Catmose Principal

Review of the Year 2015

The last twelve months have flown by, busy as always but with lots to celebrate across the life of the College. We know that academic success is as a result of far more than simply what goes on in the classroom; activities such as Duke of Edinburgh, public speaking, music and art contribute as much to a students’ future success as the certificates they hold. We have therefore continued to grow and develop the range of activities that are designed to develop resilience, leadership and teamwork skills in order that students are engaged learners who take responsibility for their own actions and those of others.


Leadership is something we look to develop in every student and a part of our approach is leading by example, that is why as staff we arrive early and stay late, we wear smart business dress and how we queue with our students in the restaurant. This approach ensures students know our high expectations and we model this behaviour throughout our own work.

The range of trips and visits students have been able to access this year has been astonishing, more than ever before, offering a broad range of opportunities. We have supported the School games in Manchester, walking in the Peak district, team building on Rutland Water, an expedition to Ghana, a huge range of theatre trips, visit to the WWI battlefields, cultural trips to France, Germany and Spain, numerous DofE expeditions, the V&A museum, the Beth Shalom holocaust museum, a number of elite universities, masterclasses in chocolate making, just to name a few. Staff give very generously of their time in supporting these experiences and students always comment on how much they have gained as a result. The impact of trips is difficult to measure but this is true of some our most valuable experiences in life; they are moments of College life that will stay with students for the rest of their lives.


Alongside trips and visit we continue to compete successfully in a range of competitions, the adult world is competitive and we improve ourselves by comparing our performance to others. We know that we all have particular strengths and we offer a range of competitive activities that give every student the opportunity to be successful. Of course, as all athletes know, losing is also a critical part of any competition, it builds resilience and the determination to carry on in order to perhaps win next time. We have seen the College retain the local Varsity cup again this year, this represents the efforts of over 200 students from across the College competing in nearly 20 sports against 5 other schools. This endeavour is only possible because staff, students and parents give freely of their time to support coaching and fixtures. We also saw our best ever performance by our public speaking teams with the Youth Speaks and English Speaking Union competitions; Sue McGrath once again did a sterling job in coaching and supporting these teams to great success in competitions historically dominated by independent and grammar schools. In Music we also saw our best ever performance at the Kettering Music Festival, coming away with a number of trophies and first place awards.


The Performing Arts put on the wonderful CATS performance with Year 7 following their visit to see the show in the West End. In the summer term we hosted our first Summer Festival which was a huge success with thousands of people coming to see our students perform and take part in the range of fun activities on offer. This raised a significant amount of money that will be used to support the purchase of additional musical instruments and future performances. We will be putting on West Side Story later this year which will be a showcase for the musical and theatrical talent of the College.


Finally, examination results have again proven to be a strength of the College, students were in celebratory mood when they opened their envelopes and discovered once again our best ever outcomes. We have seen improvements in almost all subject areas with exceptional performances in English, English literature, Drama, Music, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Product Design, Art and Design, 3D Studies, Painting and Drawing, History, Philosophy and Ethics, French, Spanish and Sport GCSE.


2015 Prom

What a beautiful evening; the weather was glorious and our students did us all proud. They arrived in style; in tractors, Rolls Royces and double-decker buses, demonstrating their independence and confidence in the people they have become over the last five years.  Schools are all too often measured simply on the results they produce and the Ofsted reports that are written, when we all know that so much of what is important is not easily measured but so critical to ensuring that our students are ready for their next steps.  At Catmose we pride ourselves on offering students opportunities that broaden their experiences, develop leadership and offer them ways in which they can create a community to be proud of. This year 11 group has seized this ethos and made it their own, they have travelled Europe, performed, practiced and worked hard even through the most difficult times; their resilience will ensure they are successful in whatever they choose to pursue next.

