspectors visited the Baysdale Road site on September 14 and 15 and concluded that St Patrick’s is now Good in terms of overall effectiveness, quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development and leadership and management.
The findings mean the school – part of the Nicholas Postgate Catholic Academy Trust (NPCAT) family of 27 schools throughout Teesside and North Yorkshire – is no longer in special measures.
The glowing report says that there have been dramatic improvements in the quality of teaching, welfare and behaviour since the appointments of Michael Burns as executive headteacher and Deborah Law as head of school.
“St Patrick’s Catholic College has improved substantially since its last inspection,” it says. “Pupils are rightly proud of their school. They enjoy attending school.
“Senior leaders have made many changes to make the school better, including changes to the curriculum. The quality of education that pupils receive is good.
“The curriculum is broad and ambitious. It captures the interest of pupils and motivates them to do well. This is leading to pupils knowing and remembering more in most subjects.”
Mr Burns, a former pupil at the school who was born and bred in Thornaby, said it’s a proud day for the whole community.
“I am incredibly proud of the hard work and dedication that staff and pupils at St Patrick’s have shown,” he said.
“The support from our trust, governors, parents and wider community has helped us to rapidly improve our school. In St Patrick’s, Thornaby now has a school our parents, staff and pupils can be rightly proud of.
“Our pupils have shown that despite a pandemic, they can be resilient and as successful as any other child in the country, with school and trust staff working collaboratively to remove all barriers to their learning. St Patrick’s pupils are at the heart of our school family. They have pride, ambition and a determination to face the future.”
The inspectors said behaviour is a strength, with the school’s Catholic ethos supporting pupils’ personal development.
“Strong relationships between staff and pupils mean that pupils feel safe and well cared for. Pupils say that bullying is rare. When it happens, they are confident that adults will resolve it quickly and effectively.
“Leaders have acted with urgency to address previous weaknesses. They have improved the quality of education that pupils receive. Leaders have constructed an ambitious and well-considered curriculum for all pupils.”
The school’s reading curriculum was found to be well thought out and organised, resulting in a love of reading among the 494 pupils.
Support for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) was also found to be effective.
“Lessons are calm, orderly and purposeful. This helps pupils to learn well. Pupils understand what is expected of them. They behave well in and out of lessons.”
The report also praised the school’s careers guidance programme, which it said is “exceptional”.
“Knowledgeable and highly skilled governors and trust leaders know the school well. Staff feel valued and they are proud to work at this school.
“The trust oversees the school’s safeguarding arrangements. Leaders and governors make sure that safeguarding has a high priority.
“Pupils are taught and know how to keep themselves safe in different ways, including when using the internet.”
Trust CEO Hugh Hegarty said: “I am delighted with this news. St Patrick’s pupils and community can be rightly proud.
“Our staff have been magnificent in ensuring that the challenges associated with taking a school out of special measures have been met head-on and all their efforts and persistence has been acknowledged in this report.
“When I asked Michael to take on the role of executive headteacher at St Patrick’s I was acutely aware of his determination to succeed. The news of the Ofsted judgement means so much to Michael, both professionally and personally, and all the praise is deserved.
“I must also pay tribute to the school leadership team and the role played by Deborah Law, the head of school.
“NPCAT directors are confident that the work across its secondary schools is making a difference. Turning a school around that has significant weaknesses is complex and takes time. This report provides further validation that we are on the right course.
“The work of NPCAT senior standards officer Angela White and her team of curriculum directors is making significant differences in the learning experiences of all pupils and this impact can be seen at every layer.”
The report is the latest in a series of inspections chronicling the dramatic improvements since Mr Burns took up his post.
A monitoring visit in December 2019 had said that the new headteacher had made significant steps in a short time and had a clear vision for improvement. It also found that subject directors were improving the quality of the English and maths curriculum.
A further interim report in February said leaders kept a close eye on the wellbeing of vulnerable pupils, while governors met regularly to check leaders’ actions.
A BIG well done to George from St Pius X Catholic Primary School! Your NPCAT family is so proud of you!
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NPCAT has been shortlisted for one of the most prestigious honours in the world of education.
A delegation attended the National Governance Association (NGA) – Outstanding Governance Awards at the House of Commons on Thursday September 9.
