As the Principal of this dynamic school community, I am committed to achieving personal and academic excellence for all students. We promote respect for the individual, while collective responsibility for the good of all. Moreover we aspire to lead our students into adulthood with a strong sense of morality, personal reflection and spiritual embracement. There are many things that we are essentially proud of at St Augustine's Catholic High School:
A distinctive Catholic ethos that supports deep personal faith but also welcomes diversity and differences in beliefs and culture
A dedicated teaching and support staff that monitor and challenge students to achieve their maximum potential.
A learning environment which is modern, well-equipped, resourceful and regularly updated. In addition, sports, creative arts and music are well catered for while student safety is paramount to our existence.
Academic achievement levels that provide young people with the opportunity to experiences higher education at well regarded institutions as well as allowing legitimate pathways into training, apprenticeships and other further education outlets.
Opportunities to travel, observe different lifestyles and cultures, take up new activities and sports, participate in local and national competitions, learn new skills, and develop communication skills while embracing faith and spirituality.
The Ofsted Inspection last May judged the school to be Outstanding in all categories that it measured: Effectiveness of Leadership and Management; Quality of teaching, learning and assessment; Personal development, behaviour and welfare, Outcomes for pupils and 16-19 study programmes. Overall effectiveness was Outstanding. Some of the highlights of the report were:
- The executive principal and head of school exude a determination to enable every pupil to achieve his or her potential. Governors, leaders, staff, pupils and students all share high expectations for pupils’ achievement and their personal development.
- Pupils make outstanding progress and achieve exceptionally well in examinations by the end of Year 11 and the sixth form.
- A ‘learning culture’ is firmly embedded among pupils. In all subjects, pupils are keen to discuss and debate ideas and approaches. They are eager to find out more, and determined to improve. Not a minute is wasted in lessons, and pupils readily continue their enquiries and endeavours out of class.
- Assessment is used very well by teachers and pupils themselves to ensure that pupils have a very clear understanding of what they need to do to improve. Teachers use assessment information exceptionally well to plan activities that build seamlessly on what pupils already know, understand or can do.
- The curriculum is exceptionally rich, offering a very wide range of academic and vocational courses and extra-curricular programmes. The curriculum is tailored closely to meet pupils’ interests, abilities and aspirations.
- A comprehensive careers programme ensures that pupils and sixth-form students are exceptionally well informed about opportunities for their next steps in life.
- Pupils conduct themselves with great maturity in lessons and around the school. High attendance rates are testament to pupils’ enjoyment of school. Rates of persistent absence among disadvantaged pupils are, however, markedly higher than the low rates for other groups.
- 16 to 19 study programmes are highly effective. Students achieve well in their examinations, and their personal development is promoted exceptionally well through no qualification activities and support provided for younger pupils. The school recognises that stronger earlier pastoral support might reduce the number of students who change courses or leave the school at the end of Year 12.
- Leaders maintain a regular and effective review of teaching, learning and pupils’ outcomes. Information from the review cycles allow leaders to intervene or adjust provision to sustain progress at the highest levels.
- Governors make very effective use of information on pupils’ outcomes to hold leaders to account.
Another exciting development for our school community was the designation by the National College of Teaching and Leadership, a branch of the Department for Education, of the school to become a National Teaching School. This is a considerable feat and is a reflection of the consistent standards achieved by the school over the past five years. This will involve the continuation of supporting vulnerable schools which at present are Saint John Wall Catholic school in Handsworth, Birmingham and Cardinal Wiseman Catholic school in north west Coventry. Also, becoming a centre for teacher training using the outstanding teachers and support staff that we have in house and working in conjunction with other teaching schools to create the next generation of teaching to carry the mantle into the future. Finally, we will become a training hub for teaching and support professionals to ensure they are continually refreshed in new practice and technologies as well as developing future leaders especially in Catholic schools. This is an exciting prospect for the school which moves us up to the next level in terms of local, regional and national reputation. As we repeatedly say, Saint Augustine's Catholic High School is more than a high school!
The 2017 GCSE outcomes showed that the school continues to excel on a national level with 80% of students scoring a remarkable grade 4 plus standard in the new 9-1 grading system (the old C grade) for both English and Mathematics. In fact, 65% returned a grade 5 plus (the old B grade) strong pass in English and Mathematics. In addition, all students left our school with at least a C grade in Science which is a magnificent achievement for students and staff. The other subjects never let us down and reflected the quality of specialist subject knowledge and skills that we have in our school community. A full summary of the GCSE examination results is detailed in the website. Well done to students, teachers and support staff, and parents and carers who formed the partnership in Year 9 and carried it through with stunning success. Well done to the class of 2017!
The phenomenal and consistent success of our Sixth Form outcomes was endorsed again this year with the school producing the highest ranking A level results in Worcestershire and probably the Arch Diocese of Birmingham. 100% of students gained 3 or more A Levels while nearly a third returned 4 or more A Levels. From a cohort of 106 students, 93% A/ A* grades or equivalent were achieved. Again, well done to all our students who are now embarking on degree courses at an array of university destinations including Cambridge, Russell group and institutions which offer specialist courses which suit certain students. Also, many students have chosen the apprenticeship route, sometimes higher or sponsored degree course through blue chip companies.
I hope that I have provided you with a brief outline of life at St Augustine’s Catholic High School. By accessing the various pages of this Prospectus, you will learn more and fully understand the dynamics of our school.
Mr A F Quinn BA (Hons) NPQH NLE