St John Bosco Arts College
phone: 0151 5466360
headteacher: Mrs Anne Pontifex Msc Ed Man Bed Hons
1064 pupils capacity: 80% full
845 girls 100%
Last updated: June 18, 2014
Secondary — Voluntary Aided School
- Education phase
- Religious character
- Roman Catholic
- Establishment type
- Voluntary Aided School
- Establishment #
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 339557, Northing: 395350
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 53.451, Longitude: -2.9116
- Accepting pupils
- 11—18 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- May 1, 2013
- Archdiocese of Liverpool
- Region › Const. › Ward
- North West › Liverpool, West Derby › Croxteth
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- Admissions policy
- Main specialism
- Arts (Operational)
- Investor in People
- Committed IiP Status
- Sixth form
- Has a sixth form
- Free school meals %
- Learning provider ref #
- 0.3 miles De La Salle Humanities College L114SG
- 0.3 miles Stonebridge Lane County Primary School L119AY
- 0.3 miles The De La Salle Academy L114SG (372 pupils)
- 0.5 miles St Teresa's Catholic Infant School L111DB
- 0.6 miles Ellergreen Nursery School and Childcare Centre L112RY (64 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Ranworth Square Primary School L113DG (147 pupils)
- 0.6 miles St Philomena's RC Junior School L96BU
- 0.6 miles St Philomena's RC Infants' School L96BU
- 0.6 miles St Teresa's Catholic Junior School L111DD
- 0.6 miles Lisieux Catholic Infant School L111DD
- 0.6 miles Croxteth Community Comprehensive School L110BD
- 0.6 miles Ranworth Square County Infant School L113DQ
- 0.6 miles Our Lady and St Philomena's Catholic Primary School L96BU (204 pupils)
- 0.6 miles St Teresa of Lisieux Catholic Infant School L111DB
- 0.6 miles St Teresa of Lisieux Catholic Primary School L111DB (458 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Monksdown Junior School L111HJ
- 0.7 miles Monksdown Community Infant School L111HH
- 0.7 miles Wellesbourne Junior School L115BA
- 0.7 miles Wellesbourne Infant and Nursery School L115BA
- 0.7 miles Our Lady and St Swithin's Catholic Primary School L110BQ (214 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Our Lady and St Swithin Infant and Nursery School L110BQ
- 0.7 miles Wellesbourne Community Primary School L115BA (345 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Monksdown Primary School L111HH (344 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Croxteth Community Primary School L110BP (292 pupils)
St John Bosco Arts College
Stonedale Crescent, Croxteth, Merseyside, L11 9DQ
|Inspection dates||1–2 May 2013|
|Overall effectiveness||This inspection:||Outstanding||1|
|Achievement of pupils||Outstanding||1|
|Quality of teaching||Outstanding||1|
|Behaviour and safety of pupils||Outstanding||1|
|Leadership and management||Outstanding||1|
Summary of key findings for parents and pupils
This is an outstanding school.
| Students enter the school with attainment |
They make outstanding gains in their learning
Given their start points the proportion of
In 2012 English did not perform as strongly
Students who are disabled or who have
Teaching has remained outstanding since the
that is well below the national average.
during their time at school and leave with
overall attainment that is well above the
students making expected and better than
expected progress in mathematics is high
when compared to other schools across the
as mathematics but this slight decline has
been reversed. The school’s accurate tracking
data confirm that students have progressed
exceptionally well so far in Year 11,
maintaining an improving three-year trend
special educational needs achieve
outstandingly well also.
last inspection and provides high levels of
challenge for the girls and is often
| The marking of work helps students |
Students are hugely proud of their school and
Attitudes to learning are excellent. Behaviour in
Leaders and managers, including the
The sixth form is good and improving rapidly.
understand how they have done but is a little
variable in its effectiveness across
departments. Guidance on how to improve and
opportunities for students to respond to
teachers’ comments are inconsistent.
appreciate all that the teachers and adults do
for them. They feel very safe and extremely
well cared for.
lessons and around the school is outstanding.
Students are polite, well-mannered, always
keen to do their best and very often help
support one another in lessons.
exceptionally strong governing body, manage
the day-to-day running of the school and its
strategic direction outstandingly well. At the
heart of everything they do is the academic
and personal development of all students.
Students who stay on into Year 12 and 13 are
progressing quickly because of the outstanding
quality of teaching they receive.
Information about this inspection
- Inspectors observed teaching in 42 part-lessons across each key stage. Joint observations were
undertaken in four lessons with senior leaders.
- Meetings were held with girls from each year group, teaching staff, middle and senior leaders,
and representatives from the governing body
- A telephone conversation was held with the school’s Improvement Partner.