The trust – which runs 23 primary and four secondary schools educating more than 9,000 pupils across Teesside and North Yorkshire – was nominated for the Outstanding Vision and Strategy award.
NCPAT’s application outlined how its vision is communicated with stakeholders and across the trust and how it shapes discussions between the governing board and leaders.
“Our trust has a strong vision and mission which is underpinned by highly effective governance, taking account of the best practice core functions of governance at all levels,” said governance lead Fiona Jennings.
“Everything we do aims to create modern facilities to offer the best educational experience for our pupils in a positive atmosphere that reflects and supports family values. Our governance system is a vital pillar of our strategy to achieve this.”
NPCAT’s approach includes a system of link governors who challenge and scrutinise specific areas, governors attending parents’ evenings, feedback through surveys, governor drop-in sessions and training and development opportunities.
“The link governance framework is an excellent example of information sharing and corroboration to ensure the trust vision and mission is being proactively driven forward, supported and challenged,” added Fiona.
Emma Knights, chief executive of the National Governance Association said: “These stories of excellence are vital to avoid the sector just talking about governance when things go wrong. They help underline that governance truly contributes to the improvement and sustainability of our schools.”
Fiona was joined by trust chairman Joe Hughes, chief executive officer Hugh Hegarty, chief operating officer Jim Farquhar and clerk to the board Claire Mitchell at the awards, which took place on the Palace of Westminster’s Terrace Pavilion.
The event was hosted by Angela Richardson MP on behalf of NGA and awards were presented by Baroness Berridge, parliamentary undersecretary of state for the school system.
The 2021 awards are part of NGA’s Visible Governance in Schools Campaign year of action, which seeks to increase awareness and understanding of the role of governance in the school system.
Governing boards, clerks and lead governance professionals will receive recognition for outstanding achievements and practice at the awards, which celebrate the positive contribution good governance makes to education.
I would like to welcome all our pupils back after the summer break. Our staff have been
enjoying some well-deserved time away from school and are now looking forward with
anticipation to this academic year.
The threat from Covid is still very much with us and I would urge everyone to maintain
their vigilance and support the measures that have been set out by the DfE.
The summer has seen extensive capital works across our campus of schools, all aimed
at further enhancing our learning environment. I want to thank all of the Estates Team
who have worked tirelessly to progress the programme within the very narrow window.
I know there will be many opportunities to celebrate our pupils’ learning over the next
twelve months as we continue our journey of further enhancing the life opportunities
for all our young people.
Hugh Hegarty CEO
NPQH | M.Sc. | PGCCGC | B.Ed. Hons.| CTC
Nicholas Postgate Catholic Academy Trust
The recent exam result days have reminded us of the huge sacrifices pupils, teachers and parents have made over the last two years.
We most definitely do not fully understand the impact the restrictions imposed because of Covid have had on our pupils, and every young person and teacher deserves every respect for their dedication and commitment.
We have a team of specialist careers advisors at the trust who have worked extremely hard to ensure every child in Year 11 and Year 13 has access to their preferred pathway.
We have invested significantly in all our secondary schools with some fantastic appointments and capital investments this summer exceeding £2m.
This demonstrates our commitment to ensuring we really do form lives ready to face the future.
Our fantastic A level results and growing sixth form provision further reinforces the message that every pupil can succeed and yet always remember their community, no matter where in this wonderful world they ultimately will study or work.
I hope all of the NPCAT family have a restful end to the summer. We look forward to seeing you all for the start of the new academic year in September.
Hugh Hegarty | CEO
Headteacher of Trinity Catholic College in Middlesbrough Louise Dwyer quoted the great physicist Albert Einstein as she paid tribute to her pupils’ impressive achievements.
“Albert Einstein once said, ’In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity’,” said Mrs Dwyer. “This quotation sums up the journey of the class of 2021 here at Trinity Catholic College. Our Year 11s have spent much of their key stage 4 study working remotely from home.
“However, they have remained focused and driven throughout their time here and we could not be more proud of their hard work and tenacity. We are delighted to see so many of our pupils living out our school mission statement and achieving their potential.”
Deputy head girl Phoebe Teasdale achieved excellent grades against all the odds, having been forced to shield for the whole of Year 11. The former St Edward’s Catholic Primary pupil achieved four grade 9s and a distinction*.
