Cardinal Hume Catholic School

Name Cardinal Hume Catholic School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
Inspection Date 14 January 2014
Address Old Durham Road, Beacon Lough, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, NE9 6RZ
Phone Number 01914877638
Type Academy
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1445 (46% boys 54% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 19.2
Academy Sponsor Bishop Wilkinson Catholic Education Trust
Local Authority Gateshead
Percentage Free School Meals 13.7%
Percentage English is Not First Language 7.4%
Persisitent Absence 7.9%
Pupils with SEN Support 6.3%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about this school

Cardinal Hume Catholic School converted to become an academy school in February 2012. When its predecessor school, Cardinal Hume Catholic School, was last inspected by Ofsted, it was judged to be outstanding. It is situated in Gateshead and is larger than most other secondary schools. Students come from a wide area with some bussed in from outlying wards. The school is part of the Hexham and Newcastle Diocese and sits within the Deanery of East Gateshead. The highest proportion of students come from a White British background. There is a small and growing proportion of students for whom English is an additional language. The headteacher is a national leader of education (NLE) and the school has five specialist leaders of education (SLE). Together they support Gateshead local authority, a network of schools in the north-east of England and some in other parts of England. The headteacher is also executive headteacher of another secondary school. The school holds mathematics and computing specialist status to support its provision and curriculum. The school has previously entered some students early for GCSE. The school supports the teaching of some students from Gateshead College by integrating them into some lessons in the sixth form. The proportion of those eligible for the pupil premium is slightly above average. The pupil premium is additional funding provided by the government to support students known to be eligible for free school meals, those in local authority care and the children of service families. The school currently does not make use of alternative provision for students and has its own internal exclusion unit to support good behaviour and attitudes. The proportion of students with special educational needs supported through school action is well above average. The proportion of students supported through school action plus or with a statement of educational needs is below average. The school exceeds the government’s current floor standards, which set the minimum expectations for students’ attainment and progress.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is an outstanding school. Cardinal Hume Catholic School prepares its students very well for their future by nurturing them into caring and highly educated individuals. All groups of students, regardless of their background, make outstanding progress and end up with GCSE results well above those typically found nationally. Leaders continually strive for the very best in teaching, literacy and mathematics and this drive for excellence is proving very successful. However, the proportion of outstanding teaching in Key Stage 3 is not as high as in other key stages. Students’ work is marked regularly and thoroughly. It informs them well on how they can develop their understanding of subjects. Teachers place great importance on their own abilities to excel in the classroom and regularly take part in activities to enhance their skills. They know their subjects well and students respond to this expertise by having full confidence in what they are being taught. Students are extremely mature and confident; because of the trust they have in staff, they are happy to seek support and guidance both in their studies and in their personal lives. The school’s ethos supports this extremely well. Parents are overwhelmingly positive about the school. This is supported by staff who feel that school leaders do the very best for them. Students overwhelmingly feel safe at school. They know all staff within their school will do the very best for them and ensure that they are safe at all times. There is an obvious nurturing ethos within school. Both staff and students show mutual admiration and respect for each other and this results in a very positive atmosphere around the school. Staff are very proud of their school and its leaders. This is demonstrated by their comments, such as ‘Staff morale is great with everyone working towards a common goal’ and ‘It’s an absolute pleasure to work here.’ There is a relentless focus to improve the experience all learners have of all subjects and extra-curricular opportunities due to the drive by all leaders and staff to deliver the very best they can for their students. However, the progress of students in a few subjects is not as strong as in the majority. The sixth form is outstanding. Students are prepared well for their next stages in life. The curriculum strongly supports their development and the vast majority go onto work or higher education. Governors and senior leaders set themselves very high targets. They relish external challenge and respond well to it. Procedures for monitoring the quality of teaching are robust and effecting further improvement.