Our Values and Virtues
Our Catholic values are ingrained throughout the school. We believe that all members of our school community are the children of God, made in his likeness, and we share a sacred responsibility to embody the word of God in the daily life of the school. Prayer and worship are integral to our children’s daily school experience, and the school gives witness to our faith as well as recognising and respecting other beliefs. Our children know and understand their Catholic tradition and practice it through their school life, particularly in the Mass and the sacraments, and children take a leading role through the Chaplaincy group.
School leaders provide clear direction and embody high aspirations for the school. Our Vision is shared by all, clearly communicated and regularly reviewed. Whole-school planning enables key priorities to be effectively addressed and progress to be reviewed. Senior staff have an in-depth and accurate knowledge of the school, recognise its strengths and weaknesses, and understand the realities of the classroom. They lead by example and embody excellent skills in teaching as well as leadership. School leadership is inclusive – all staff share responsibility for leadership and contribute to school decisions.
The school has an open, rigorous and honest approach to self-evaluation based on a range of activity, including observation of teaching and learning, analysis of data and scrutiny of children’s work. Teachers are confident to share their practice with others, and staff continually review the outcomes of our work, reflect on them and then adapt provision in response. We make confident, well-founded judgements which are discussed openly.
The Board of Academy Representatives have an excellent, up to date knowledge of the school based on a regular presence and formal structures and links, operate with high levels of efficiency and understand and execute the right balance of challenge and support for the school. They have a clear strategic oversight of school development and improvement.
Teaching and Learning is of the highest quality in every class. In lessons, children experience a variety of teaching methods, with the child being both an independent and an active learner. Teachers are skilled in ensuring that all children have the opportunity to make good progress in lessons and to extend their learning. Assessment, whether by teachers or through pupil self and peer assessment, is an integral part of lessons and enhances children’s learning and motivation. As well as knowing in detail about their own achievement and how to improve it, children understand the ‘big picture’ of their learning and make a contribution to decisions about their work. They have clearly understood, aspirational targets. Although we recognise the differences in teaching approaches across subject and key stage boundaries, there is a consistency and quality that characterises teaching at St Bede’s. The school gathers and analyses accurate, detailed assessment data and other information to ensure that aspirations for children’s achievement are high, realistic, clearly understood and planned for.
Teachers have opportunities to plan and review together, and have clear pathways to develop their own skill and careers. Performance management is rigorous and consistent, and supports teachers to access high-quality, personalised development. Whole-staff training is well chosen and delivered and relates to clear, shared priorities. The school explicitly values the contribution that all staff, both teaching and non-teaching, make to the outcomes for children.
Teachers are able to share practice, both within school and with other schools, and take part in informed debate and reflection. Staff development is continual, universal and supports school and individual priorities. Although staff access external CPD when appropriate, they also access the expertise of their colleagues in school, through well-established and high-quality peer coaching programmes. The school has strongly-developed links with other schools, enabling us to share and moderate our practice.
As a result of the excellent teaching, children’s academic achievement is extremely high. Progress is good for all groups of children in every year group, so that they exceed national averages by the end of Key Stage 2 and by the time they leave St Bede’s they are performing well above national averages and average attainment at the end of Year 8 is in line with national expectations for the end of Key Stage 3.
Expectations of children’s work are high and clearly understood. Quality work is celebrated publicly and shared with others. Work books are cared for and marking is up to date and developmental, related to learning objectives. Homework provides effective opportunities for support and consolidation of classroom work. Attractive, stimulating displays throughout the school support pupils’ learning and celebrate their work and achievements.
All children are celebrated for their individual worth, both academic and non-academic, including formal recognition through achievement awards. Individual and group programmes, along with high quality teaching in all lessons, enable pupils of all abilities to thrive and achieve. There is a shared responsibility to the most vulnerable members of our school community, and we work closely with parents and external agencies to ensure that all the necessary and appropriate support is in place. We recognise and celebrate the rich diversity of cultures that are represented within our school community and beyond.
