AN 'ambitious' high school in Hartford where pupils are ‘excellent role models’ and ‘staff are proud to work’ has retained its Good Ofsted rating.

Staff and pupils at St Nicholas Catholic High School were given cause for celebration after its latest visit from the government’s education watchdog on March 6 and 7.

The inspection report praises the school’s ‘high expectations’ of all pupils, and noted how well they were 'prepared for the next stage of their education, training, or employment’.

They also noted the school’s ‘well-designed’ and ‘ambitious’ curriculum, which stimulates most pupils to ‘achieve well’.

Under ‘areas for improvement’, the report states while St Nicholas has a system in place to address low attendance, a small number of students don’t attended as often as they should, which hinders how well they achieve.

Head teacher, Craig Burns, said: “A distinctive characteristic of our school is a commitment to a continuous journey of improvement. 

“Although we’re pleased Ofsted highlighted many significant strengths, we remain non-complacent, and will continue to work hard with parents and carers as we journey forward together to ensure the best possible education for every student in our care.

“It is testament to the commitment of our teachers that Ofsted recognised the key strengths of their daily practice, including how well they implement the curriculum, their detailed subject knowledge, and their abilities to explain concepts well. 

“Such a favourable Ofsted report would not have been possible without the dedication of all members of the school community.

"I would like to thank all students, teachers, staff, parents, carers, and governors, who all combine to make St Nicholas such a unique and special place of learning.”  

In the report, Ofsted lead inspector, Eleanor Overland, said: “Pupils at St Nicholas benefit from a well-designed, ambitious curriculum, and they apply themselves in lessons and achieve well. They enjoy learning.

“Pupils receive a wide range of information and guidance about careers education and their future opportunities. They are aspirational for their future education and employment.

“Many value the range of clubs and activities on offer to them. The diverse experiences that the school provides help them nurture their wider talents and build their leadership skills.

"Pupils develop a strong sense of the importance of citizenship and helping others, for example by raising money for local charities.

“In the sixth form, students benefit from global travel opportunities. For example, some students spoke enthusiastically about a planned expedition to Vietnam and Cambodia.

“Leaders are ambitious for the future developments of the school. Governors are clear about their roles and responsibilities, and ensure they provide appropriate support and challenge to the school as it continues to develop.

“Staff said the school carefully considers their workload. For example, they are consulted on any changes before they are introduced.

"They are proud to work at the school.”