- Inspectors scrutinised a wide range of documentation including: students’ work; data relating to
the progress of current year groups and individual students; records of the monitoring of
teaching; minutes of meetings held by the governing body; the school’s self-evaluation
documents and the school development plan. A wide range of policies were scrutinised also.
- Inspectors took account of the school’s own analysis of recent parent responses and staff
responses from those who returned the questionnaires. There were no responses to Parent View
on the Ofsted website.
|Peter Cox, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
|Kathleen Harris||Additional Inspector|
|Gary Kelly||Additional Inspector|
|Linda Clare||Additional Inspector|
Information about this school
- St John Bosco is a slightly-smaller-than-average-sized all girls secondary school with a sixth
- It received Teaching School Status in March 2013.
- The headteacher is a National Leader of Education.
- There is an above-average proportion of girls known to be eligible for the pupil premium. (The
pupil premium is additional funding for those pupils who are known to be eligible for free school
meals, children from service families and those children that are looked after by the local
- The proportion of girls from minority ethnic backgrounds is below average, as is the proportion
of those who speak English as an additional language.
- The proportion of those girls supported through school action is nearly twice that seen
nationally. However, the proportion supported at school action plus or with a statement of
special educational needs is in line with other schools in the country.
- The school meets the current government floor standards that set the minimum expectations for
students’ attainment and progress.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Ensure that students receive regular and consistently high-quality feedback on their work which
aids and supports further progress by:
improving the variety of types of feedback given by teachers
implementing ways in which to ensure that students follow up on advice given and that when
corrections are requested they are revisited and marked.
|The achievement of pupils||is outstanding|
- Students join the school in Year 7 with attainment that is significantly below the national
- Attainment at the end of Year 11 in 2012 was overall significantly above average. The proportion
of girls achieving five or more A* to G grades at GCSE continued the three-year trend of being
significantly above the national average.
- The proportion of those achieving five A* to C grades at GCSE, including English and
mathematics, in 2012 was above average and has remained so for the last three years.
However, there was a decline in English attainment which has since been addressed.
- Accurate monitoring data put the current Year 11 cohort on course to do even better this year in
English and mathematics. Given the low starting points of the students this represents
outstanding progress over time. The proportion of girls making and exceeding the expected
levels of progress is high when compared to schools nationally.
- Those students who are disabled or with special educational needs also make outstanding
progress from their individual starting points because of the excellent support they receive
throughout their time at school.
- Inspection evidence confirms that standards in literacy and numeracy are above average. These
skills are learned extremely well in English and mathematics lessons as well as in other subjects
across the curriculum. Students read a wide range of literature in and out of school. They are
impressively articulate and often present their work to a very high standard.
- Students known to be eligible for free school meals attain results in English and mathematics, as
shown in their average point scores, far in excess of those attending other schools in the
country. Inspection evidence confirms the gap to be narrowing significantly in school between
those believed to be entitled to free school meals and those who are not.
- Students arriving in Year 7 with low reading scores are successfully helped to catch up through
well-targeted and successful support.
- There is a well considered policy for students to enter GCSE examinations in a number of
subjects early, which does not stifle their potential.
- Attainment on entry into the sixth form is below average. Many higher-ability students go
elsewhere to continue their post-16 studies. The progress that students make throughout the
sixth form is good and improving rapidly, helped by the high proportion of outstanding teaching
and the sixth form’s strengthening overall effectiveness.
|The quality of teaching||is outstanding|
- Teaching across all key stages and in all subjects is never less than good and much of it was
seen to be outstanding, confirming the high rates of progress made by students over time. The
teaching of English and mathematics is outstanding and provides students with very secure
understanding and skills in numeracy and literacy. These high-level skills prepare them
exceptionally well for their next stages in life.
- High expectations of teachers and students and excellent classroom relationships allow learning
to proceed at a rapid pace. This was seen in a Year 7 Spanish lesson where all girls were highly
engaged in speaking, listening and reading the language to help describe how they get to
school. During the lesson girls celebrated each other’s achievements and enjoyed the active
learning that was achieved through games, paired work and vibrant teaching.
- Teachers demonstrate expert questioning of their students that checks their understanding and
supports them very well in moving on at speed having secured much knowledge. Teachers plan
the learning in lessons and the range of activities at the right level of difficulty so that students’
abilities, interests and needs are met.
- Students enjoy learning because lessons are lively and pacey with exciting resources and
practical activities laid on that progress learning extremely well. Teachers are often inspirational
and enthusiastic, always wanting the best from their students, who flourish in all subjects and
achieve outstandingly well during their time at school.
