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St Philip Howard celebrates 'good' Ofsted report

Head teacher Louisa Morris with some of her pupils.

St Philip Howard Catholic Voluntary Academy is celebrating after being graded 'Good' in all areas by Ofsted.

Inspectors visited the Glossop secondary school over two days in October and stated in their report that the quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, leadership and management were all ‘Good’.

The overall effectiveness of the school, which received a grade of ‘Requires Improvement’ at its last inspection in January 2018, was also judged to be ‘Good’.

The report highlighted a number of positives including pupils’ pride in their school, the ‘ambitious’ curriculum and the work done by leaders to bring the school community together.

Inspectors said: “In almost all subjects, pupils follow a course of learning that builds steadily on what they already know towards ambitious end points. Curriculum leaders consider carefully the order in which they teach the subject content so that pupils know more and remember more over time.

“Pupils achieve increasingly well in almost all subjects. Most teachers make appropriate choices about how to teach the curriculum. They use their strong subject expertise to check pupils’ knowledge and understanding before moving on.”

Praise was also given to the St Ralph Sherwin Catholic Multi Academy Trust, which is made up of 25 schools including St Philip Howard, and the local governing body.

Inspectors said: “The Trust and the local governing body provide leaders with close support and challenge. Staff benefit from training provided by the Trust to improve their practice. Staff appreciate how considerate leaders are of their well-being and workload. They are proud to work at the school.”

The report praised leaders’ strong values which focus closely on doing the best for each pupil.

“The school has improved a lot since its previous inspection. Leaders’ commitment ensures that all pupils benefit from a good quality of education. They have made sure that the curriculum is ambitious for all pupils. Pupils learn a broad range of subjects,” inspectors said.

They said that pupils got on very well together and showed others kindness and respect.

“Pupils know that staff care about them and want them to be successful. They appreciate the support that staff give them and their families, particularly in response to the impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Staff have high expectations which most pupils respond to positively. The school is calm and orderly. Well-established classroom routines create an environment where pupils can learn,” inspectors said.

The report also highlighted work done by pupils who regularly give back to their local community.

It said: “For example, they support a local care home for the elderly and donate money to a nearby well-being project, as well as raising funds for charities further afield. Many pupils take advantage of a rich variety of extra-curricular activities, including sport, music, art, gardening and cooking clubs. Parents and carers are overwhelmingly positive about the school. One parent summed up the views of others: ‘Leaders have transformed the school into a nurturing, aspirational environment where pupils can flourish.’”

Inspectors noted that arrangements for safeguarding were effective and pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) follow the same curriculum as their peers. They said that: ‘These pupils are well motivated, thanks to the effective support they receive from staff.”

Louisa Morris, head teacher at St Philip Howard CVA, said: “I am absolutely delighted that Ofsted have recognised the hard work and commitment of the entire SPH community. We have been on a journey of continued improvement and both staff and pupils are immensely proud of the outcome. I would like to thank our parents and carers whom have given me their overwhelming support since taking up the Headship in September 2015." 

Sean McClafferty, Chief Executive of the St Ralph Sherwin Catholic Multi Academy Trust, said: “As a Trust, we are all hugely proud of this outcome. For anyone who knows the school well this will not have come as a surprise. Staff, pupils and governors, supported by parents, have worked incredibly hard over a number of years to achieve this ‘Good’ judgement. Under the excellent leadership of Louisa Morris, St Philip Howard will continue to go from strength to strength.”

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