During the evening I took a few photos of the students and staff, the full size copies can be found here:

Christmas Concert 2014

We celebrated the coming of Christmas with our customary concert which included traditional hymns, our choirs, a number of soloists, and musical ensembles alongside more contemporary takes on the nativity.  Listening to the standard of music and drama our students performed, I was very proud and somewhat humbled to be the Principal of Catmose College, which led me to reflect on just how important to our ethos those activities outside of the academic teaching are.

14 12 17 PC174336 CC Christmas Concert

In many schools nationally, as the emphasis on improving GCSE outcomes has improved, we have seen music and drama provision shrinking.  This is not the approach we have taken at Catmose College; over the last five years we have increased our music and drama provision each year, supporting more students than ever to take instrumental lessons and enter our music scholars’ programme; we have also increased the number of teachers the College employs in this field. We believe that the skills, resilience, practice and ability to keep going when you make a mistake are critical to reaching a high standard of performance and are just as critical to academic success, building the skills that are essential to forge careers in an ever competitive world.  It is by no accident that, alongside our academic support programmes, this long-term approach to our students’ development has led to improving examination results that make Catmose one of the highest performing schools nationally.

14 12 17 PC174285 CC Christmas ConcertIt is also why I am passionate about Harington School, an academic sixth form for Rutland. At present our students are faced with a stark choice, to travel significant distances or to access independent schools. Two options that are expensive and disruptive to a student’s education at such a critical stage of their development. This is particularly the case for our most talented musicians, who, by virtue of having to spend so much time travelling, limit their availability to continue performing at a high level. Harington will allow these students to stay local and continue to develop their skills whilst attending a high-performing academic sixth form school.

14 12 17 PC174299 CC Christmas ConcertThe opportunities on offer at Catmose will also be on offer at Harington; high quality instrumental lessons, access to ensemble groups and performance opportunities. There is no doubt that our students appreciate the quality of our teachers and we wish this to extend to their post-16 studies. Catmose is fortunate to be a community of committed parents, students and staff who work together to ensure that students are best placed for the challenges ahead. Staff who led the concert: Matt Sammy, Leanne Mitchell, Jasmine Jones, Luke Donnelly, Gary Austin and Dan Bond are characteristic of the staff who will also lead Harington, people who readily give up their evenings and weekends in order that students have opportunities they will never forget. Harington will be as successful because this same partnership that makes Catmose successful will also be present in Harington. To support the next steps in Harington please do follow this link:

Stuart Williams


Introducing Head girl and boy, Rebecca and Isaac

Rebecca Wensley – Headgirl


I have made so many memories throughout my time at Catmose College, both in school and out.  The opportunities given to me at College have been amazing. I have had the chance to learn so much academically, whilst also enjoying electives and trips.  The school itself is a fantastic learning environment, with a positive atmosphere during lessons, as well as during break time periods.  The new building has provided a great place to learn, and spend time with friends outside of lessons.  The members of staff at Catmose are so supportive of all the students, and provide help wherever and whenever it is needed.  Although the teachers push the students to reach their potential, there is no pressure to achieve beyond your best.  Over the last 4 years I have loved meeting new people and learning new things, and I know that I will never forget my time at Catmose.

I am currently fundraising for a trip to Ghana with Venture Force, in the autumn of 2014. As part of this trip we will be building an orphanage for some children living there. I am excited about this trip and have, so far, raised £1725 of the £1800 needed to fund flights and accommodation. This endeavour has helped me to demonstrate commitment. Fundraising has involved making afternoon tea and offering it for donations, and running competitions at local summer fairs, as well as cleaning wheelie bins! Through school, I have had access to the Duke of Edinburgh award; I have completed my Bronze Award and am presently working towards my Silver Award. This award helped to improve my teamwork skills and build resilience, along with the determination to keep going.