- Teaching assistants, who are often highly qualified in the subjects they assist in, provide very
effective support, particularly for those who are disabled or with special educational needs. This
effective support enables these students to progress as well as their peers.
- The school goes the extra mile to include all students no matter what their ability or background.
One young girl spoke of how the school moved lessons to the ground floor, as at that time she
was unable to climb the stairs.
- Students’ communication skills, and particularly oracy, are very well developed.
- High-quality marking exists but there is currently too much variance, both within subjects and
across the school. Students do not routinely respond to teachers’ marking or comments.
- Teaching in the sixth form is outstanding and, as a result, the progress students are making is
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are outstanding|
- Students’ attitudes to learning are exemplary. Behaviour in lessons and around the school is
outstanding. The strong empathy for the feelings of others and how well students respectfully
listen to each other is impressive. Students speak of enjoying their lessons very much.
- They acquire excellent personal skills through a carefully structured programme of study taught
across many subjects. Personal development and confidence of each student are a high priority
for the school. One girl said, ‘I have developed well as a person; I am now more comfortable
- Students feel very safe and well cared for in school. They understand how to stay safe when
using the internet and social media. They consider the school a safe haven and a ‘large extended
family, where teachers never lose hope in you’. They have outstanding manners and have a
clear pride in their school where they feel valued by each other and adults.
- Bullying is infrequent but dealt with promptly and effectively when it does occur. Students
understand the different forms bullying can take and, along with the school, do not tolerate
discrimination of any kind.
- The parents who responded to the school’s questionnaires and the teachers and support staff
who responded to the questionnaire issued during the inspection consider the behaviour of the
girls to be good.
- The police officer who has an office within the school and who works with several other schools
in the community speaks passionately about the high-quality behaviour and attitude of the girls
attending St John Bosco and the outstanding life chances the school provides for them.
|The leadership and management||are outstanding|
- The school is led outstandingly well by the headteacher. She is highly thought of by the
students, who consider her to be an excellent role model, an ‘inspiration to us all’ and an
example of ‘how women can achieve and reach the top of their profession’.
- Along with a highly committed and equally outstanding extended leadership team that offers
fixed-period opportunities for experienced middle leaders to gain experience, the school has
maintained its outstandingness since its last inspection. It successfully demonstrates outstanding
capacity to improve further.
- All leaders, managers and governors demonstrate a tireless energy in ensuring that the high
ambitions are realised. They understand the importance of high-quality teaching and are
relentless in making sure that most of it is outstanding. They do this by regular monitoring of
teaching and developing bespoke training when the needs arise. The quality of teaching judged
by the school in its self-evaluation documents is accurate. The school knows itself extremely
- The outstanding curriculum across all key stages meets exceptionally well the interests, abilities
and needs of all the students. The school goes the extra mile to ensure that individual students’
needs are met. For example, one student is intent on studying engineering at university and the
school have arranged for her to take A-level physics next year at a nearby sixth form as the
school does not offer that subject.
- A well-planned and coordinated approach to social, moral, spiritual and cultural development is
evident across the school. A rich experience of different cultures exists along with a palpable
sense that students understand their moral obligations to society. A strong sense of community
permeates everything the students do and say.
- Teachers, including senior leaders, understand the importance of improving their practice and
accelerating students’ progress even further towards meeting the challenging targets set. It is
understood by all how this links to the management of their performance and any pay
- Some heads of department are relatively new to their posts and have grasped the opportunities
with zeal. They are committed and effective individuals who are very well supported by their
senior colleagues and governors.
- The outstanding achievement of all groups of students, as seen during the inspection and as
shown in the data, demonstrates the school’s full commitment to providing equality of
opportunity for all.
- The local authority has provided effective, additional support to strengthen subjects and help
improve the quality of teaching. This support is ongoing.
- Policies and procedures for safeguarding are exemplary and meet requirements.
- The governance of the school:
The outstanding governing body knows the heartbeat of the school because it clearly
understands the context in which it works, the community it serves and the students in its
care. It knows how the school functions extremely well, including how well students achieve,
because of the rigour with which it holds the school to account in everything it does. No stone
is left unturned in the governing body’s pursuit of excellence. It understands very well the
standard of teaching and fully supports improvement strategies; no one is allowed to become
complacent. It is very clear about how the performance of teaching staff is managed and how
this links to pay progression. It knows how the pupil premium is spent and has a very firm
hold on the school’s finances.
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||104715|
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||Girls|
|Gender of pupils in the sixth form||Girls|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||872|
|Of which, number on roll in sixth form||147|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||4 May 2010|
|Telephone number||0151 5466360|
|Fax number||0151 5485949|