We have had a very busy but productive year; an Ofsted inspection, the strengthening of the Catmose Federation, exciting developments in the use of technology and the strengthening of our curriculum offer in order to ensure even more challenge to our most able students. Staff at the College work exceptionally hard and offer a very high quality service to our clients by always going the extra mile.
The new Ofsted framework is focused on the quality of teaching, behaviour, achievement and the quality of leadership and management. It is by all accounts a tougher regime than the one it replaces, this is demonstrated by the outcomes of inspections national; in the term we were inspected only five secondary schools nationally achieved the highest grade of ‘Outstanding’, we were one of those. The fact we also achieved an ‘Outstanding’ grade in each category must place the College as one of the highest performing schools nationally.
We have, as many private independent schools already do, introduced the iGCSE in English and mathematics, an exciting development to ensure that our most able students are stretched and ready for the challenges of studying A levels. When we first moved into the new building we were excited by the use of iPads. This has proven a useful tool for staff and students, so much so that we have extended the number available in College and offered them for purchase by parents at a significantly reduced price. A video wall above the Hellerup stair case will give this space even greater flexibility and we are looking forward to watching the Paralympics on it over the next few weeks.
The Catmose Federation has been formalised as a multi-academy trust encompassing the College and Catmose Primary. This arrangement has benefitted both schools giving greater economies of scale in procuring the services both schools need and greater opportunities to flexibly deploy staff. We have seen specialist teachers from the College working at the Primary in sport and art. This year we will see the introduction of GCSE dance to the College for the first time, thanks to the expertise of one of our primary teachers. Puffins Nursery has been renamed Catmose Nursery to further strengthen the relationship between all three of our settings. My daughter will be joining Catmose Primary having ‘graduated’ from our nursery demonstrating my own confidence and commitment to the quality of provision we offer.
We enjoyed a number of performing arts successes this year, most notably the Alice production, the performing arts tour to Lake Garda and continued success at the Oundle music festival. The flash mob performance in Italy is a must see demonstrating great musical talent alongside great confidence and team work; further evidence of what makes Catmose such a unique experience.
The continued success of the Silver and Bronze Arts Award, with 150 students successfully completing this GCSE equivalent award in year 9 this has been our most successful year to date. The examination moderator, in her feedback said, “It is a joy to see the work you do with the young people. They have experienced a varied programme, which they have obviously enjoyed. The portfolios are individual in their approach to the Award, which is to be encouraged. The Arts Challenge was particularly strong”.
College sport continues to be a significant strength of our work; we offer a broad range of courses and successfully compete against other schools. We have had noticeable success in this year culminating in being first in the Melton and Rutland Varsity championship for the first time. To achieve this we have entered teams in each year group for competitions involving Football, Netball, Futsal, Basketball, Hockey, Cricket, Rugby and Rounders.
The examination results of year 11 once again proved that our approach to education is the right one. We achieved our best ever results with 89% of students achieving 5 A*-C, 59% including English and mathematics. The percentage of total grades at A/A* increased to 27% and those at A*-C to 88% both significantly higher than national expectations.
It was very encouraging to see the College was significantly over-subscribed again this year, a clear demonstration of its standing within our community.The fact that so many people are willing to place their children with us gives us some confidence that we are offering a very high level of service to our students.