School etc

St John Fisher Catholic High School

St John Fisher Catholic High School
Baytree Road

phone: 01942 510715

headteacher: Mr R Ward


school holidays: via Wigan council

884 pupils aged 11—16y mixed gender
1078 pupils capacity: 82% full

470 boys 53%


415 girls 47%


Last updated: June 18, 2014

Secondary — Voluntary Aided School

Education phase
Religious character
Roman Catholic
Establishment type
Voluntary Aided School
Establishment #
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 356877, Northing: 406969
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 53.558, Longitude: -2.6524
Accepting pupils
11—16 years old
Census date
Jan. 16, 2014
Ofsted last inspection
Nov. 9, 2010
Archdiocese of Liverpool
Region › Const. › Ward
North West › Wigan › Wigan West
Urban > 10k - less sparse
Admissions policy
Main specialism
Arts (Operational)
High performing leading options
Leading Edge
Free school meals %
Learning provider ref #

rooms to rent in Wigan

Schools nearby

  1. 0.1 miles Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School WN67RH (444 pupils)
  2. 0.1 miles Pupil Support Centre WN67PT
  3. 0.2 miles Beech Hill Community Primary School WN67PT (223 pupils)
  4. 0.3 miles Wigan St Andrew's CofE Junior and Infant School WN67AU (205 pupils)
  5. 0.3 miles Gidlow Middle School WN67PQ
  6. 0.6 miles Standish Lower Ground St Anne's CofE Primary School WN68JP (118 pupils)
  7. 0.9 miles Scot Lane Community Primary School WN50UE
  8. 0.9 miles The Deanery Church of England High School and Sixth Form College WN11HQ (1299 pupils)
  9. 1 mile Woodfield Primary School WN12NT (210 pupils)
  10. 1 mile Marsh Green Primary School WN50EF (219 pupils)
  11. 1 mile Wigan and Leigh College WN11RS
  12. 1 mile Wigan UTC WN11RP (59 pupils)
  13. 1.1 mile Mab's Cross Primary School WN11XL (455 pupils)
  14. 1.1 mile St Mary and St John Catholic Primary School WN11XL (210 pupils)
  15. 1.1 mile St Edward's Catholic Primary School WN50UA
  16. 1.1 mile Saint Thomas More Catholic High School WN50UQ
  17. 1.1 mile Kingsway School WN12AA
  18. 1.1 mile Mere Oaks School WN12RF
  19. 1.1 mile The Beechwood Centre WN11UR
  20. 1.2 mile St Mark's CofE Primary School WN59DS (192 pupils)
  21. 1.3 mile Douglas Valley Nursery School WN13SU (88 pupils)
  22. 1.3 mile PEMBEC High School WN59XL
  23. 1.3 mile Montrose School WN59XN
  24. 1.3 mile Montrose WN59XN

List of schools in Wigan

St John Fisher Catholic High School

Inspection report

Unique Reference Number 106535
Local Authority Wigan
Inspect ion number 355969
Inspect ion dates 20–21 October 2010
Report ing inspector Paul Chambers HMI

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 955
Appropriate authority The governing body
Chair Mr D Mallin
Headteacher Mr Richard Ward
Date of prev ious school inspection 27 November 2007
School address Baytree Road
Springfield, Wigan
Lancashire WN6 7RN
Telephone number 01942 510715
Fax number 01942 519039
Email address reveal email: enqu…
Age group 11–16
Inspect ion dates 20–21 October 2010
Inspect ion number 355969


This inspection was carried out by one of Her Majesty's Inspectors and four additional
inspectors. The inspectors observed 35 lessons, each taught by a different teacher, and
held meetings with groups of students, governors and staff. They observed the school's
work and looked at a range of documentation, including improvement plans and the
school's monitoring data, and read responses to 404 parental/carer questionnaires.
The inspection team reviewed many aspects of the school's work. Inspectors looked in
detail at the following:

  • Are the improvements in GCSE results sustainable, given the progress of current
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses in teaching and does the school have an
    accurate view of them?
  • Has underachievement in mathematics been eliminated and are improvements
  • What aspects of leadership and management have contributed most to improving
    outcomes for students in 2010?

