Saints Peter and Paul Catholic College
phone: 0151 4242139
headteacher: Mrs Wendy White
1677 pupils capacity: 86% full
725 boys 50%
720 girls 50%
Last updated: June 19, 2014
Secondary — Voluntary Aided School
- Education phase
- Religious character
- Roman Catholic
- Establishment type
- Voluntary Aided School
- Establishment #
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 350811, Northing: 386559
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 53.374, Longitude: -2.7408
- Accepting pupils
- 11—18 years old
- Special pupils
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- April 23, 2014
- Archdiocese of Liverpool
- Region › Const. › Ward
- North West › Halton › Kingsway
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- Admissions policy
- Main specialism
- Sports (Operational)
- SEN priorities
- ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder
- Special classes
- Has Special Classes
- Sixth form
- Has a sixth form
- Free school meals %
- Learning provider ref #
- St Joseph's RC High School WA87DW
- 0.3 miles Wade Deacon High School WA87TD
- 0.3 miles Wade Deacon High School WA87TD (1509 pupils)
- 0.4 miles Birchfield Nursery School WA87TH (108 pupils)
- 0.4 miles Ditton Primary School WA87HD (360 pupils)
- 0.4 miles St Bede's Catholic Junior School WA86EL (264 pupils)
- 0.4 miles St Bede's Catholic Infant School WA86EL (214 pupils)
- 0.4 miles Saints Fisher and More High School WA87XW
- 0.5 miles Chesnut Lodge Special School WA87HF (72 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Ditton Nursery School WA88DF (66 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Fairfield Primary School WA86TH (519 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Simms Cross Primary School WA87QS (235 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Ashley School WA87HG (63 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Simms Cross County Junior School WA87QS
- 0.6 miles Simms Cross County Infant School WA87QS
- 0.7 miles Fairfield Infant School WA86TH
- 0.7 miles Riverside College Halton WA87QQ
- 0.8 miles Fairfield High School WA86TE
- 0.8 miles The Bankfield School WA87HU (698 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Ormiston Chadwick Academy WA87HU
- 0.9 miles St Gerard's Roman Catholic Primary and Nursery School WA86DD (204 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Farnworth Church of England Controlled Primary School WA89HS (383 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Farnworth CofE (Aided) Junior School WA89HS
- 0.9 miles Farnworth CofE (Aided) Infant School WA89HS
Saints Peter and Paul
Highfield Road, Widnes, Cheshire, WA8 7DW
|Inspection dates||23–24 April 2014|
|Overall effectiveness||This inspection:||Good||2|
|Previous inspection:||Requires improvement||3|
|Achievement of pupils||Good||2|
|Quality of teaching||Good||2|
|Behaviour and safety of pupils||Good||2|
|Leadership and management||Good||2|
Summary of key findings for parents and pupils
This is a good school.
It is not yet an outstanding school because
| Students’ attainment has risen rapidly in most |
Achievement is good. Students now make
Students make up lost ground and the
subjects, including English and mathematics,
to broadly average levels, in response to the
clear vision and decisive action of the
headteacher, strongly supported by the
senior leadership team.
good progress as they move through the
school. The proportion of students across all
year groups making more than the progress
expected of them is rising rapidly. This is as a
result of good teaching which enables them
to make rapid progress.
majority are now on track to achieve their
targets and many to exceed them. In Years
10 and 11 they achieve at least average
GCSE results. In some subjects, such as
English and art, their results are above
| Behaviour is typically good. Students are keen |
The sixth form is good with students making
In the very short time the headteacher has
The headteacher has won the confidence of
to do well, have good relationships with their
teachers and feel safe in school. Attendance is
broadly average and improving.
been in post, she has acted swiftly and
decisively to improve the quality of teaching
and to adapt the curriculum to better meet
students’ needs and aspirations. This had led
to significant improvements in teaching and
the progress students make.
staff, parents and students alike. The school’s
own evaluation of its performance is accurate
and is based on a rigorous evaluation of
students’ achievement, which in turn identifies
how the school can improve further. Governors
provide a high level of support and challenge
to the school.
| In some lessons, opportunities for students to |
work things out for themselves are too
limited. Inaccuracies in spelling and grammar
are not always picked up, and poorly
presented work is not always challenged.
| The proportion of students gaining the highest |
grades at GCSE in some subjects is not yet
high enough. Opportunities are sometimes
missed to extend the learning, particularly of
the most able, by providing further challenge.
