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Report highlights Catholic school's caring and inclusive ethos

Swansea's Bishop Vaughan Catholic School is highly successful in developing pupils' spiritual, social, moral and cultural values, and their sense of community, inspectors have said.

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They also praised the quality of teaching, the school's caring and inclusive ethos, its academic performance and the wide range of opportunities to develop ambitious and creative learners.

The school, which has 1,328 pupils including 256 in the sixth form, was marked as good in all five Estyn inspection areas of Standards; Pupil Wellbeing; Teaching; Care, Support and Guidance for pupils; and School Leadership.

The inspection report states: "Overall the quality of teaching is good. In many lessons, teachers create an inclusive and positive learning environment that supports pupils' subject understanding and personal development well.

"In many instances, teachers' high expectations pervade all aspects of their classroom practice, and this inspires pupils to take pride in their work."

Pupils' achievements at GCSE level compared well with similar schools, according to inspectors.

In addition, "Sixth form pupils...demonstrate enthusiasm, confidence and well developed subject knowledge."

They also said there are strong arrangements in place for the care, support and guidance of vulnerable pupils.

They praised the way parents are kept up to date via an app about their child's behaviour and attendance.

Pupils have the chance to take part in a wide range of extra-curricular activities that cater for a wide range of interests.

The report added: "Leadership at all levels contributes successfully to a shared commitment to achieving the school's aims and ambitions.

"This has a significant impact on pupils' wellbeing and the standards they achieve."

Acting Headteacher Emma Pole said it had been a busy term at the school with a diocesan inspection and numerous other activities as well as the visit from Estyn. Both inspections found the school to be in good health.

"I would like to thank all of the team at Bishop Vaughan, both staff and Governors, as well as the pupils, their families, the parishes and the wider community for their commitment to the school," she added.

"Bishop Vaughan is a very strong community which places emphasis on both traditional academic rigour and character formation of the individual. This report recognises our strengths and provides us with a very good foundation to build upon in the future.

"We are grateful to Estyn for the thorough and independent scrutiny of our school which allowed them to arrive at the objective judgements found in the report."

Chair of Governors Steve Avo added: "Parents and guardians can be very pleased with this report which highlights the fact Bishop Vaughan has a caring and inclusive ethos that is firmly based upon gospel values.

"This is the product of a lot of hard work and all those who have contributed to the school's success should be very proud."

Cllr Jennifer Raynor, Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Lifelong Learning: "I would like to congratulate everyone at Bishop Vaughan on this inspection report. The school has made great strides in recent years and it is very pleasing that the Estyn inspectors have acknowledged the many positive developments that have been introduced."


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