Outside of school, I am an active member of the community; having taken part in judo for a number of years and achieving my 8th Mon and orange belt at judo, I now volunteer at a local Judo club and help coach the younger judo players on a Saturday morning. I have achieved grade 3 piano and grade 2 ballet, modern and tap. As well as this, I also volunteer as a coach at a trampolining club in Corby every Tuesday and Friday evening. This involves supporting younger children as they develop their skills. I love coaching because it gives me the chance to see other people improve.  I recently attended a coaching course in Northampton which allows me to assist a higher level coach in training younger children. I also train for 4 hours a week. Coaching has given me a level of responsibility and allowed me to improve my people skills. I trampoline competitively and have gained bronze and gold medals at local and Regional competitions. In 2013 I took part in the Moonwalk in London, and walked 17 miles around Rutland Water as a fundraising endeavour for Ghana.

At school I enjoy Graphics, History and Spanish, all subjects that I chose to take for GCSE at the beginning of this year, and I also enjoy English. Although I did not choose to take art as a GCSE, I passed the Silver Arts Award in summer 2013, and thoroughly enjoyed taking part. Art is something I enjoy doing outside of school, and I would love to pursue it at AS Level. I have also taken part in many extra-curricular activities through school, such as a rock-climbing course and an English Speaking Union Public Speaking competition in the local area.

I independently organised my work experience, and will be working with and international architectural firm in Newark for a week in June. After completing Sixth Form I hope to attend university. For as long as I can remember I have wanted to go into architecture or interior design, but I also have a passion for photography. I would love to go into one of these fields in the future, but I haven’t made a final decision just yet.

Isaac Costa – Headboy

hbwebCatmose College and its entire staff have helped me tremendously during my time here; this is because they make it easy to ask for assistance. All doors to classrooms and offices are open at all times and a teacher will speak with you whenever you want to.  This is one of my favourite aspects of Catmose College; all teachers throughout the school are willing to help every individual achieve the best result that they can.  Catmose is great at giving students a variety of different options through GCSEs and the electives programme, which will then help us stand out in the future.   I believe that our teachers are like chameleons, as they adapt to whoever they are teaching, to improve students’ education.  I know that all teachers at Catmose College share this attribute.

I am an organised and yet outgoing person and my hobbies include:   Public Speaking  Karate  Music- Piano and saxophone  working in business(young enterprise)  acting- pantomimes in local village  working at local pub.    Throughout my years in Catmose I have achieved a variety of awards that include service to the school and best in selective subjects such as French, music, science, I.C.T and Art. I have also made sure that I use the school to its full potential by trying as many new things as possible. Recently I have taken part in: young enterprise; Ghana trip which I’ve raised all the money by getting a part time job; attending school council for three of the past four years I have been at the school and partaking in concerts such as the Christmas concert towards the end of last year.  I want to encourage people over a wide area and in the school that Catmose is a beacon of education and most importantly I want to be an ambassador for the school.

Open evening Speech – delivered by Rebecca and Isaac

Combined Open Evening Speech

Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen and welcome to Catmose College. My name is Isaac Costa, head boy at Catmose and on my right /left is Rebecca Wensley who is the head girl. Today we will be speaking about our time at Catmose however we believe that getting good grades in academic subjects are very important. But Catmose is so much more; it is a place of opportunities offering students a large selection of activities and events to take part in.

Over the last year, both Isaac and I have been fundraising for a trip to Ghana with 20 of our fellow students. Through independent fundraising we have learnt to manage our time, meet deadlines, and work hard to achieve our goals, and come up with creative ideas.

Every student going has managed to raise £1800. I personally went to any lengths to raise money. I even dressed up in a Peppa Pig suit at a fair on a boiling summer’s day but I still managed to raise a grand sum of £15.

I think that the whole group is looking forward to the trip, and it will be a wonderful experience. Through the same programme, the current year 9 students are raising money for their trip to Morocco in 2016, and I’m sure that future trips will be just as exciting. 

Trips such as these are offered to year 11’s however there are other trips offered to other years as well. Some larger trips include visits to: Spain, Germany and France.

