Holy Rosary Catholic Voluntary Academy in Burton has been given an overall rating of good – with areas of outstanding practice – following a Diocesan Canonical Inspection.

Inspectors from the Diocese of Nottingham said that the quality of Catholic Life and Collective Worship at the school, which is part of the St Ralph Sherwin Catholic Multi Academy Trust, were outstanding and graded RE education as good.

The inspection also looked at the behaviour and attitudes of pupils, their personal development, the leadership and management of the school and its overall effectiveness, judging all to be good and concluded: “Holy Rosary is a good and effective school which has improved significantly since the last inspection. Here, outstanding Catholic Life and Collective Worship is demonstrated. The school’s character behaviours, and the gospel values chosen, permeate every aspect of school life and are confidently articulated by pupils, staff, parents and governors alike: everyone concerned is visibly proud to be part of this school community.”

Marie Dyche, Acting Head of School at Holy Rosary, said: “We are delighted with the result of this inspection and particularly pleased that inspectors recognised the strong sense of community that is clearly evident at Holy Rosary. We would like to thank our school community for their support, along with the St Ralph Sherwin Trust and the Diocese. We will continue to work hard to provide the very best education for our children, who are at the heart of everything we do.”

The report highlighted many strengths across the school, including Collective Worship. Inspectors said: “The outstanding Collective Worship demonstrated at Holy Rosary is central to school life. This is celebrated enthusiastically by the whole community and parish. Pupils enjoy the contemporary nature of worship and develop genuine ownership when planning and leading worship as they progress through the school.”

Pupils’ behaviour was praised by inspectors who also highlighted the school’s “use of a number of innovative and creative ways to engage with them and their families during the pandemic.” This included a dedicated school YouTube channel called HRTV, which received over 35,000 views and provided pupils with tangible links during periods of home learning.

Opportunities for pupils to embrace leadership were also recognised in the report, including pupil groups called ‘Messengers’, ‘Earth Friends’ and the ‘School Parliament’.

Another strength of the school is the “strong sense of community”, the report said, along with the quality of pastoral care given to pupils and families.

During their visit, inspectors met with senior leaders and governors. They talked to pupils about their work and visited lessons and Collective Worship, observed extra-curricular activities and form time sessions, spoke to curriculum leaders and teachers and looked in depth at the RE curriculum.

Inspectors sought the views of members of the school community, including parents, pupils and staff.

In relation to the pandemic and school closures, the report said: “Parents are eager to discuss how communication is clear, timely and supportive.”

Governors, staff and the school’s lay chaplain were all received praise in the report and inspectors said leaders valued the support from the St Ralph Sherwin Catholic Multi Academy Trust and the Diocese.

Trust CEO, Sean McClafferty, said: “This is wonderful report to read and fully reflects the hard work, dedication and commitment of all staff, governors, parents and pupils. As a Trust, we are hugely proud of their achievements and the judgements of outstanding for Catholic Life and Collective Worship are particularly pleasing.”

Blessed Robert Sutton Catholic Voluntary Academy in Burton, which is also part of the St Ralph Sherwin Catholic Multi Academy Trust, was recently graded good in all areas following a DCI Inspection.