“To do this despite studying from home is a remarkable achievement and a real inspiration to others,” said Mrs Dwyer
“Phoebe has been a fantastic ambassador for Trinity. As well as her involvement in pupil leadership, she has also contributed to the arts through her singing and performances in school productions and liturgies.”
Phoebe added: “I’m elated and relieved. It’s been a challenging year and the support from school has been amazing. I’m coming back to Trinity Sixth Form to study English literature, RE and history.”
Phoebe hopes to go to Oxford University and eventually become a politician.
Former St Bernadette’s Catholic Primary pupil Noah Brooks achieved fantastic results, with eight grade 9s – including English and maths – and one grade 8.
Noah, who is a keen sportsman and was a key member of the school football team, fully deserves his success after five years of dedication and determination. He would like to be a stockbroker or own his own business and is going on to study maths, physics and business.
“Thanks for all the support from my teachers for helping me get where I am,” he said.
James Chadwick achieved grade 9s in English, science, maths, geography and RE, plus two grade 8s.
Former St Augustine’s Catholic Primary pupil James has shown a terrific work ethic and dedication to school life throughout his five years at Trinity.
“Next year I am attending Trinity Sixth form to study maths, physics and geography,” he said. “I am ecstatic for my results and cannot thank my teachers enough.”
Ella Mae Spearing achieved excellent results, with grade 9s in five subjects, including English and maths. Next year she is going to study maths, chemistry and biology at Trinity Sixth Form.
“I really would like to be a surgeon, so my results have enabled me to follow this pathway. When I opened the results I was over the moon. I am completely overjoyed.
“I cannot thank my teachers enough, especially Mr Stockton and Mr Legg and the maths department.”
Libby Springthorpe, one of Trinity’s Year 11 student leaders, was delighted with her impressive results. Libby received four grade 9s, including English language, RE and history. Next year she will begin studying maths, chemistry and biology at Trinity Sixth Form before hopefully studying medicine at university.
“I’m really happy with the results and I cried with joy when I opened them,” she said.
Libby has always shown a wonderful attitude to her studies and her teachers wish her every success in the future.
St Patrick’s Catholic College, Thornaby, head of school Deborah Law praised pupils for focusing on their studies and showing such resilience and maturity in difficult times.
“We are delighted with our pupils’ individual achievements throughout the last two GCSE years,” said Miss Law. “They have been on a unique journey and without doubt have faced a variety of significant challenges along the way.
“We are incredibly proud of how the pupils faced each hurdle with strength and determination in order to achieve the results they have received today.
“The pupils remained focused throughout their studies and adapted to online learning with sheer resilience, commitment and maturity.”
Executive head Michael Burns added: “Every individual pupil has developed skills and knowledge that will remain with them for life.
“We will continue to offer them support as they move on to their new destinations and we thank parents and carers for their support throughout these unprecedented times.
“All the staff of St Patrick’s Catholic College and the Nicholas Postgate Catholic Academy Trust wish our pupils the very best as they embark on their exciting futures.”
Former St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School pupil Matthew Lees has been a high performer throughout his time at St Patrick’s, always showing a mature attitude and articulating his views with confidence. Matthew has achieved results to be proud of in his GCSEs, with grades 8 and 9 in his science and Maths. He has also been awarded the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) qualification.
“I look forward to using my GCSE success to continue with further education in the sciences field,” said Matthew, who has his sights set on a career in physics. Massive thanks to all the teachers – I couldn’t have achieved these grades without their continued help and support.”
Francesca O’Kane, another former St Patrick’s Catholic Primary pupil, is elated after achieving grade 9s in RE and geography, and a Level 2 distinction in sport science, as well as the EBacc.
Francesca has been an outstanding role model for younger pupils and is also a keen sportswoman, who has represented the school in many events.
“I’m lost for words – hard work pays off!” she said. “These results have really made me happy, as I can now continue and complete my A levels in further education. I enjoyed school and miss it so much. I appreciate all the help and support from my teachers and want to thank them all a lot.”
Former St Patrick’s Primary pupil Eden Trotter was delighted after achieving a grade 9 in English and History and a grade 8 in RE and art.
