The Holy Family Catholic High School is a small, oversubscribed and genuinely inclusive secondary school located in Carlton, North Yorkshire. Our aim is to provide an outstanding education for all children irrespective of background or prior attainment.
We are proud of our Catholic ethos which we believe, sets us apart from other schools locally. Our mission is to help all pupils ‘to increase in wisdom and grace’ by working in genuine partnership with parents and carers to provide an outstanding education for all pupils that allows each one of them to achieve their potential academically, develop personally and grow spiritually. The school is much more than a family in name and is recognised widely as a warm and caring community where each pupil is recognised and valued as an individual and nurtured to achieve their full potential.
We encourage all our students to use their God-given talents to be the best they can be and as a result, pupils leave with the qualifications, key skills and attributes they need to not only prosper personally but also, contribute to society and to the common good.
The school houses a Local Authority Enhanced Mainstream Provision (EMP) that supports children with communication and interaction difficulties. The school is rightly proud of the strong reputation it holds locally for the quality of its SEND provision.
I joined the school as Headteacher in September 2016. I am very aware that I am introducing myself to you as the third Headteacher in as many years and would like to reassure you of my commitment to the school. I applied for the post of Headteacher at The Holy Family Catholic High School because it offered an exciting, long term opportunity of Headship in a school that is ambitious to be outstanding, and as such it is my intention to provide stability and continuity for all members of the school community over the coming years.
This year we have begun in earnest our improvement journey towards outstanding, and whilst we are committed to achieving this ambition on behalf of all our pupils we are not complacent. There is still work to be done and there are challenges ahead but we will respond to these challenges directly, without compromise and in the knowledge and love of God.
'Together we step out in faith, weathering the storms that may challenge us, confident that Christ is with us and united as a holy family.'
If you'd like to find out more about us or come for a look around, please do get in touch.
I look forward to welcoming you personally to Holy Family.
Mrs Louise Wilson
GCSE and equivalent outcomes 2017
Holy Family Catholic High School is delighted to report strong improvement in GCSE and equivalent outcomes in 2017.
Despite changes to GCSE grading in English Language, English Literature and maths, the pupils of Holy Family Catholic High School have achieved a very pleasing set of results overall. The proportion of pupils achieving the new grade 9 is particularly encouraging and is well above the proportion achieving the highest grade nationally in both English Language and maths.
Whilst the changes make comparisons with previous years difficult I am delighted to report strong improvement across a range of indicators compared with nationally reported figures in 2017.
A full commentary on the 2017 outcomes will be posted under the Information tab on our website in due course.
Updated 19th June 2017
There is the North Yorkshire Youth Commission online survey live at www.northyorksyc.co.uk this will run until the end of the year and the NYYCs ambition is to achieve 1,000 responses from a wide demographic across North Yorkshire. The NYYC would be grateful for your support in promoting this survey.
Although it is a well-known cliché that time seems to go more quickly the older we all get, I can honestly say that I am astounded that the first term is already over and that the Christmas holidays are upon us. As you are aware, this has been my first term as Acting Head teacher and, although there have been many challenges, I must say that I have enjoyed the experience immensely.
The academic year started extremely positively when our former Year 11 pupils were awarded the best GCSE results that Holy Family have ever achieved. An overall Progress 8 score of +0.21 (for those in the know regarding new school measures), 68% of pupils achieving 5A*-C grades including English and Maths, 81% of pupils achieving 5A*-C grades and 98% of pupils achieving 5A*-G grades illustrates that all groups of learners were successful last year. These results certainly made my first few weeks more comfortable.
Our current Year 11 pupils have recently successfully completed their mock exams and the initial indications are extremely promising if students continue to work with effort and commitment for their remaining five months at Holy Family.
Our new Year 7 cohort appear to have settled in well and I would like to thank all parents and staff for their combined efforts in making this so, especially Mr Wadsworth and the Year 7 tutor team. Mr Wadsworth has recently secured the Head of Year post on a permanent basis after Miss Vernon rescinded the position following her recent maternity leave. I would like to thank Miss Vernon for all her hard work and wish Mr Wadsworth every success in the next chapter of his professional life.
The Year 7 Mass of Welcome was extremely well supported and the introduction of a further “settling in” parent/tutor meeting seems to have been popular; we aim to offer both events again next year. The main transition period from primary school was effectively completed just before half term when the majority of the year group took part in an outdoor education residential just in October. Outdoor Education seems to be increasingly popular at the moment and hopefully our new Duke of Edinburgh pupils will take part in an expedition during the summer term. This initiative has been established at Holy Family this year after several parent and pupil requests and we do hope to offer the opportunity to subsequent Year 10 cohorts.
There have been numerous other extra-curricular activities throughout this first term and I would like to thank all staff for supporting them. They have been too numerous to list but have included various sporting events including the usual netball, football, rugby and cross country fixtures along with slightly less common handball. There have been numerous residential experiences including the previously mentioned Year 7 Dearne Valley trip, an Arts trip to Barcelona in the October half term and another recently to London. The Year 11 pupils have had thirteen different post 16 providers present to them in school and they have had the opportunity to attend various careers fairs to assist in their decision making with regard to the next steps in their lives. Our pupils have taken part in University taster days, they have completed field trips in Geography and Business Studies and have recently initiated various Christmas community events.
There were a number of staffing changes over the last summer term and this has continued into the autumn term this year. Miss Hutchinson, Miss O’Neill and Miss Wright have all settled into their specific subject roles as NQTs and have already established themselves as key members of our school family.
