School etc

St Gabriel's RC High School

St Gabriel's RC High School
Bridge Road

phone: 0161 7643186

headteacher: Mr S Smith Ba Ma Npqh Lle

reveal email:…


school holidays: via Bury council

1047 pupils aged 11—16y mixed gender
1045 pupils capacity: 100% full

520 boys 50%


525 girls 50%


Last updated: June 18, 2014

Secondary — Voluntary Aided School

Education phase
Religious character
Roman Catholic
Establishment type
Voluntary Aided School
Establishment #
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 379809, Northing: 410322
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 53.589, Longitude: -2.3065
Accepting pupils
11—16 years old
Census date
Jan. 16, 2014
Ofsted last inspection
Sept. 12, 2011
Diocese of Salford
Region › Const. › Ward
North West › Bury North › Redvales
Urban > 10k - less sparse
Admissions policy
Main specialism
Science (Operational)
Free school meals %
Learning provider ref #

rooms to rent in Bury

Schools nearby

  1. 0.2 miles Bury Grammar School Boys BL90HN (577 pupils)
  2. 0.2 miles Bury Grammar School Girls BL90HH (817 pupils)
  3. 0.3 miles Bury Church of England High School BL90TS (780 pupils)
  4. 0.3 miles Milltown House BL90EG (62 pupils)
  5. 0.4 miles The Derby High School BL99NH (826 pupils)
  6. 0.4 miles Bury Catholic Preparatory School BL99BH (128 pupils)
  7. 0.4 miles Bury College BL90BG
  8. 0.4 miles Holy Cross College BL99BB
  9. 0.5 miles Alderman Smith Infants' School BL82PU
  10. 0.5 miles Holy Trinity Primary School BL90SB (217 pupils)
  11. 0.6 miles Fishpool Infant School BL99AP
  12. 0.6 miles St Marie's Roman Catholic Primary School, Bury BL90RZ (251 pupils)
  13. 0.6 miles St Luke's CofE Primary School BL99JQ (481 pupils)
  14. 0.7 miles St Chad's Church of England Junior School BL99JQ
  15. 0.7 miles Guardian Angels Roman Catholic Primary School, Bury BL82RH (242 pupils)
  16. 0.8 miles Elton County Nursery School BL81SB
  17. 0.8 miles St Peter's Church of England Primary School BL99PW (266 pupils)
  18. 0.8 miles St Stephen's CofE Junior School BL82DX
  19. 0.8 miles St Stephen's Church of England Primary School BL82DX (222 pupils)
  20. 0.9 miles Elton Community Primary School BL81SB (269 pupils)
  21. 0.9 miles Chantlers Primary School BL82SF (246 pupils)
  22. 0.9 miles Woodbank Primary School BL81AX (289 pupils)
  23. 0.9 miles Elton Community Primary School BL81SB
  24. 1 mile St Thomas Church of England Primary School BL97EY (310 pupils)

List of schools in Bury

St Gabriel's RC High School

Inspection report

Age group 11–16
Inspection date(s) 12–13 September 2011
Inspection number 377234
Unique Reference Number 105367
Local authority Bury
Inspect ion number 377234
Inspect ion dates 12–13 September 2011
Report ing inspector James Kidd

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 11–16
Gender of pupils Mixed
Nu mber of pupils on the school roll 1,040
Appropriate authority The governing body
Chair John Costello
Headteacher Eddie Robinson
Date of prev ious school inspection 01 October 2008
School address Bridge Road
Telephone number 0161 7643186
Fax number 0161 7613469
Email address reveal email: stga…


This inspection was carried out by five additional inspectors. They observed teaching
and learning in 35 lessons taught by 34 teachers and held meetings with students,
pastoral and academic staff, two members of the governing body and the School
Effectiveness Partner. They observed the school's work, and looked at school
improvement planning, safeguarding documents, internal and external student
progress data, specialist status documentation, reports written on behalf of the local

authority and students’ work. Inspectors also analysed 378 questionnaires returned

by parents and carers.
The inspection team reviewed many aspects of the school's work. It looked in detail
at a number of key areas.

  • Whether the school’s view that students’ learning and progress are good is
  • The range and quality of school self-evaluation and the role played by middle
    leaders in gauging school performance.
  • The impact of the school’s work to ensure that assessment is used effectively
    by both pastoral and academic staff as a tool to support and promote students’
  • How specialist status impacts across the school and beyond.