Information about the school

St John Fisher is a secondary school of average size, serving mainly the Roman Catholic
communities of Wigan and the surrounding areas. The proportion of students with special
educational needs and/or disabilities is below average, but the proportion with a
statement of special educational needs is broadly average. The proportion of students
known to be eligible for free school meals is average. The proportion of students from
minority ethnic groups is much lower than in most schools. The school has specialist
status in performing arts, is a Leading Edge school and holds a number of awards,
including a bronze award for Investors in People.

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? 2
The school's capacity for sustained improvement 2

Main findings

St John Fisher is a good school where students achieve well. Students show excellent
standards of personal development and take full advantage of the many extra-curricular
opportunities on offer, particularly in sport and the performing arts.
Good teaching and excellent care, guidance and support combine well so that students
make good progress in their academic work. Students enter the school with attainment
that is broadly average and reach levels of attainment at GCSE that are above average.
Current students make good progress in lessons and the school's monitoring data show
that the improved results in 2010 can be sustained. Within this picture of above-average
attainment, results in recent years have varied more than would be expected, both from
year to year and between subjects.
The school demonstrates good capacity to improve. In addition to the improved results in
2010, when most subjects met challenging targets, the school met its agreed attendance
targets. Self-evaluation at all levels is accurate and the actions taken to address areas of
weakness have had a clear impact. Since the last inspection, the use of data to monitor
progress and target interventions has improved, as has the quality of support for students
who are falling behind. The quality of care, guidance and support has also improved and is
now outstanding.
The quality of teaching and learning is good because the teachers know the students well
and promote high expectations of all. As a result, the students respect and appreciate
their teachers, relationships are very good and behaviour is excellent. The students
respond well to the range of learning activities that they face; they offer answers readily
and work well whether individually or in groups. In the lessons where progress is
satisfactory rather than good, the teachers sometimes take insufficient account of prior
knowledge and students of different abilities undertake the same tasks. On other
occasions, the teachers miss opportunities to monitor the progress of individuals during
lessons or to provide feedback on students' day-to-day work.
Recent changes to the curriculum have addressed the need to provide a broad range of
courses throughout the school. For example, the students appreciate the opportunity to
study three separate sciences and additional vocational options. The school has clear plans
to develop the curriculum further and to evaluate the impact of recent changes, and these
plans provide an appropriate focus for improving provision.
The school's specialist status makes a strong contribution to provision and students'
outcomes. The students' achievements in the specialist subjects, particularly art and
drama, are among the best in the school. The students meet challenging targets in their
examinations and increasing numbers are opting to study subjects within the performing
arts specialism. The specialism also helps the students to gain considerably in their

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

personal development, such as when large numbers contribute to school productions.
Joint use of the school's facilities helps to strengthen links with the local community.

What does the school need to do to improve further?

  • Raise attainment and increase progress in all subjects to match those in the best
  • - ensuring that teachers monitor students' progress in lessons and the quality of
    written work more effectively
  • - ensuring that teaching takes full account of students' prior knowledge and the full
    range of abilities in the class.
  • Develop the curriculum further, including consolidating and evaluating recent
    changes, with a focus on meeting the needs of all.
Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils 1

Attainment has fluctuated rather than risen steadily but, overall, students reach standards
that are above national averages. For example, in 2010, unvalidated results indicate that
59% of students gained five or more good GCSEs including English and mathematics. The
students' achievement is good. All groups of students, including those with special
educational needs and/or disabilities, make good progress in relation to their starting
points. The students progress well in English and science; they make satisfactory progress
in mathematics, where attainment is broadly average. The students have positive attitudes
to learning and many benefit from opportunities to develop their literacy skills through
discussion and analysis of sample texts.
The students have an excellent understanding of how to keep themselves and others safe
in situations of potential risk. They, together with parents and carers, understand and
appreciate the measures taken to ensure their safety in school, such as the use of CCTV
cameras, visitor badges and site security. The students' behaviour is outstanding, both in
lessons and around the school. The students treat each other and the staff with respect
and agree that any unacceptable behaviour is dealt with quickly and effectively. The
inspectors' positive judgement on behaviour is supported by parents and carers and the
school's data showing low numbers of exclusions in recent years. The students show an
impressive understanding of the many factors affecting their health and well-being. Many
take advantage of the healthy options available at lunchtime and large numbers
participate in extra-curricular activities such as sport, dance and drama. The school's
Catholic ethos contributes strongly to the students' excellent social, moral, spiritual and
cultural development. For example, the students are able to empathise with other people's
feelings and interests and show a strong sense of what is right and wrong.
The students show good skills that prepare them for the world of work. Attendance is
consistently above average and punctuality is good. Most students finishing Year 11
continue their studies in college and the proportion of recent leavers not in employment,
education or training is very low. Examination results suggest that the students attain
good levels of key skills.

