School etc

St Monica's RC High School and Sixth Form Centre

St Monica's RC High School and Sixth Form Centre
Bury Old Road

phone: 0161 7736436

headteacher: Mrs A Letcher

reveal email: F.Mc…

school holidays: via Bury council

1183 pupils aged 11—19y mixed gender
1300 pupils capacity: 91% full

570 boys 48%


615 girls 52%


Last updated: June 18, 2014

Secondary — Voluntary Aided School

Education phase
Religious character
Roman Catholic
Establishment type
Voluntary Aided School
Establishment #
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 382411, Northing: 403361
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 53.527, Longitude: -2.2668
Accepting pupils
11—18 years old
Census date
Jan. 16, 2014
Ofsted last inspection
Feb. 21, 2013
Diocese of Salford
Region › Const. › Ward
North West › Bury South › Sedgley
Urban > 10k - less sparse
Admissions policy
Main specialism
Language (Operational)
Applied Learning second specialism
Sixth form
Has a sixth form
Free school meals %
Learning provider ref #

rooms to rent in Manchester

Schools nearby

  1. 0.2 miles St Hilda's Church of England Primary School M251HA (133 pupils)
  2. 0.4 miles Park View Primary School M251FA (449 pupils)
  3. 0.4 miles Sedgley Park Community Primary School M250HT (271 pupils)
  4. 0.4 miles Manchester Mesivta School M250PH (121 pupils)
  5. 0.5 miles Yesoiday Hatorah School M250JW
  6. 0.5 miles Yesoiday Hatorah School M250JW (799 pupils)
  7. 0.6 miles Prestwich Preparatory School M251PZ (118 pupils)
  8. 0.7 miles Prestwich Arts College M251JZ (794 pupils)
  9. 0.7 miles St Philip's RC Primary School M74WP (383 pupils)
  10. 0.7 miles Oholei Yosef Yitzchok Lubavitch Boys' School M74NB
  11. 0.7 miles T'Mimei Lev School M74QY (30 pupils)
  12. 0.8 miles St Mary's Church of England Aided Primary School, Prestwich M251BP (235 pupils)
  13. 0.8 miles Manchester Junior Girls' School M74JA (282 pupils)
  14. 0.8 miles OYY Lubavitch Girls' School M74JD (115 pupils)
  15. 0.8 miles Etz Chaim School at the Belmont M84JY (137 pupils)
  16. 0.9 miles Butterstile Primary School M259RJ (402 pupils)
  17. 0.9 miles Meade Hill School M84NB (73 pupils)
  18. 1 mile Heaton Park Primary School M456TE (400 pupils)
  19. 1 mile Parrenthorn High School M252GR (850 pupils)
  20. 1 mile Bowker Vale Primary School M84NB (429 pupils)
  21. 1 mile St Paul's CofE Primary School M73PT (204 pupils)
  22. 1 mile Hubert Jewish High School for Girls M74NT
  23. 1 mile Mechinoh School M74HY (70 pupils)
  24. 1 mile Tashbar of Manchester M74HL (493 pupils)

List of schools in Manchester

School report

St Monica's RC High School

Bury Old Road, Prestwich, Manchester, M25 1JH

Inspection dates 21−22 February 2013
Overall effectiveness This inspection: Outstanding 1
Previous 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.

Attainment has been high for several years
Pupils make outstanding progress in most of
Achievement in English is outstanding overall
The school ensures that disadvantaged
The recently established sixth form is already
Teaching is rarely less than good and much is
Marking and feedback to pupils is usually
and continues to improve. By the time pupils
leave in Year 11 over 80% of them gain five
good GCSE grades including English and
their subjects including English, mathematics
and science.
although there are some small variations
across year groups.
pupils, disabled pupils and those with special
educational needs perform as well as their
good. Leaders are working hard to promote
the sixth form college within the local
community and to develop a wider range of
outstanding. Teachers are particularly adept
at ensuring pupils perform well in
excellent but occasionally work is not marked