Information about the school

This is an average-sized secondary school, which holds specialist status in science.
Most students are White British but there are an increasing proportion of students of
Polish heritage entering the school. Few students are at early stages of learning
English. The proportion of students known to be eligible for free school meals is well
below average. The percentage of students with special educational needs and/or

disabilities is in line with that usually seen. St Gabriel’s is a nationally-accredited

Healthy School, has Eco-school (silver) status and holds a local authority award for
excellence in careers guidance. It has developed a horticulture, environment, nature
and enterprise (HENE) centre and holds Rural Dimension status for its environmental
work in the United Kingdom and Uganda.

Inspect ion grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is satisfactory and 4 is inadequate

Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms

Inspection judgements

Overall effectiveness: how good is the school? 1
The school's capacity for sustained improvement 1

Main findings

Inspirational leadership at all levels, an ethos in which each individual is valued
equally highly and excellent safeguarding, care, guidance and support are just four

of the hallmarks of this outstanding school. Students are very proud of St Gabriel’s

and know that their teachers and teaching assistants have their best interests at

heart. As one student said, ‘We are always treated with dignity and respect here and
our teachers tell us that we are all head boys and head girls!’ St Gabriel’s is a highly

inclusive school. The academic and personal welfare of students lie at the heart of
everything the school tries to do and this is recognised by parents and carers who
typically comment, ‘St Gabriel’s cares deeply for its students and provides a positive,
open and supportive environment for them.’
From consistently above average attainment on entry to Year 7, students make good
progress overall and achieve outstandingly well to reach high standards by the time
they leave. Indeed, as a result of bespoke support from teachers, learning mentors
and teaching assistants, many with the higher level qualification, students with
special educational needs and/or disabilities make outstanding progress in their

Students’ personal development continues to be outstanding; behaviour and

engagement in lessons are of the highest order and students are proactive in their
support for others, inside school, in local primary establishments and as far afield as
Uganda. Students demonstrate their pride in their school by their high levels of
attendance and their impressive punctuality.
Teaching is good overall and there are examples of outstanding practice in a range
of subjects and in both key stages. The school has made significant improvements in
assessment practice since the previous inspection and both pastoral and academic

staff now use assessment data well to promote students’ learning and progress. Staff

recognise, however, that this use of assessment is sometimes inconsistent and that
on occasions assessment could be used more effectively to determine how well
students are doing and to plan lessons which meet their individual learning needs
even more closely. This is key to raising the progress of all students to be
Ongoing development of the curriculum to keep pace with the needs, interests and
aspirations of students is the order of the day. Indeed, provision here is outstanding

and the school’s environmental programmes have received national recognition.

Moreover, specialist science status has an impressive impact across the curriculum
and in the wider community.

St Gabriel’s is a ‘thinking school’, in which performance in all areas of its life is

continuously under review and which has improved significantly since the previous
inspection. It has an accurate view of its successes and of its areas for development
and staff at all levels of responsibility and experience, at middle leadership level for
example, are actively involved in detailed self-evaluation. As a result, St Gabriel’s
demonstrates an outstanding capacity for further improvement.

What does the school need to do to improve further?

  • Further accelerate students’ learning and progress to be outstanding by:
    ensuring greater consistency in the effective use of assessment data to
    identify how well students are progressing and to plan lesson activities
    which fully meet the specific learning needs of each individual.
Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils 1

Students are punctual to their lessons, have warm relationships with their teachers
and are keen to learn. Even when not closely supervised, they are fully engaged in
their learning and demonstrate good levels of perseverance with their work. They
enjoy working in groups and sharing their ideas with their classmates. During the
inspection, there were several examples of students of all levels of ability challenging
themselves in their learning, in modern languages, for example, and being delighted
when they reached their targets. All groups of students achieve outstandingly well.
Students make good progress overall and reach high standards by the end of Year

11. Students’ achievement is, therefore, outstanding. Attainment in the core subjects

of English, mathematics and science has improved each year and the 2011 GCSE
results in these subjects were the best in the school’s history. In addition, the school
is rightly proud of the high standards students reach in a range of other subjects in
which there is extensive examination entry, modern languages and religious
education, for example. Comprehensive support and a curriculum which is tailored
closely to meet their needs ensure that students with special educational needs
and/or disabilities make outstanding progress.
Students feel safe in school, have a positive awareness of themselves and others
and, as a result of several initiatives developed by specialist status, make an
outstanding contribution to the school and the wider communities. For example, they
take the lead in growing fruit and vegetables in the HENE Centre Eco-garden and, as