Both Isaac and myself travelled to Spain earlier this year with the languages department and had a fantastic time; these trips are a great way for students to learn the language as well has enjoying cultural visits and spending time with their classmates out of school.

One rare item that Catmose offers over many other schools is the elective programme which I have exploited to its full potential by taking part in new sports, cultural and musical activities. One elective that I took part in was youth speaks. It has helped my confidence grow throughout the years and I believe I wouldn’t be up here today if it wasn’t for the opportunities offered to us by the elective programme. One of our most popular electives is the performance elective which Rebecca will explain in further detail.

As an arts college, Catmose takes pride in its musical performances, which are always of a very high standard.  During my time at Catmose College, I have had the opportunity to join the cast of the incredibly successful performances over the last few years. The shows not only allowed me to gain skills in performing arts, but also to develop confidence in performing in front of large crowds and my involvement in the musicals also allowed me to interact with other year groups.

Not only does the college offer the chance to take part in the show as a lead actor or dancer, but students are given the opportunity to contribute behind the scenes, perhaps creating props, or teaching choreography, or even working as part of the tech team, providing lighting and sound for every single show.


Let’s not forget the school band who works hard to learn pieces of music and chords good enough to match the talent of our actors and technicians.

Catmose has amazing music facilities so if you have a musically oriented child then Catmose offers lessons for all ages. I have my silver scholarship in piano which entitles me to 50% off lessons and I have earned this by taking part in Jazz band which develops your improvisation skills, performing in concerts and having completed grade 6 pianos. I even got the opportunity to accompany our teachers when they did their grade 1 challenge, it was quite nerve wracking as someone else was relying on me to get them a good grade.

In year nine, through the college, I, along with a group of my peers, and now, closest friends, made the decision to begin the Duke of Edinburgh. And, after some horrendous map-reading, we all completed the bronze, and eventually, silver DofE. Had Catmose not introduced me to the award, I wouldn’t have known how to get involved in the Duke of Edinburgh, and probably wouldn’t have made it this far in terms of my qualification. Throughout the course of the weekend there were lots of laughter, and even a few tears, but we all gained a lot of experience alongside qualities such as resilience and teamwork.

Our house point system is split into 4 houses. This encourages students from all years to take part in a range of friendly competition which I try to take part in as often as I can. One type of competition the college promotes is termly competition by the Heller up staircase with a theme ranging from talent shows to dance competitions. It is a great way to bring the whole school together as they laugh with you and cheer people on. My favourites are the talent shows as it demonstrates the amazing skill we have at Catmose and we even had a set of 3 teacher judges.

Speaking of competition, sports day is another great opportunity for the houses to gain points and compete against each other for the house cup.

I really enjoyed sports day as I was able to take part in the long jump and races, suffice to say, I came close in some events but throughout the day everyone I spoke to was very enthusiastic and the opening ceremony lifted everyone’s spirits as the House captains gave their speeches and the performers and dancers lifted the mood.

Both Isaac and I have studied at Catmose for 4 years now, and they have been some of the best years of my life. As we come to the end of our time at Catmose, and head towards our exams, I think I speak for both of us when I say that we will always remember our time at this school and the people in it.

Thank you for listening.

Review of Sport 2014

O Teasel (Team Leader)

2014 has been a highly successful year for the Sports Team at Catmose College.  Not only did we achieve an ‘Outstanding’ set of examination results in both GCSE PE and BTEC Sport, but we also managed to reclaim the area Varsity Title, beating rivals UCC by 35pts.


Athletics: This year, 27 Catmose students were selected to compete at the Leicestershire County Athletics. In total we achieved 1 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze award.  Our strongest performance came from Daniel Cousens who was selected to represent Leicestershire.

Indoor Athletics: Year 7 and 8 boys’ and girls’ teams were crowned area champions and selected to compete at the Level 3 School Games competition.

Basketball: All years competed in the Melton & Rutland Basketball League with the Year 7 boys, Year 8 girls and Year 9 girls winning their leagues.