The curriculum is creative and stimulating. It respects curriculum boundaries but encourages links across subjects where appropriate. It reflects the national curriculum but is rooted in our distinctive catholic ethos, and promotes academic, moral and spiritual development. The school encourages innovative and flexible approaches to learning, and children continually reflect upon their own learning. The long-term curriculum plan is regularly reviewed to ensure that it remains fit for purpose. The quality of teaching and learning is consistently high across all subjects. Culture and the Arts are central to our learning vision, as evidenced by the school’s Artsmark Award.
Resources for learning in every subject are high quality, accessible, of sufficient quantity and fit for purpose. The school uses its resources wisely, both to ensure that money is not wasted, and also that our children understand and act upon their responsibility to their environment. The school buildings and grounds are well-maintained and equipped, and the grounds are used as a daily resource to enhance learning and enrich the curriculum. Specialist areas are fit for purpose, including excellent facilities for sports, Music, Science and technology.
Children’s learning has developed to embrace the many possibilities offered by new technology. The school has exceptionally high quality and range of ICT resources and support. ICT is fully integrated into the daily experience of lessons for all pupils and children and this actively enhances children’s learning. Children have access to high quality ‘off-site’ learning through the school’s website. All staff are well-trained and confident in the use of ICT.
The school book collections, whether in classrooms, in the library or in subject collections are high-quality, well-used and treated with great respect and the library is an integral part of the school. Children’s love of reading is clearly demonstrated by the enthusiasm with which they are able to discuss their own independent reading.
There is a wide variety of enrichment and enhancement activity available for the children, and extremely high take up by all groups. School sports teams represent the school with great success, but also display sportsmanship. Many children take part in music outside the curriculum, including as part of the school Choir or Orchestra, both of which are recognised for their high quality during their frequent performances. Pupils are given many opportunities to take their learning outside the school boundaries, through residential or shorter visits.
Children behave exceptionally well, supported by clearly understood and consistently applied systems which primarily celebrate and reward good behaviour, but also quickly and fairly challenge breaches. Behaviour is based on a strong sense of our shared Catholic values, including tolerance, respect and justice. Children have a positive and enthusiastic attitude to their work. Parents are informed and supportive. The school has a strong pastoral support network. Children feel valued and supported and have the opportunity to voice their problems. They are all aware of the support available if they are scared, in danger or worried. Bullying is extremely rare, and dealt with swiftly and effectively.
Although it plays a significant role in the school’s decision-making processes and is responsible for delivering a number of very effective projects, the School Council is just one example of the way that children are able to make their voice heard in the school. The school House system plays a key role in all aspects of school life, and gives a strong link across year groups, with opportunities for both competition and co-operation.
The school ensures that children’s safety is always our highest priority, both through very effective, rigorously applied policies, and through our daily practice and vigilance.
Communication is efficient and effective, and based on an open dialogue. Increasingly, electronic communication reduces the need for paperwork. School ICT systems enable staff to manage assessment, behaviour and attendance and to share information with parents. Teaching and non-teaching staff work together to provide seamless support for children’s learning and welfare, and management decisions and deliberations are transparent and clearly communicated.
Parents and carers work in full partnership with the school. St Bede’s is a school that parents in Redditch and Bromsgrove want to send their children to. They play an active role in the progression of their children’s learning and communication with parents is positive and efficient. There is a well developed parent-staff forum and a thriving PTFA. Parental concerns are dealt with in a co-operative and timely manner.
We work very closely with other schools, particularly within our local Catholic partnership, to aid transition and to promote Catholic education. Relationships with other schools, and with the Local Authority and other partners, are open, professional and contribute to the benefit of children’s learning.
Links with our local parish are strong and the school chaplain is a regular and valued visitor. Children take part in charitable activity, particularly through CAFOD and Father Hudson’s charity. There are strong links between the school and the local community, through a wide range of visitors to the school and work the children do to enhance the local area. These links support the curriculum and develop children’s sense of responsibility and commitment to charitable work.