‘ambassadors’, they deliver workshops in science, modern languages and

mathematics for pupils in local primary schools. The school council has an enviable
reputation among its constituents and is never afraid to put forward ideas to help the
school improve. Most students are fully aware of what makes a healthy lifestyle and
why a balanced diet and physical fitness are important for their everyday lives. As a
result, there is a high take-up for sporting activities and team games. Students
demonstrate an enviable social conscience and their work for charity is a byword
within school and beyond its walls. They embrace other cultures, heritages and
religions with open minds and the curriculum they follow kindles their interest in
other communities and societies. Their spiritual, moral, social and cultural
development continues, therefore, to be outstanding.

These are the grades for pupils' outcomes

Pupils' achievement and the extent to which they enjoy their learning
Taking into account:
Pupils' attainment
The quality of pupils' learning and their progress 2
The quality of lear ning for pupils with special educational needs and/or
disabilities and their progress
The extent to which pupils feel safe 1
Pupils' behaviour 1
The extent to which pupils adopt healthy lifesty les 1
The extent to which pupils contribute to the school and wider community 1
The extent to which pupils develop workplace and other skills that will
contribute to their future economic well-being
Taking into account:
Pupils' attendance
The extent of pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development 1

How effective is the provision?

Teaching is good overall. A s a result of the outstanding work of the teaching and
learning group and the regular programme of formal and peer observations with
detailed feedback, it is improving apace. There are examples of outstanding teaching
in both key stages and in a variety of subjects. In the best lessons, a Year 11 English
session for example, challenge is both relentless and realistic; students are given
many opportunities to work collaboratively, to act as extra learning resources for
their classmates and to present their work to their peers. In these sessions, students
are fully aware of their targets and of what they need to do to reach them.
Consequently, students are not afraid to challenge themselves and they are proactive
in supporting and promoting the learning of others. Lesson preparation is good but

planning does not always result in activities which meet students’ individual learning

needs closely enough. As a result, a small minority of lessons comprises a ‘one size

fits all’ approach. The school has made good progress since the previous inspection

in improving the effectiveness of assessment as a tool to promote learning and
progress. Developments in this area have been led by the science and technology
departments and academic and pastoral staff are now involved extensively in the
analysis of relevant data to monitor progress and to set targets. However, the
effective use of this data to identify students’ performance accurately is generally
good but some inconsistencies remain across the school.

The outstanding curriculum has a significant impact on students’ personal and

academic development and prepares them exceptionally well for post-compulsory
education and for the world of work. As a result, there are very few students who
leave school without offers of employment, education or training. Many curricular


The grades for attainment and attendance are: 1 is high; 2 is above average; 3 is broadly average;

and 4 is low

developments are led directly by the school’s specialist status. There is a wide range

of cross-curricular and thematic programmes in both key stages which ensure that
students see the links between science and other subjects. For example, students
complete work on the dangers of obesity and the key features of genetic engineering
in English. In modern languages, geography and art, they consider the global impact
of the destruction of rainforests. Students speak highly of the extensive range of
options at the end of Year 9 and of the many vocational programmes they can
follow. Horticulture and care for the environment loom large and the HENE centre is
used regularly by a range of academic departments. Students speak highly of the
excellent range of enrichment and extra-curricular activities, including sport, and the
culture and eco clubs are popular and very well attended.
Students and their parents and carers pay testament to the outstanding quality of
care, guidance and support they receive from all the adults who work with them. In
addition, students themselves are proactive in their support for others, as peer
mentors for example. The gifted pastoral team, teaching assistants and learning
mentors, ensures that all students, including those whose circumstances may make
them vulnerable and those with additional needs can benefit to the utmost from
everything the school has to offer. Students believe that staff are always there if they

need them: in their words, ‘Our teachers and teaching assistants are always

approachable and can often identify when we are having problems even before we
tell them!’ The school has exemplary strategies to manage learners’ transition
between the key phases of schooling and careers advice and guidance have been
recognised as examples of outstanding practice.

These are the grades for the quality of provision

The quality of teaching
Taking into account:
The use of assessment to support learning 2
The extent to which the curriculum meets pupils' needs, including, where
relevant, through partnerships
The effectiveness of care, guidance and support 1

How effective are leadership and management?