BTEC Sport:  The results were ‘Outstanding’ with 100% of students achieving A*-C and 21% of students achieving A*/A. Our top performing students were Katie Newman, Harrison Wiles-Bull and Jordan Williams.

Spotlight: Over 60 students took part in the 10th Spotlight on Dance held at Uppingham Theatre.


Football: Year 7 to 11 boys all competed in the Melton & Rutland Football League, with Year 7 and Year 10 both winning.

GCSE PE: The results were ‘Outstanding’ with 95% of students achieving A*-C and 46% of students achieving A*/A.  Our top performing students were Hannah Green, Bethany Baker, Phoebe Booth, Ashley Chamberlain, Jenna-Marie Charlton, William Durno, Chloe Simpson and Katie Window.

Gifted and Talented: The Sports Scholarship was launched at the College and awarded to over 100 students.  Over the course of the year there were workshops on Lifestyle Management, Performance Profiling, Nutrition, and Goal Setting.  Olympic Badminton player Anthony Clark also visited the College on two occasions to work with our Gold and Silver Scholars.


Inclusive Sport: Catmose held its annual Inclusive Sports Day which included boccia, wheelchair basketball and curling.  A number of our SEN students also attended the School Games at Loughborough University where they took part in wheelchair basketball.

Netball: Overall, Catmose had a very successful year in netball.  All years competed in the league with Years 7, 8 and 9 finishing top.

Rugby: All years competed in the league with Year 9 Boys winning all five of their games.

Sports Day: Sports Day this year was a successful day where over 250 students competed in a range of athletics events.

Sports Leaders: 52 students passed the Sports Leaders Level 2 Award and assisted with a wide range of primary school events.

Tennis:  Year 8 and 9 boys competed in the Melton and Rutland Varsity League and finished first overall.

Varsity: The College reclaimed the area Varsity Title, beating local rivals UCC by 35pts.


Over the course of the 2014/15 academic year, the Sports Team will be looking to develop the House System, the KS3 and KS4 Core PE curriculum, built around the 5 Abilities, the use of technology within lessons, and Cross–Curricular links with other subjects, specifically English and Mathematics.

School Admissions Explained

The last five years has seen a year-on-year increase in the number of admissions for the College’s 180 Year 7 places.  In 2012 we saw 266 and in 2013, 231 applications.

It is helpful to parents to clarify how school admissions work and in particular the Catmose College policy. This explanation should be read in the context of the College’s admissions policy which is how a decision to admit or decline a place is determined.  In addition, this explanation should only be used as a general guide in respect of the principles we use and not to determine whether or not a particular application will be successful.

All  admissions must follow the school admissions code which can be viewed here.

A key principle of the admissions code is that all schools must determine who gains a place based on their policy and not the order of preference that a parent places them on the applications form.  In fact, local authorities do not share the parents’ preferences with the school. This is important as it means that parents are free to choose which school is their first, second and third choice without fear of losing a place at a school at which they would rank higher according to the school’s admissions policy.

ADVICE: If, having explored all of the possible options, Catmose is your first choice of school for your child, make it your first preference, but please choose two other secondary schools in case you are unsuccessful.

Catmose College does not have catchment areas (since 2013), an application could therefore be successful from any distance but this will depend from where applications are received as well as the other criteria within our policy. Our policy prioritises applications based on:

  1. Looked after children;
  2. Siblings;
  3. Children who attend our feeder school Catmose Primary;
  4. Children of staff;
  5. Distance.
  6. Late applications

Please read our Admissions Policy for a full explanation of these criteria.

ADVICE: Although not guaranteed in the future, we have in the past always been able to offer places to all children covered by criteria 1-4 provided they applied on time. In 2014 this accounted for 92 or 51% of successful applications. It is important to read the school’s Admissions Policy in order to familiarise yourself with the criteria we use.

