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St Benedict's Catholic School

St Benedict's
Catholic School

Why work for us?

 

Location

Bury St Edmunds is a large historic market town 30 miles from both Cambridge and Ipswich. Suffolk is a large, predominantly rural county with a population of around 600,000.  There are three major centres of population in Ipswich, Lowestoft and Bury St Edmunds and numerous attractive small towns and villages. Transport links have improved greatly in recent years and much light industry has developed in the County to complement the mainly agricultural character of the area.

 Catholic Schools

St Benedict’s is the Catholic Upper School which serves the whole of the Western Area of Suffolk; some students also travel from parts of Norfolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire. The school’s catchment area is therefore very large, extending from Thetford in the north to Sudbury in the south and from Newmarket in the west to Stowmarket in the east.  School buses are used daily to transport pupils and a large number of the pupils travel by these buses.

The headteachers and other staff meet regularly and joint activities such as master classes and pilgrimages are annual events.

There are Catholic Primary Schools in Bury St Edmunds, Sudbury, Haverhill and Newmarket. Liaison within the pyramid is very strong; the headteachers and other staff meet regularly and joint activities such as master classes and pilgrimages are annual events.

From September 2013 St Benedict’s admitted a small number (60) of Year 7 & 8 students. The age range and size of the school expanded in 2013-14, from 680 in 2013 to 740 in 2014.In 2016 with the closure of middle schools in Bury we took over the old St Louis middle school site and we now operate on a split site with the year 7 and 8 at our lower school centre and year 9 through to 13 at the upper school centre. We now have a roll of over 800 students.

Facilities

St Benedict’s occupies a site of six acres on the northern outskirts of Bury St Edmunds.  It was opened in January 1967 as a Secondary Modern School and further additions were made in 1971 when the school was re-organised as a Comprehensive Upper School. There is a full range of laboratories, Technology and Design rooms, a Music area, Drama studio, Learning Resource Centre, gymnasium, ICT rooms and extensive computer network.

Many areas have been upgraded to a high standard in recent years and six extra classrooms have been built to accommodate increased numbers. The site includes football, rugby and hockey pitches and tennis courts. There is a Drama studio and 4 computer rooms have been completed. A Fitness Suite and an enlarged Special Needs Room opened in 2010. A Year 7& 8 block of 4 Classrooms opened in September 2013.

 Specialist School Status

The school gained re-designation as a Maths and Computing College from 1 September 2008. The second specialism in SEN/Inclusion, Cognition and Learning with Gifted and Talented commenced from April 2009. Most recently we have been asked by the National College to become a partner school for leadership development, and to join the Leading Edge Schools Trust.

Establishment

The teaching staffing establishment of the school is Head plus approximately 40 fte.  The roll is currently 832 including a Sixth Form of 141.

Senior Leadership Team

This consists of the Headteacher, deputy, five assistant headteachers and the School Manager.  The deputy and assistant heads each hold line management responsibility for curriculum areas and share a range of additional responsibilities, including leading the School Council, leading the 14-19 Partnership of local schools, managing and reporting progress, and co-ordinating the pastoral welfare of all the students.

Chaplaincy

A Lay Chaplain works within the school, liaising with the parishes, and supporting the spiritual development of the school community.

Curriculum

Pastoral

There is a well-developed pastoral system based on horizontal tutor groups.  This is organised by heads of Years 7-11 and the Head and Deputy Head of Sixth Form. We have a student support worker on the staff who works very closely with the students in groups or on a one to one basis. Several of the deanery priests are frequent visitors to the school, and have links with a specific year group.

The system incorporates a co-ordinated programme of PSHE, Citizenship and Guidance.

 

Academic

The main features are:

Year 7-8: Common core.

Year 9: Common core.  Some pupils commence Spanish.

Years 10 and 11: All pupils study Religious Education, English, Mathematics, Double or Triple Science and Physical Education. Options provide for Aesthetic subjects, Technology, Humanities ,Modern Foreign Languages and ICT and Computing.

Sixth Form: All usual ‘A’ level subjects are offered with several vocational subjects.  The curriculum is enhanced in co-operation with the neighbouring County Upper School.  The stay-on rate into the Sixth Form has always been one of the highest in the county and is currently 65%.

Extra-curricular: Participation in sport, music, art, drama and public speaking is very high and success considerable.  There are also many other activities arranged according to pupils’ interests.

 Examination Results

Our examination results are consistently excellent.  In 2015 A level results were among the highest in the country and GCSE results were among the highets in Suffolk.

Ofsted

The school was last inspected in September 2014 and the sixth form was judged to be outstanding and the school overall to be requiring improvement. The Diocese Section 48 inspection of July 2013 judged the school to be outstanding.

Awards

The school is recognised as an Investor in People and a Healthy School.  Following the 2008 Inspection, it is classified as a High Performing Specialist School (HPSS). In 2015 the school gained the RE Quality Mark  for its provision of Religious Education.