Staff and pupils at St Richard’s Catholic College were celebrating after the school was found to be ‘outstanding’ in its recent Denominational Inspection by the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton.
The inspectors found the school to be ‘outstanding’ in all areas and highlighted aspects of school life that led to this outcome, including pastoral care, spiritual support and the provision of religious education.
The report stated that pastoral care is a significant feature of the school: “The welfare of each person inspires the whole community in building a calm, harmonious and prayerful school, and the attainment and progress of pupils have consistently risen since the last inspection.”.
It also celebrated the range of fundraising and justice and peace campaigns the pupils engage in being “aware of the needs of others in the local and wider community”. Last year, more than £24,000 was raised by the school in response to the needs of others.
Regarding the teaching of Religious Education, the report stated that: “Outcomes in Religious Education are outstanding… and the school is consistently among the highest performing in the Diocese and pupil outcomes for Religious Education are above national averages.”
It was also acknowledged that: “The behaviour of the pupils in all lessons seen during the inspection was exemplary because they are keen to learn and support each other in their learning.”
The Catholic life of the school was highly praised: “The school mission statement is a clear and inspiring expression of the educational mission of the Church. The spirit of service permeates the community. In interviews, pupils spoke warmly about the opportunities they are given to grow as people.”
Principal Miss Cronin stated that the whole community was delighted with the inspection outcomes and its recognition of the importance of developing young people in their social, spiritual and moral journey, as well as their academic journey.
Mrs Marie Ryan, the Director of the Diocesan Education Service, said she was very impressed with the report’s findings, particularly the following comment from the inspector: “The profound impact of the school is evidenced in the calm harmony that characterises pupils’ daily lives. There is an impressive degree of mutual respect and care. No pupil is left out.”