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

These are the grades for pupils' outcomes

Pupils' achievement and the extent to which they enjoy their learning 2
Taking into account:
Pupils' attainment¹
The quality of pupils' learning and their progress 2
The quality of learning 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 lifestyles 1
The extent to which pupils contribute to the school and wider community 2
The extent to which pupils develop wor kplace and other skills that will contribute to
their future economic well-being
Taking into account:
Pupils' attendance¹
The extent of pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development 1


The grades for attainment and attendance are: 1 is high; 2 is above average; 3 is broadly average; and 4

is low

How effective is the provision?

The teaching is good. The large majority of lessons seen during the inspection were good
or better; all were at least satisfactory. Lessons move at a good pace, the students remain
interested and are on task throughout. In the best lessons, the teachers are aware of
varying ability levels in the class and plan accordingly; they set work that provides
challenge for all and help all students to learn at a good rate. On a few occasions, the
pace of learning was slower because the students were all expected to complete the same
tasks or the teacher missed opportunities for the students to work independently or in
groups. The use of assessment is satisfactory. The teachers monitor effectively the
students' progress over time and are able to identify students who are falling behind.
However, the quality of in-class monitoring and day-to-day marking is variable, resulting in
some poorly-presented work.
The curriculum, which includes a good range of options in science, languages and the
arts, caters well for the students' needs. The broadly traditional courses at Key Stage 3
have been enhanced by the introduction of courses promoting personalised learning and
thinking skills, together with the opportunity to gain accreditation in dance. In addition,
the students are beginning to benefit from a wider range of vocational courses in Key
Stage 4. The leaders and managers accept that it is too early to assess fully the impact of
these changes. Support for learning is strong. For example, improved revision
arrangements last year contributed to a marked improvement in examination

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

performance, particularly in mathematics. These classes are now established as part of
school practice and have high take-up rates. Enrichment opportunities are many and
varied. High take-up figures for activities connected with drama productions, sports teams
and a wide variety of interest clubs demonstrate the effectiveness of extra-curricular
The students value very highly the outstanding care, guidance and support that the school
offers and thrive in the school's calm and supportive environment. They are taught how to
care for each other, how to listen and how to give support to those in need. Strong links
with outside agencies help to broaden the guidance and support offered. The leaders' and
managers' work in partnership with other schools has successfully provided alternatives to
school exclusion and, as a result, exclusion rates are low. The inspectors scrutinised case
study evidence that demonstrates how well the school caters for individual needs and
particularly the needs of the most needy students. Arrangements for transition into the
school and into the next stage of education or training are excellent.

These are the grades for the quality of provision

The quality of teaching 2
Taking into account:
The use of assessment to support learning
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 leaders and managers have used targets effectively to drive up standards of
attainment, with the provisional 2010 results being the highest in the school's history.
Actions to address recent underachievement in mathematics, including support from
outside the school and closer monitoring of students' progress, have had notable success.
The school's records, building on accurate forecasts of the 2010 results, suggest that
recent improvements can be sustained, including in mathematics. The teaching staff is
well motivated; they support the school and its leaders. The leaders and managers have
an accurate view of the school, including the strengths and weaknesses of teaching.
Processes to monitor teaching and learning and develop teaching skills are strong;
processes to monitor the use of assessment are satisfactory. The school promotes equal
opportunities effectively. All groups of students are making good progress and the
inspectors found no evidence of consistent underachievement by any particular group.
Members of the governing body have a good understanding of the school's performance in
relation to other schools and its key priorities for improvement. Their overview of
safeguarding ensures that the school's procedures meet all requirements. The school

promotes community cohesion well. For example, the school's Catholic ethos underlies its

provision but teachers make clear attempts to promote understanding of other faiths.
Links with schools in other parts of the world are helping the students to understand lives
in circumstances very different from their own. The school engages with parents and

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

carers well and the very large majority feel that their views are taken into account.
Regular reports on students' progress and newsletters help those connected to the school
to feel well informed. The leaders accept that development of the school website can
strengthen the way that information is shared, such as providing access to school policies,
offering clearer channels of communication with governors and helping parents and carers
to provide better support for learning.