The outstanding headteacher provides principled leadership and he is supported to
the utmost by an exceptional senior team and by very well informed and forward-
thinking heads of department and pastoral staff. Staff speak highly of the leadership
and there is a shared vision for development. As a result, staff take on responsibility
willingly and morale is high.
Changes in the staffing structure since the previous inspection have strengthened
leadership at all levels. For example, the leadership, monitoring and evaluation of
teaching are now outstanding. All staff contribute to peer observation and the
programme has led to a greater identification and sharing of good practice. As a
result, teaching has improved significantly since the previous inspection and the
percentage of outstanding teaching is beginning to accelerate.
Governance is excellent and members of the governing body are very well informed
about school performance. They give high levels of support to school development
but also challenge the leadership most rigorously.
There are very close links with parents and carers, who make positive comments

about the school’s work to advise them on how they can support their children’s

learning at home. Specialist status has a major impact through the outstanding
partnerships which the school has developed with a wide range of schools and
institutions at home and abroad. In addition, the school makes the best possible use
of external agencies to support students whose circumstances may make them
vulnerable and those with special educational needs and/or disabilities.
The school promotes equality of opportunity exceptionally well and there is zero
tolerance for discrimination in all its forms. Safeguarding and child protection policies
and procedures are of the highest order. The school places great emphasis on the
regular evaluation of its performance, by middle managers too, in these areas and
staff training is fully up to date. The promotion of community cohesion is
outstanding: the school is a racially-harmonious community, aspects of the

curriculum have been developed to enhance students’ understanding of religions and

cultures which are different to their own and the students from the growing Polish
community are fully included in everything on offer. In addition, there are strong
global links, with Uganda for example.
The school provides outstanding value for money. Finances are controlled very
effectively and are linked closely to school development priorities.

These are the grades for the leadership and management

The effectiveness of leadership and management in embedding ambit ion and
driving improvement
Taking into account:
The leadership and management of teaching and learning 1
The effectiveness of the governing body in challenging and support ing the
school so that weaknesses are tackled decisively and statutory responsibilities
The effectiveness of the school's engagement with parents and carers 1
The effectiveness of partnerships in promoting learning and well-being 1
The effectiveness with which the school promotes equality of opportunity and
tackles discrimination
The effectiveness of safeguarding procedures 1
The effectiveness with which the school promotes community cohesion 1
The effectiveness with which the school deploys resources to achieve value for

Views of parents and carers

There was a 36% return of questionnaires, which is more than double the average
for secondary schools. Most parents and carers are entirely happy with their

children’s experiences at St Gabriel’s and believe that the school keeps them safe

and meets their particular needs. Furthermore, a very large majority is of the view
that teaching is good and that students make enough progress and that the school
deals effectively with unacceptable behaviour. All issues raised were explored with
the school. For example, a small minority of parents and carers does not believe that
the school takes account of their suggestions and concerns. Inspectors examined this
aspect but found no evidence to endorse the view. Indeed, parents and carers who
spoke to inspectors expressed the opinion that the school deals with any concerns
they may have exceptionally well.

Responses from parents and carers to Ofsted's


Ofsted invited all the registered parents and carers of pupils registered at St Gabriel's RC High School
to complete a questionnaire about their views of the school.
In the questionnaire, parents and carers were asked to record how strongly they agreed with 13
statements about the school.
The inspection team received 378 completed questionnaires by the end of the on-site inspection. In
total, there are 1,040 pupils registered at the school.
The table above summarises the responses that parents and carers made to each statement. The
percentages indicate the proportio n of parents and carers giving that response out of the total number
of completed questionnaires. Where one or more parents and carers chose not to answer a particular
question, the percentages will not add up to 100%.

Statements Strongly
Agree Disagree disagree
Total % Total % Total % Total %
My child enjoys school 166 44 190 50 13 3 3 1
The school keeps my child
164 43 188 50 9 2 2 1
The school informs me
about my child's progress
149 39 185 49 13 3 0 0
My child is making enough
progress at this school
137 36 189 50 12 3 1 0
The teaching is good at
this school
153 40 192 51 6 2 0 0
The school helps me to
support my child's learning
122 32 208 55 18 5 1 0
The school helps my child
to have a healthy lifestyle
89 24 220 58 32 8 4 1
The school makes sure that
my child is well prepared
for the future (for example
changing year group,
changing school, and for
children who are finishing
school, entering further or
higher education, or
entering employment)
139 37 193 51 10 3 2 1
The school meets my
child's particular needs
140 37 201 53 7 2 3 1
The school deals effectively
with unacceptable
126 33 186 49 27 7 5 1
The school takes account
of my suggestions and
95 25 209 55 24 6 2 1
The school is led and
managed effectively
153 40 191 51 7 2 2 1
Overall, I am happy with
my child's experience at
this school
174 46 175 46 8 2 5 1