Mrs Addison, ATA begins her maternity leave on 01 January 2016. We are currently in the process of appointing a temporary (two term) replacement. Mr Crabtree retires from Holy Family after 13 years’ service as a GTA; we wish him a long and happy retirement. Mrs Marie Evans has secured a promotion to Bruntcliffe High School and leaves us on 01 January 2016 after over 13 years of service; we wish her every success in her new venture. Mrs Mitchell was hoping to retire after 23 years as our Finance Officer. Unfortunately, due to recent personal reasons, her replacement is unable to take up the post and we have asked Mrs Mitchell to return on a temporary basis; thankfully she has agreed. We have promised that we will eventually let her go, we just haven’t agreed to a specific date yet! Eventually we will wish her too, a long and happy retirement.
Holy Family welcomes back Mrs Sarah Green into the Maths department on 01 January 2016 after the conclusion of her recent maternity leave. I would like to thank Mrs Sieniek for the time that she has spent with us on long term maternity cover in Maths and we wish her every success in the future. Mrs Hall, our summer Geography appointment from Royds School, Leeds also joins us on 01 January 2016 and I would like to thank Mrs Jennison for her time with us on the long term cover for this post. Mrs Webster leaves the Science department following a period of cover and I also would like to thank her. Mrs Habberjam has recently been appointed as a teacher of Religious Education and she joins us from Queen Ethelburga’s after Christmas. Mrs Record joins us on 11 January 2016 as a teacher of Drama.
As is evident above, there has been quite a bit of staff movement in recent months; however, I do now look forward to more settled times ahead, confident in the appointments that we have made as a school. The New Year will bring its own set of challenges; in particular, the appointment of a new Head teacher and a looming Ofsted inspection (we were last inspected in June 2013 so our next is due around June 2016).
Finally I would like to thank all staff, pupils and parents for their continued support. I wish each one of you and your families a very special Christmas and a peaceful New Year. I look forward to greeting all staff and pupils, fully rejuvenated, on Monday 04 January 2016.
Quite appropriately for a Catholic Head, my first blog is going to begin with a small confession. Ever since I was a small boy I have used (and often continue to use) a diversion tactic enabling me to put off any activity that I didn’t want to do or one that I didn’t really know how to do. Revision for exams; clean my football boots, self-assessment tax form; cut the hedge (that one cost me £100 late filing fee), as you can imagine, the list continues. For the last fortnight my job list has included ‘complete Headmaster’s blog’.
For many people out there, I can imagine that writing a blog is reasonably straightforward. For a man born in 1969 with little interest in technology or social media I can assure you that this is not the case. The initial question is ‘What should I write about?’
Should this blog include previews and details of upcoming of school events and reviews of recent ones? Surely this would be a newsletter (I would like to assess parents’ interest in this). Should it give parents details of important upcoming dates such as exams or trips? Surely this should be on an accessible calendar (there is one on the website under ‘Parents Area’ by the way). Should it be funny, should it be serious, should it include my educational philosophies and/or commentaries regarding the state of education in 2015 or simply reasons why we chose that particular tone of grey for the back wall in reception? Then there is the six million dollar question, ‘Who is going to read it?’
Over the next few weeks I will endeavour to include some of the above in a weekly blog. I will endeavour to make the blog interesting, I will endeavour to make it informative and I will endeavour to meet a Friday deadline every week. Unfortunately, as a newcomer to all of this, I cannot guarantee any of these points, but at least if it all goes wrong I’ll have clean shoes and a nicely cut hedge.
It has become apparent during my forty five years thus far on this earth, that many personal characteristics that we carry in adulthood were imprinted upon us early in childhood. Many of our habitual patterns of behavior, temperament and emotion are ingrained and changing any of them can be quite a challenging process. I have been acutely aware of this during the first few weeks of headship.
Despite what many people may now think, as a child I did not like to be the centre of attention. I can admit to some inaccuracy within this statement however and a more truthful revision may be that I did not like to be made the centre of attention. Many people who knew me in my adolescence may comment that I looked fairly comfortable, desperately grasping it, when I felt the want!
Never was this more the case as during Advent every year at St. Benedict’s, Garforth. As a child, I had numerous roles in school plays and it is worth noting that I took as much pleasure at six years old at being ‘the back end of the donkey’ in our annual Nativity as I did the next year at seven years old as ‘the innkeeper’ and hence narrator, in a slightly more modern interpretation of the same story. In fact whilst I thoroughly enjoyed the experience as the innkeeper once the performance had successfully passed, I still have vivid memories of clammy hands, a dry mouth and an abject fear of forgetting my well-rehearsed lines and letting down my fellow third year infant thespians.
Recently at Holy Family, we have had a few events that brought back that sense of foreboding. The Year 6 Open evening and the Year 7 Mass of welcome both reminded me of my childhood reluctance to be thrust into the spotlight. On both of these occasions the preparation and effort from all staff and pupils involved were quite humbling. The school looked fantastic and the evenings were planned with military precision. As a teacher with over twenty years’ experience public speaking is not something that is usually of a concern; both of these occasions however, were different. The thoughts of wanting to eloquently describe the real ethos and values of the school to parents and visitors, to support the hard work and dedication from all colleagues and to make an appropriate and positive impression in my maiden events as Acting Head teacher reminded me of that evening as an innkeeper nearly forty years ago.
A week or so later, I can now happily reflect on the successes of both evenings. This blog offers me the opportunity to publically thank all staff, pupils and parents who were involved in both of these very special events; they were outstanding. It is evenings such as these that genuinely put ‘family’ into Holy Family Catholic School and hopefully we will enjoy many more celebratory occasions together in the future. Similarly to my time as an innkeeper, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience once the ‘performance’ had successfully passed. The only major difference was that forty years later no one squeezed my cheeks or left lipstick marks on my reddening forehead whilst telling me how proud they were of me. It may be worth mentioning at this stage, that I would be very grateful if this omission continued for the foreseeable future.