Highly effective systems to check pupils’
Pupils’ have excellent attitudes to work and
Spiritual, moral, social and cultural
All leaders and staff are proud of the school
The governing body have worked hard to
Parents are highly supportive of St Monica’s.
progress ensure that any underachievement is
picked up early. Strategies are quickly put in
place so that pupils catch up.
they contribute fully to the life of the school.
They are motivated and enthusiastic about
their learning. Pupils feel safe at school.
development is promoted exceptionally well. As
a result, pupils are thoroughly prepared for the
and what it has achieved. They have high
expectations of themselves and of the pupils.
Teachers’ performance is managed extremely
improve their own performance and as a result
are able to challenge the school effectively.
However, they do not always know how well
the pupil premium money ensures better
The vast majority are happy that their children
enjoy attending the school.
Inspection report: St Monica’s RC High School, 21−22 February 2013 2 of 9

Information about this inspection

  • Inspectors observed 36 lessons or part lessons taught by teachers. Members of the senior and
    middle leadership teams accompanied the inspectors on visits to lessons.
  • Meetings were held with pupils, members of the governing body, staff and a representative from
    the local authority.
  • Inspectors took account of the 31 responses to the online Parent View survey. They also took
    into account the 72 responses to the staff questionnaire.
  • Inspectors observed the school’s work and examined a range of documents, including the
    school’s own records of pupils’ progress and attainment, monitoring documents, records relating
    to the performance management of staff and those relating to behaviour, safeguarding,
    attendance and the pupil premium.

Inspection team

Glynis Bradley-Peat, Lead inspector Additional Inspector
Bernard Robinson Additional Inspector
Barbara O’Brien Additional Inspector
Fiona Burke-Jackson Additional Inspector
David Woodhouse Additional Inspector
Inspection report: St Monica’s RC High School, 21−22 February 2013 3 of 9

Full report

Information about this school

  • This is a larger than average sized secondary school.
  • The proportion of pupils receiving pupil premium , which is additional funding given for looked
    after children, pupils known to be eligible for free school meals and children of service families,
    is lower than the national average.
  • A smaller proportion of disabled pupils and those with special educational needs are supported
    through school action than found nationally. The proportion of pupils supported through school
    action plus or with a statement of special educational needs is average.
  • The proportion of pupils from minority ethnic groups and who speak English as an additional
    language is much lower than average.
  • The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which set the minimum expectations
    for pupils’ attainment and progress.
  • The school does not make use of any alternative provision for its pupils.
  • The acting headteacher has been in post since September. Two of the deputy headteachers are
    also acting.
  • There is a recently established sixth form.

What does the school need to do to improve further?

  • Improve achievement and provision in the sixth form so that it matches that of the main school
    building upon the steps already taken to increase the number and variety of subjects on offer
    ensuring the school promotes the sixth form centre in the local community even more
    effectively so that numbers increase more rapidly.
Inspection report: St Monica’s RC High School, 21−22 February 2013 4 of 9