Each year we rank the applications for a place (independent of their preference) and return a rank order to the local authority who will then determine who is offered a place at the College. The local authorities try to offer parents their highest preference first, then their second and finally their third.  Schools are then informed who has been offered a place. We then maintain a waiting list, the order of which is determined by the criteria 1-5 above, at Catmose we often have a second round of offers if some parents decline a place. Parents are also given the opportunity to appeal a decision to refuse a place. We have always been able to offer places under criteria 1 to 4 (in the past), it is distance which serves as the final determining factor.

ADVICE: If you are initially unsuccessful please do contact the College, there is the chance of a second round of offers and the option to appeal to an independent panel.

The pattern of applications to the College changes each year and this makes it difficult to predict whether an application from a parent which requires a determination based on distance will be successful, however parents may find the trends over the last few years useful. This graph show the percentage of students admitted by distance from the College in the last three years:

2014 by distance admissions

Here it can be seen that applications from up to 6 miles away from the College were successful in 2014 using the criteria for distance only. If a child is admitted as a result of criteria 1-4, the distance is not used to determine admission.

It is impossible to predict at exactly which distance applications will be successful this year but the past admissions give a reasonable guide to parents The graph also illustrates the affect of removing catchment area and feeder schools criteria, the admissions policy now gives preference to those children who live closest to the College.

he following chart shows the proportion of children admitted due to each criteria.

2014 admission by category

This chart shows the affect of the new admissions policy with much smaller numbers being admitted through the catchment and feeder criteria (CAT/FEED) with only Catmose Primary being a feeder school.

I hope this guide is useful but if you have further questions please do contact me at the College.

Review of Performing Arts 2014

L Mitchell (Director of Drama) and M Sammy (Director of Music)

The Performing Arts at Catmose College have had another successful and full year, giving many opportunities to the students to get involved in performance. Below is a review of some of those opportunities:

In September, seven Year 11 students were invited to perform a Murder Mystery Play at the Castle in Oakham which was thoroughly enjoyed by the community.

The annual Christmas Concert was held at Oakham’s All Saints Church and consisted of around 200 students.  A number of ensembles performed some excellent pieces of music which were directed by the different peripatetic teachers.  The evening consisted of an array of drama and musical items with a selection of carols which were sung by the congregation and accompanied by the Catmose Choir and Orchestra.

In February, Catmose had the opportunity to perform on the main stage at the Curve Theatre, Leicester. A cast of seven students performed the musical ‘Phantom Love’ written by a local playwright Tracey Dene Powell.  Another 100 students performed in the Orchestra, Choir, and gave poetry recitals and solos to full and appreciative audiences. Later in July, the ‘Phantom Love’ students also performed several times at the WW1 Commemoration Event ‘Mobilisation’ at Kendrew Barracks.


Over 150 Year 7 students visited London in January to see the West End musical ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ and to take part in a workshop at Pineapple studios. Each of the forms then sang and choreographed a song, performing twice to an audience of over 500 primary school children, parents and students on the Hellerup staircase in June.  This was our most successful Year 7 production ever, with a host of talented students getting the opportunity to perform solo roles.


One of the highlights of the year was the performance of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ at Catmose Theatre (three evenings and one matinee performance). The cast numbered around 100 students from Years 8 and 9 performing on stage.  Students also ran the technical side of the theatre, headed up by our AV Technician Daniel Bond.  Older students were also involved in creating and teaching the choreography for this production.  We were privileged to have an outstanding principal cast performing to a very high standard.


This was followed in July by the Performing Arts Tour to Costa Brava, Spain.  43 students from Years 9 – 11 performed in different venues around the area. The response to the solo and group performances was excellent.

During the summer holidays, Katie Marshall performed two incredible solos at the Centenary event at Easton-on-the-Hill.

James Barlow, Andrew Parsons and Mel Potts were all a tremendous help and support with Music and Drama throughout the year, both within the class and with extra-curricular activities.

We look forward to the Community Summer Showcase in July 2015.


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