These are the grades for leadership and management

The effectiveness of leadership and management in embedding ambit ion and driving
Taking into account:
The leadership and management of teaching and learning
The effectiveness of the governing body in challenging and support ing the
school so that weaknesses are tackle d decis ively and statutory responsibilities met
The effectiveness of the school's engagement with parents and carers 2
The effectiveness of partnerships in promoting learning and well-being 2
The effectiveness with which the school promotes equality of opportunity and tackles
The effectiveness of safeguarding procedures 2
The effectiveness with which the school promotes community cohesion 2
The effectiveness with which the school deploys resources to achieve value for money 1

Views of parents and carers

The proportion of parents and careers who contributed their views to the inspection team
through the questionnaire was higher than average. A very large majority of replies
indicate positive views of the school. The views of parents and carers were particularly
useful to the inspection team in coming to outstanding judgements for students' safety
and behaviour.

Responses from parents and carers to Ofsted's questionnaire

Ofsted invited all the registered parents and carers of pupils registered at St John Fisher Catholic 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 404 completed questionnaires by the end of the on-site inspection. In total,
there are 953 pupils registered at the school.
The table above summarises the responses that parents and carers made to each statement. The
percentages indicate the proportion 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 Strongly
Total % Total % Total % Total %
My child enjoys school 148 37 233 58 16 4 4 1
The school keeps my child
200 49 195 48 6 1 1 0
My school informs me about
my child's progress
169 42 209 52 15 4 4 1
My child is making enough
progress at this school
153 38 218 54 23 6 3 1
The teaching is good at this
173 43 206 51 16 4 2 0
The school helps me to
support my child's learning
141 35 227 56 20 5 4 1
The school helps my child to
have a healthy lifestyle
127 31 249 61 19 5 5 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
150 37 223 55 11 3 4 1
The school meets my child's
particular needs
154 38 222 55 17 4 5 1
The school deals effectively
with unacceptable behaviour
171 42 204 50 20 5 3 1
The school takes account of
my suggestions and concerns
121 30 235 58 29 7 2 0
The school is led and
managed effectively
172 42 217 54 5 1 2 0
Overall, I am happy with my
child's experience at this
194 48 191 47 15 4 3 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' needs.
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 pupils.
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 improves.

Overall effectiveness of schools

Overall effectiveness judgement (percentage of schools)
Type of school Outstanding Good Satisfactory Inadequate
Nursery schools 58 36 4 2
Primary schools 8 43 40 9
Secondary schools 10 35 42 13
Sixth forms 13 39 45 3
Special schools 33 42 20 4
Pupil referral units 18 40 29 12
All schools 11 42 38 9

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 are for the period 1 September 2009 to 31 March 2010 and are the most
recently published data available (see Please note that the sample of schools
inspected during the autumn and spring terms 2009/10 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. Secondary school figures include those that
have sixth forms, and sixth form figures include only the data specifically for sixth form inspection

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 improvement.
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 pupils.
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.

22 October 2010
Dear Students

Inspection of St John Fisher Catholic High School, Wigan, WN6 7RN

You will recall that a team of inspectors and I recently inspected your school. Thank you
for the way that you made us feel welcome and a particular thank you to those of you
who spoke to us at break and lunchtime. This letter is to tell you what we found.
We judged that St John Fisher is a good school where you achieve well. You behave very
well and we were impressed by your personal qualities such as courtesy and
understanding of others' needs. You take full advantage of the many extra-curricular
opportunities on offer, particularly in sport and the performing arts.
Good teaching and excellent care, guidance and support combine well so that you make
good progress in your academic work. The teachers know you well and promote high
expectations for all. You respond well to the range of learning activities that you face; you
offer answers readily and work well whether individually or in a group.
The school has improved in many ways since the last inspection and the school's leaders
deserve considerable credit for that. In order to improve further, we have asked the
governing body, headteacher and staff to concentrate on two important aspects:

  • to ensure that you progress equally well in all subjects through monitoring your work
    more effectively and ensuring that teachers take account of everyone's ability level
  • to develop the curriculum further with a focus on meeting everyone's needs.

You can play your part in making St John Fisher a better school. Maintain your excellent
behaviour, your positive attitudes and strive to achieve the very best that you can in all
your subjects.
Yours sincerely

Paul Chambers
Her Majesty's Inspector (on behalf of the inspection team)


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