St Monica's RC High School and Sixth Form Centre
phone: 0161 7736436
headteacher: Mrs A Letcher
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 #
- 0.2 miles St Hilda's Church of England Primary School M251HA (133 pupils)
- 0.4 miles Park View Primary School M251FA (449 pupils)
- 0.4 miles Sedgley Park Community Primary School M250HT (271 pupils)
- 0.4 miles Manchester Mesivta School M250PH (121 pupils)
- 0.5 miles Yesoiday Hatorah School M250JW
- 0.5 miles Yesoiday Hatorah School M250JW (799 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Prestwich Preparatory School M251PZ (118 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Prestwich Arts College M251JZ (794 pupils)
- 0.7 miles St Philip's RC Primary School M74WP (383 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Oholei Yosef Yitzchok Lubavitch Boys' School M74NB
- 0.7 miles T'Mimei Lev School M74QY (30 pupils)
- 0.8 miles St Mary's Church of England Aided Primary School, Prestwich M251BP (235 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Manchester Junior Girls' School M74JA (282 pupils)
- 0.8 miles OYY Lubavitch Girls' School M74JD (115 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Etz Chaim School at the Belmont M84JY (137 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Butterstile Primary School M259RJ (402 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Meade Hill School M84NB (73 pupils)
- 1 mile Heaton Park Primary School M456TE (400 pupils)
- 1 mile Parrenthorn High School M252GR (850 pupils)
- 1 mile Bowker Vale Primary School M84NB (429 pupils)
- 1 mile St Paul's CofE Primary School M73PT (204 pupils)
- 1 mile Hubert Jewish High School for Girls M74NT
- 1 mile Mechinoh School M74HY (70 pupils)
- 1 mile Tashbar of Manchester M74HL (493 pupils)
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|
|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
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.
|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|
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
- 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|
|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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
|Inspection report:||St Monica’s RC High School, 21−22 February 2013||7 of 9|
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.
|Inspection report:||St Monica’s RC High School, 21−22 February 2013||8 of 9|
|Unique reference number||105366|
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|
|Acting headteacher||Andrea Letcher|
|Date of previous school inspection||21 January 2009|
|Telephone number||0161 773 6436|
|Fax number||0161 773 6650|
You can use Parent View to give Ofsted your opinion on your child’s school. Ofsted
will use the information parents and carers provide when deciding which schools to
inspect and when and as part of the inspection.
You can also use Parent View to find out what other parents and carers think about
schools in England. You can visit www.parentview.ofsted.gov.uk, or look for the link
on the main Ofsted website: www.ofsted.gov.uk