Inspection judgements

The achievement of pupils is outstanding
  • Standards by the time pupils reach Year 11 are significantly above the national average and
    have been rising steadily over the years. Pupils’ attainment is high in English and mathematics.
    There is little difference in the attainment of different groups of pupils.
  • A much higher than average proportion of pupils taking GCSEs gain the highest grades in a wide
    variety of subjects. Pupils are entered in November of Year 11 for their mathematics GCSE,
    some pupils re-sit in the summer in order to be given the opportunity to achieve above their
    target grade. This policy has not affected their ability to gain the grades of which they are
  • The progress pupils make in the vast majority of subjects is outstanding. This includes in English
    and mathematics. When compared to other schools nationally, the proportions of pupils making
    better than expected progress from their starting points is high. The school’s own records of
    current progress show that this picture is set to continue. Although this is the case, progress in
    English is good rather than outstanding in Key Stage 3.
  • Students attain well in the vocational sixth form, gaining above average levels of merits and
    distinctions in a variety of subjects, although the school has yet to produce its first full set of
    vocational results. So far, there is solid evidence to show that students make good progress from
    their starting points during their time in the sixth form.
  • Pupils make consistently good and outstanding progress in most of their lessons because
    teachers expect the best of them. Teachers continually check pupils’ understanding through high
    quality questioning which promotes deeper understanding and appreciation. As a result, pupils
    show high levels of interest in their work.
  • For example in a highly challenging history lesson about how Hitler’s political aims led to much
    conflict, pupils had the opportunity to reflect on their own and others’ views. The teacher’s
    questions ensured that all angles were covered.
  • Those pupils who are eligible for the pupil premium attain similarly to their peers although girls
    do slightly better than boys. There is little difference in attainment measures. They often make
    excellent progress because of the high quality support provided. For instance, the one-to-one
    additional teaching in mathematics has had a very positive impact on raising attainment.
  • Disabled pupils and those with special educational needs also achieve very well. Extra in-class
    help and tailor made support boosts the progress they make from their starting points.
  • Pupils’ communication and mathematical skills are developed effectively. There is more than
    ample opportunity in lessons for pupils to speak and listen during group and paired work. Links
    are carefully made between mathematics and other subjects such as geography, for example,
    when drawing graphs.
  • Opportunities are provided in a range of lessons to develop pupils’ literacy skills, however, the
    school is not complacent and realises there is a little more work to be done to ensure
    consistency across all subjects.
The quality of teaching is outstanding
  • Much of the teaching in the school is outstanding. This has led to the swift gains in progress
    made across different subjects and for all groups of pupils. There is clearly exhilarating teaching
    occurring in many areas of the school which demonstrates teachers’ passion for their subject.
    This motivates pupils exceptionally well and promotes a real love of learning.
  • Well organised and highly effective group work is a key feature of many lessons. This is because
    teachers ensure pupils are given time to reflect and consider their responses to tasks or given
    scenarios. Teachers’ timely feedback enriches and promotes further discussion. In a ‘personal
    relationship workshop’ pupils gave careful consideration to the ages of responsibility and how
    this linked in with, for example, drug taking or staying out late. Following a film clip the groups
    made decisions about whether the portrayal of a theft constituted ‘real theft’. Conversations
    were riveting and progress excellent. The lesson contributed much to pupils’ outstanding
    spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
Inspection report: St Monica's RC High School, 21−22 February 2013 5 of 9
  • Where teaching was outstanding in geography, opportunities were taken to promote pupils’
    literacy. Technical vocabulary such as evapotranspiration was explored and pupils were asked to
    explain meanings and make links. Their understanding was further consolidated through planned
    discussion. The teacher’s excellent subject knowledge was used very well to promote rapid
  • Teaching is planned very effectively and high quality questioning ensures pupils learn to think for
    themselves. High quality verbal feedback from teachers during lessons gives pupils information
    about how they can correct or improve their work. This was particularly effective in a physical
    education lesson where pupils rapidly improved their basketball skills.
  • Teaching consistently refers to how pupils can improve their performance in examinations.
    Grade criteria are used regularly so that pupils know exactly what is expected of them in order
    to achieve the highest grades.
  • Marking is exemplary in many subjects but occasionally work is not always marked regularly
    enough and pupils do not receive sufficient feedback about how to improve their work.
  • Disabled pupils and those with special educational needs appreciate the extra help and advice
    provided by teachers and teaching assistants which helps them to make excellent gains in their
The behaviour and safety of pupils are outstanding
  • The vast majority of pupils have excellent attitudes to learning and want to do well. Incidents of
    disruption to learning are extremely rare. There is a real sense of respect evident in lessons, in