Information about this inspection
- Inspectors observed 45 lessons, of which seven were joint observations with senior leaders.
They also checked students’ work.
- Inspectors had meetings with leaders, teachers and members of the governing body. They also
held discussions with three groups of students from Key Stages 3 and 4 and the sixth form to
gather their views.
- Inspectors took account of 127 responses to the online Parent View questionnaire and 38
responses to the optional Ofsted questionnaire for staff, as well as the school’s own recent
surveys of student and parent views.
- The inspectors looked at a range of documentation including the school’s own data relating to
students’ current achievement, the school’s own evaluation of its work and improvement plans
and records relating to behaviour and attendance and safeguarding arrangements.
|Judith Tolley, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
|Andrew Henderson||Additional Inspector|
|Rebecca Lawton||Additional Inspector|
|Pauline Pitman||Additional Inspector|
|Osama Abdul-Rahim||Additional Inspector|
Information about this school
- The school is much larger than the average- sized secondary school with a sixth form.
- Almost all students are of White British heritage.
- The proportion of disabled students and those who have special educational needs and requiring
extra support through ‘school action’ is above average.
- A lower than average proportion of students has a statement of special educational needs or
extra support because they have been identified as ‘school action plus’, but this varies from year
- The proportion of students supported through the pupil premium is above the national average.
The pupil premium is additional funding for those students who are known to be eligible for free
school meals and those children that are looked after.
- The school offers alternative provision for a small number of students within the local network of
schools and a small number of students in Years 10 and 11 also have access to some vocational
courses provided by the local college.
- The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which are the minimum
expectations for students’ attainment and progress.
- The headteacher has been in post since September 2012.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Improve the quality of teaching so that it is outstanding and thus raise standards further and
ensure more students reach the highest levels particularly in mathematics and science by:
ensuring the most able students are always given an appropriate level of challenge in lessons
increasing the opportunities students have to work things out for themselves in lessons and to
explain their thinking to others
ensuring that students are always given the precise written guidance they need to improve
their work and time to respond
making sure students’ writing is always accurate and presented with care.
|The achievement of pupils||is good|
- Standards at the end of Key Stage 4 have risen since the last inspection, despite some variation
between subjects. The current Year 10 and 11 students are confidently set to improve on the
school’s 2013 results in the proportion achieving five or more GCSEs at grades A* to C, including
English and mathematics.
- Attainment on entry to the school is broadly average and by the end of Years 10 and 11 the
standards students achieved in GCSE examinations were broadly average in most subjects in 2013
examinations, except in mathematics where they were significantly below average. A higher
proportion of students are set to achieve A* to C grades in the majority of subjects than in 2013.
Standards in mathematics have risen significantly and students now make good progress in most
subjects, including in both English and in mathematics, because underperformance has been
tackled successfully and teaching has improved.
- In 2013, the gap between the performance of those students who were eligible for free school
meals and others was larger than nationally found in English and mathematics although it is
closing. Too few of those students made the amount of progress expected of them. Pupil-premium
funding has been used well to support a number of actions taken by the school to improve their
learning and progress so that the gap in achievement, which was up to two grades in mathematics
and English narrowed to one in 2013. The gap continues to narrow rapidly so that students are
now making at least the progress expected of them and more students are now set to exceed their
targets in both subjects.