What inspection judgements mean

Grade Judgement Description
Grade 1 Outstanding These features are highly effective. An outstanding
school provides exceptionally well for all its pupils'
Grade 2 Good These are very positive features of a school. A school
that is good is serving its pupils well.
Grade 3 Satisfactory These features are of reasonable quality. A
satisfactory school is providing adequately for its
Grade 4 Inadequate These features are not of an acceptable standard. An
inadequate school needs to make significant
improvement in order to meet the needs of its pupils.
Ofsted inspectors will make further visits until it

Overall effectiveness of schools

Overall effectiveness judgement (percentage of schools)
Type of
Outstanding Good Satisfactory Inadequate
Nursery schools 43 47 10 0
Primary schools 6 46 42 6
14 36 41 9
Sixth forms 15 42 41 3
Special schools 30 48 19 3
Pupil referral
14 50 31 5
All schools 10 44 39 6

New school inspection arrangements were introduced on 1 September 2009. This means that
inspectors now make some additional judgements that were not made previously.
The data in the table above is for the period 1 September 2010 to 08 April 2011 and are consistent
with the latest published official statistics about maintained school inspection outcomes (see
The sample of schools inspected during 2010/11 was not representative of all schools nationally, as
weaker schools are inspected more frequently than good or outstanding schools.
Percentages are rounded and do not always add exactly to 100. Sixth form figures reflect the
judgements made for the overall effectiveness of the sixth form in secondary schools, special schools
and pupil referral units.

Common terminology used by inspectors

Achievement: the progress and success of a pupil in their
learning, development or training.
Attainment: the standard of the pupils' work shown by test
and examination results and in lessons.
Capacity to improve: the proven ability of the school to continue
improving. Inspectors base this judgement on
what the school has accomplished so far and on
the quality of its systems to maintain
Leadership and management: the contribution of all the staff with
responsibilities, not just the headteacher, to
identifying priorities, directing and motivating staff
and running the school.
Learning: how well pupils acquire knowledge, develop their
understanding, learn and practise skills and are
developing their competence as learners.
Overall effectiveness: inspectors form a judgement on a school's overall
effectiveness based on the findings from their
inspection of the school. The following
judgements, in particular, influence what the
overall effectiveness judgement will be.

The school's capacity for sustained
Outcomes for individuals and groups of
The quality of teaching.
The extent to which the curriculum meets
The effectiveness of care, guidance and
pupils' needs, including, where relevant,
through partnerships.
Progress: the rate at which pupils are learning in lessons
and over longer periods of time. It is often
measured by comparing the pupils' attainment at
the end of a key stage with their attainment when
they started.

14 September 2011
Dear Students

Inspection of St Gabriel's RC High School, Bury, BL9 0TZ

Thank you for your warm welcome and your courtesy to us when we inspected your
school earlier this week. We are particularly grateful to those of you who came to
talk to us on Monday lunchtime and to the students who showed us round the HENE
centre on Tuesday. I would now like to tell you what we think about your school.

St Gabriel’s is an outstanding school which has improved each year since the

previous inspection. You continue to make good progress in your studies and you
now reach high standards in many of your subjects. Indeed, those of you who
sometimes find the work difficult make excellent progress as a result of your hard
work and the first-class support you receive from your teachers, learning mentors
and teaching assistants. Your school cares for you exceptionally well and you
respond with excellent behaviour and high levels of attendance. You are always so
keen to help others, as school councillors, peer mentors and ambassadors. Pupils in
the local primary school enjoy the workshops, often in science, which you put on for
them. You receive good and often outstanding teaching and you value the excellent
curriculum, particularly the wide choice of subjects you have in Years 10 and 11 and
the many enrichment and sporting activities in which you take part.
Your headteacher and all the staff are very proud of you and they never tire of trying

to find ways to make St Gabriel’s even better. We have asked them, therefore, to

help you make increased progress by using assessment more effectively to find out
how well you are doing and then plan lessons which meet the exact needs of each
one of you.
Once again, thank you for your kindness to us. We enjoyed talking to you and
watching you learn. You represented your school and your families very well indeed.
Yours sincerely
James Kidd
Lead inspector


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