“I am really proud of my results and want to continue studying English literature and history at A-level,” she said. “I don’t know what I want to do in my future but I am overjoyed that these results can drive me on further to achieving more.”
Conscientious and hardworking pupil Amina Mazhar is on course to achieve her ambition of becoming a paediatrician after achieving a grade 7 in maths and a grade 8 in science.
“I have achieved higher than I ever imagined and am overjoyed,” she said. “I’m grateful for all the hard work and support the teachers have put in to help me achieve these grades and set me up for the future.”
Jack Humphreys, a former Christ the King Catholic Primary pupil, was delighted after passing all his subjects. Jack has been a huge asset to the St Patrick’s community, taking a lead role in charity events and attending the annual Lourdes pilgrimage.
“I am buzzing with my grades and wasn’t expecting to achieve all that I have,” said Jack, who would like to be an electrical engineer. “I am so happy that these results will open more career doors for me. “Thanks to all the staff who have supported and guided me through the journey.”
“In my first year as St Peter’s head of school, I have been blown away by the resilience, adaptability and strength of character shown by all St Peter’s pupils, but particularly those in Year 11.
Year 11 is known to be a highly challenging academic year, but none more so than for the Class of 2021. This has been a year of considerable disruption, change and uncertainty, which has been most acute for those in their exam year.
I am extremely proud of the results our pupils have worked so hard for, but also of the personal qualities they have developed.
This year is reminiscent of a passage from Romans (5:3-5) “We also celebrate in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
Stephanie Garthwaite, head of school
“It’s a great honour to be celebrating these excellent results with our Year 11 pupils. We look forward to seeing the exciting paths the class of 2021 take as they move onwards, knowing they will remain forever a part of the St Peter’s family.”
Michael Burns, executive head
Essie Croce, a former pupil of St Margaret Clitherow’s Primary School, has been an outstanding achiever throughout her time at St Peter’s.
She is celebrating grade 9s in English literature, English language and RE, grade 8s in art, history and maths and an 8-7 in combined science. She also achieved the EBacc qualification.
Along with her twin, Tilly, Essie has been a key member of St Peter’s highly successful netball team, playing with key stage 4 pupils from Year 8 and showing tremendous skill and talent. She has represented the school in many ways, most recently as head girl.
Essie now intends to study A-Levels in English literature, psychology and PE before going on to a career in sports psychology
“I am over the moon with my results and so surprised,” Essie said. “It hasn’t been easy over the last five years, but I have loved every minute of it. Thank you for everything and getting me to where I am today.”
Franklin Jay Northridge joined St Peter’s from St Gabriel’s Catholic Primary School.
Since then he has represented the school football team and has been head boy throughout Year 11.
Franklin’s grades include grade 8s in English literature, English language and RE, grades 8-7 in combined science, grade 7 in maths and history and a Level 2 distinction in BTEC Sport.
He now intends to study A-Levels in biology, history and English literature and would love to become a barrister.
“I want to thank St Peter’s for everything they have done for me,” he said. “I wish my classmates the best of luck for the future.”
Isabel Willet joined St Peter’s from St Margaret Clitherow’s Catholic Primary and has been an outstanding pupil throughout her time at the school.
She achieved grade 9s in art, geography, RE and English language and grade 8s in biology, chemistry, French, maths and English literature, as well as the EBacc qualification.
Isabel intends to study A-Levels in art, biology and psychology.
“I am really happy with my results,” said Isabel. “I have enjoyed my time at St Peter’s and want to say thank you to the staff for being so helpful.
“Well done to my classmates who have all worked really hard and deserve good results.”
Zainab Zahid has represented the school at netball as well as being a prefect in her final year. She has been an outstanding pupil throughout her time at St Peter’s and this is reflected in her results.
These include grade 9s in RE, biology, chemistry, physics, geography, English language and English literature, grade 8s in maths and French and an Level 2 distinction* in BTEC Sport.
Zainab will go on to study A-Levels in chemistry, biology, physics and maths as she looks towards a career in medicine or dentistry.
“My time at St Peter’s has flown by, but every moment was special and I will never forget it,” she said.
“Hard work is the key to success but without the staff I would only be halfway to where I am now. Thank you and good luck to everyone for the future.”