- The most able students reached high grades in their English, art and separate science
examinations in 2013. In general, however, a below-average number of students reached A* or A
grades in many subjects, including in mathematics and double science. Current students’ progress
indicates that the proportion of students gaining the highest grades is also set to rise across most
subjects to closer to the national average.
- The sixth form is good. Students in the sixth form make good progress and most are now on track
to reach their targets. Their progress is slowed because of underachievement in the past but they
are making up lost ground as a result of good teaching.
- The progress made by disabled students and those who have special educational needs is good, as
a result of the one-to-one support they receive in lessons and in the resource unit. This support is
very well tailored to their needs and enables them to participate fully in activities in lessons.
- The school has a flexible early entry policy for some GCSE examinations that makes a positive
contribution to students’ motivation and achievement. The curriculum is well thought-out and
meets students’ needs and aspirations well. Students following vocational courses at the local
college and with other providers also make good progress.
- Support and intervention for students who enter Year 7 with low literacy skills helps them to settle
in quickly and make rapid progress, reading and writing is promoted well.
|The quality of teaching||is good|
- Teaching has improved significantly across most subjects in the short time since the last inspection
and has resulted in higher standards and in students making swifter progress.
- Students respond very positively when they are challenged to work things out for themselves. For
example, Year 12 students made very swift progress in refining their dance techniques as a result
of very clear guidance and the opportunity to work together to evaluate each other’s performance.
However, sometimes students are not always given the opportunity to develop their ideas or to
demonstrate the strategies they have used to arrive at an answer. As a result, some lack
confidence in thinking things out for themselves or in sharing their ideas with others and this slows
their progress, particularly when they are faced with the demands of AS and A level courses in the
- Year 11 students made rapid progress in clarifying and organising their arguments for an essay
about the feelings of the main character in Arthur Miller’s
A View from the Bridge
as a result of
having to counter the views of a partner and justify their opinions with close reference to the text.
- Year 7 students made rapid progress in understanding the difference between weather and climate
as a result of well-sequenced activities which captured their interest and questioning which
challenged their thinking. Similarly, Year 11 students made outstanding progress in understanding
how to improve their final compositions in art because of very well chosen themes which inspired
them, clear explanations and questioning which increased their confidence. However opportunities
are sometimes missed to further challenge the most able pupils.
- The quality of marking is usually good. Students’ work is checked regularly and in many cases
students enter into a dialogue with the teacher about how to improve their work. However, there
remain instances where students are not given precise guidance about how to improve their work
or errors in spellings and grammar are left unchecked. Sometimes untidy or poorly presented work
is left unchallenged.
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are good|
- The behaviour of students is good. The school’s work to keep students safe and secure is good.
Students are considerate and behave well as they move around the school between lessons, at
break and lunchtime, often in narrow crowded corridors.
- Their behaviour in lessons is typically good. They settle quickly and are usually keen to learn. They
take pride in their appearance and usually come well prepared for lessons.
- When working in pairs and small groups students work well together and, when given the
opportunity to solve problems, display high levels of concentration and interest and are keen to
share their ideas.
- Students have good relationships with each other and with adults. The new behaviour policy
initially resulted in a higher-than average incidence of temporary exclusions but this has decreased
significantly during the past year.
- As a result of changes made to the school day and the work the school has done with parents,
attendance has improved and is now broadly average. There remains a small proportion of
students, however, whose attendance is still persistently below average.
- Students say they feel safe and are confident that the school deals promptly and effectively with
any rare instances of poor behaviour and bullying. They have a good understanding of how to stay
- The school successfully promotes students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development
through a wide range of activities within and beyond the daily curriculum on offer. Students are
able to engage in sporting, artistic, charitable and other events. In addition, students take on
responsibility, for instance, as school counsellors and sixth-form students support younger students
with their reading.
|The leadership and management||are good|
- As a result of the decisive action and very clear direction of the headteacher and members of the
senior leadership team, standards are rapidly rising and increasing numbers of students are
making good progress. Inadequate teaching has been eliminated and the proportion of good and
outstanding teaching has increased significantly since the last inspection because senior leaders
have been very successful in providing the means to spread best practice across the school.