    corridors whilst moving from lesson to lesson and at break and lunchtimes. Pupils are polite and
    courteous to staff and each other. They have a great pride in the school and would highly
    recommend it.
  • Teachers manage behaviour extremely well and as a result no learning time is lost. High quality
    training for staff helps to ensure that those pupils with challenging behaviour are able to
    improve their behaviour successfully over time. Learning mentors and other support services
    assist pupils extremely well.
  • Pupils are fully aware of all forms of bullying including cyber bullying. Themed assemblies,
    personal and social education lessons and form tutor time ensure that pupils are clear about how
    to protect themselves from any type of risk. E-safety information includes guidance beyond the
    school gate. They know about different types of prejudice based and homophobic bullying but
    report having no experience of these. Pupils report that bullying is very rare but that they know
    who to speak to if it does occur. They have high levels of confidence in the school to deal with it
  • Pupils have access to a confidential counselling service and a school nurse which they
    appreciate. All groups of pupils, including the most vulnerable, feel safe at school and have a
    thorough understanding of what constitutes unsafe situations.
  • Pupils fulfil a plethora of duties which contribute to the smooth running of the school. For
    example, prefects support good behaviour during breaks and lunchtimes and work alongside
    midday assistants.
  • The views of parents and pupils are consistently sought through the school website, external
    surveys and internal questionnaires. These demonstrate the importance placed by the school on
    attendance and achievement.
  • Attendance levels are high. The school has worked extremely successfully with families to ensure
    that almost all pupils attend regularly. Persistent absence is very low.
Inspection report: St Monica's RC High School, 21−22 February 2013 6 of 9
The leadership and management are outstanding
  • The calm, highly effective leadership style of the acting headteacher and her senior team
    demonstrates an unrelenting focus on improvement. Nothing less than the best will do.
    Assessment information is analysed thoroughly and ambitious targets are set for every pupil.
    These are regularly checked and tweaked so that they always remain challenging.
  • Improvement planning builds well on the school’s strengths and focuses on paying prompt
    attention to identified weaknesses. Robust self-evaluation underpins this process. For example,
    lower attainment and slower rates of progress were identified last year in technology. The
    school’s immediate response has rectified the situation and achievement in technology has
    improved significantly.
  • Joint lesson observations with senior staff during the inspection confirmed the accuracy of the
    school’s judgements. It is clear that they understand what constitutes good and outstanding
  • In light of these factors, there is excellent capacity for further improvement.
  • A highly effective and astute programme of training for teachers supports and improves practice.
    Teachers have opportunities to observe the best practice and to receive high quality coaching
    and mentoring.
  • Rigorous monitoring of the quality of teaching by leaders at all levels ensures that improvements
    in teaching are driven forward across all subject areas. Performance management for teachers is
    equally robust and the school is careful to reward only those teachers who meet their targets.
  • The curriculum in Years 7 to 11 promotes high levels of achievement and successful progression
    to the next stage of education. Pupils have numerous opportunities to participate in extra-
    curricular activities including sports clubs, musical experiences, other clubs and events.
  • Leaders took the bold decision to open a new sixth form in September 2011. The school is
    working hard to increase student numbers through improved marketing but the full impact of
    their work is not yet evident. In addition steps are already being taken to broaden the number
    and variety of courses on offer.
  • The school is highly successful in tackling discrimination and promoting equal opportunities. All
    groups of pupils achieve extremely well.
  • The local authority supports the school with a light touch. Effective help and advice is provided
    as appropriate.
  • Safeguarding arrangements are thorough and meet all statutory requirements.
  • The governance of the school:
    Governors have a clear understanding of the performance data and how it compares to other
    schools nationally. This enables them to ask the right questions of leaders to check what the
    school needs to do next to improve further. They have supported the school well to tackle
    previous issues. Governors are knowledgeable about the quality of teaching in the school and
    understand the links between pay increases and how well teachers perform against targets
    set. Finances are competently managed but although this is clearly the case, governors are
    less familiar with how the pupil premium is spent and how it promotes achievement for
    disadvantaged pupils.
Inspection report: St Monica’s RC High School, 21−22 February 2013 7 of 9

What inspection judgements mean


Grade Judgement Description
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.

Inspection report: St Monica’s RC High School, 21−22 February 2013 8 of 9

School details

Unique reference number 105366
Local authority Bury
Inspection number 400189

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 1,180
Of which, number on roll in sixth form 85
Appropriate authority The governing body
Chair Martin Browne
Acting headteacher Andrea Letcher
Date of previous school inspection 21 January 2009
Telephone number 0161 773 6436
Fax number 0161 773 6650
Email address reveal email: stmo…


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