Students at Our Lady & St Chad Catholic Academy are celebrating another year of national successes, exceeding their ‘best ever results’ as an Academy.
The gifts and talents of the students continue to be recognised at both regional and national levels, with achievements in a wide variety of areas including and beyond academic excellence.
The drive for individual and collective achievements are encompassed by ‘… a positive ethos in the school that encourages pupils to achieve success within the context of Christian Gospel Values of Respect, Truth, Justice, Peace, Charity and Forgiveness. A strong team spirit permeates the life of the school, reflecting the school motto of ‘strong alone, unstoppable together’ (Ofsted 2018).
Demand more / academic excellence
The Academy has been highly praised in an external study for its “unique and outstanding transition” for children in Year 6.
This educational journey from Year 6 is highly likely to continue until the age of 18, where the nationally respected 6th Form College at the Academy is building an excellent reputation.
Ninety-five per cent of students are gaining places at their first choice universities, many with unconditional offers and nearly half studying at Russell Group Universities.
Preparation for university and adult life begins from Year 7, where students access a range of opportunities, such as external leadership training, curriculum extra sessions, national and international visits, work with Partner Schools in Japan and Uganda, sports, performing arts, safe choices projects and careers.
At the end of Year 8, students praise the increasing range of GCSE options; which include subjects such as Sociology, Psychology, Finance, Design and Performing Arts, alongside the core academic curriculum.
Inspiring curiosity in a loving community
Our Lady and St Chad Catholic Academy is recognised for the unique ‘values’ driven environment in which students learn; Truth, Justice, Charity, Forgiveness, Respect and Peace. Section 48 inspectors left inspired by students’ moral values, respect for each other and their approach to outstanding Catholic life at the Academy.
Students are apart of a community where these gospel values and virtues are explicit in policy, curriculum, school social time, wider Academy experiences and academic outcomes.
Students’ positive behaviour and sense of community derives from a whole school drive to promote a feeling of self worth and belonging to one family.
This was recognised by Ofsted 2018 and highly praised by inspectors from the Archdiocese of Birmingham, who stated: “Students are taught through a cooperative approach to learning, securing the Academy’s vision that every student will leave as a collaborator, gifted communicator and leader.
This, combined with opportunities such as Oxford University Pathways, Duke of Edinburgh Award, Dragons Den Soap Box Challenges, and national Business and Enterprise competitions, serves to plant the seed to inspire a curiosity that will hopefully last a lifetime.”
Challenging inspirational environment
The Academy received an £8m investment to improve the building, furnishings, sport and ICT facilities.
It also boasts iMac suites, clay kilns, science laboratories, a language zone, climbing wall, hospitality/catering kitchen and a performing arts centre with a recording studio, practice rooms and a green room, to name a few.
The recent development of the national size 3G synthetic turf pitch further enhances the already extensive facilities which the school has for sport, dance and the arts.
Most recently, a £4.7 million expansion building programme has begun (due for completion September 2019) to serve the increasing popularity of the Academy.
Encourage and support
Our Lady & St Chad places great importance on a pastoral system that supports and encourages young people to reach their potential; socially, morally, spiritually and academically.
Our Lady & St Chad Catholic Academy prides itself on the nationally renowned ‘Leadership Academy Programme’.
Students are selected to become a school leader based on their excellence in all aspects of school life.
All Year 7 students have their own externally-trained peer mentor for their first year at Our Lady and St Chad.
This year students have volunteered to support at a number of local events including, the Black Country School Games and most prestigiously, at the Sainsburys’ National School Games in Manchester.
Other elite sporting successes included Our Lady & St Chad Academy’s Dance Squad beating off fierce competition in June to once again earn their place as National Champions.