- The leadership and management at all levels has been very effective in improving the quality and
consistency of teaching and learning rapidly across the school, through lesson observations,
feedback, coaching and working together as teams to share best practice. Pastoral and academic
teams work very effectively together to check progress and ensure individual students are
achieving as well as they should and to provide extra support where it is needed.
- Middle leaders’ role in checking the progress and behaviour of students has been strengthened and
they are now fully accountable for raising achievement through improved teaching and curriculum
opportunities, and through their work with parents and external agencies.
- The school is committed to providing equality of opportunity to all its students. After a dip in
results in 2013 the school has adapted its curriculum in order to better meet the needs and
aspirations of its students. The positive impact of the extra help for students joining the school in
Year 7 with low literacy levels in ‘The Greenhouse’ and the alternative provision for some students
in Key Stages 3 and 4 exemplify this commitment. The extra-curricular activities and educational
trips and field courses provided successfully broaden students’ experience and interests.
- Partnerships with the local college and other providers help to provide access to appropriate
vocational courses for a small number of students in Key Stage 4.
- Parents are kept well informed about the school’s work and how best to support their child.
- Staff who responded to the questionnaire are overwhelmingly positive about the way the school is
led and managed. Robust systems of performance management have been introduced and set
teachers appropriate targets, including students’ progress, identify training needs and are linked
closely to pay scales.
- Systems for checking the school’s performance are rigorous and based on the close monitoring of
students’ progress. The school’s own evaluation of its work is accurate, identifying clearly and
concisely what needs to be done to improve further.
- Policies and procedures for safeguarding meet statutory requirements.
- The local authority provides light-touch support for this improving school. The school has been
very active in identifying priorities for improvement and in seeking expert help in these areas.
- The governance of the school:
Governors have a very good understanding of the strengths of the school and what could be
improved. They hold the headteacher to account through a rigorous performance-management
process and provide a high level of support and challenge to the senior leadership team. They
are very well informed about the quality of teaching and students’ progress and are able to ask
searching questions. Financial management and monitoring, including the use of pupil premium
funding and teachers’ pay, is strong and the impact of this is regularly checked.
What inspection judgements mean
|Grade 1||Outstanding||An outstanding school is highly effective in delivering outcomes |
that provide exceptionally well for all its pupils’ needs. This ensures
that pupils are very well equipped for the next stage of their
education, training or employment.
|Grade 2||Good||A good school is effective in delivering outcomes that provide well |
for all its pupils’ needs. Pupils are well prepared for the next stage
of their education, training or employment.
|Grade 3||Requires |
|A school that requires improvement is not yet a good school, but it |
is not inadequate. This school will receive a full inspection within
24 months from the date of this inspection.
|Grade 4||Inadequate||A school that requires special measures is one where the school is |
failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education and
the school’s leaders, managers or governors have not
demonstrated that they have the capacity to secure the necessary
improvement in the school. This school will receive regular
monitoring by Ofsted inspectors.
A school that has serious weaknesses is inadequate overall and
requires significant improvement but leadership and management
are judged to be Grade 3 or better. This school will receive regular
monitoring by Ofsted inspectors.
|Unique reference number||111457|
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
|Type of school||Secondary|
|School category||Voluntary aided|
|Age range of pupils||11–18|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Gender of pupils in the sixth form||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||1,547|
|Of which, number on roll in sixth form||174|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||5 December 2012|
|Telephone number||0151 4242139|
|Fax number||0151 4226500|
You can use Parent View to give Ofsted your opinion on your child’s school. Ofsted
will use the information parents and carers provide when deciding which schools to
inspect and when and as part of the inspection.
You can also use Parent View to find out what other parents and carers think about
schools in England. You can visit www.parentview.ofsted.gov.uk, or look for the link
on the main Ofsted website: www.ofsted.gov.uk