School Profile

What have been our successes this year?

In February 2008 OFSTED judged the school as outstanding, the 3rd successive time we have been singled out for such an accolade - achieved by only 5% of schools nationally. It comes on top of an 'Outstandingly Effective School' OFSTED report in February 2005. As a result the School was listed as a particularly successful school in the Chief Inspector's Annual Report; this was repeated in 2008.
Examination results in Summer 2008 were excellent.  At KS3 100% of pupils achieved level 6 or above in their Teacher Assessments in English & Maths and Science. The percentage achieving level 7+ in 2009 was 92% in Science, 88% in Maths 78% in English. Performance at GCSE was very good with 83% of results awarded grades of A*/A compared to 88% in 2008 ( our best ever results). This places the School in the top 20 of all state schools. Raw value added performance KS2-4 places the school in the top 3-4% of all schools and in the top 1-2% of Grammar Schools.
We had our best ever A Level performance in 2009; 82.% of all grades were A/B grades compared to 81% of results in 2008. The Sunday Times Parent Power guide places the School in the top 20 nationally for GCSE and A Level performance.

What are we trying to improve?

Better Accommodation
In common with previous OFSTED reports a need was identified for improved facilities in PE. In May 2009 we opened the new Sports Hall which has helped to transform PE provision during the current year. Our next projects are to focus upon improved Performing Arts, RE and Science facilities.

Specialist School Status
In response to the Government's initiative that all schools should choose a specialism we became a Language College in September 2006. This is appropriate for St. Michael's as a way of celebrating the School's Catholic mission. We believe that preparing young Catholics to communicate more fully within a global context will enable our youth to have a depth of understanding of other cultures and communities. In 2010 we will apply for redesignation which may involve adding another specialism such as Performing Arts or Science.

Managed Learning Environment

By September 2010 we hope to have made the transition into an MLR environment through the media of FRONTER to enable pupils and parents to access a variety of school information.

How much progress do pupils make between 11 and 16?


Our school          Confidence interval

The chart shows our school's contextual value added (CVA) score relative to that of other secondary schools. CVA is a statistical means of assessing how effective a school is, by measuring pupils' progress using their test and examination results. The confidence interval shows the range within which we can be confident the score (calculated on the results of only one year group) represents the overall effectiveness of a school. The percentile rank shows the percentage of schools with a score equal to or higher than ours.

Our CVA score for 2009 identifies the school as being within the top 10% (approx) of all schools with regard to the progress made from Key Stage 2 to 4. This same score also makes us one of the leading grammar schools nationally. Our CVA score of 1016.8 (1014.7 in 2008) is exceptional for a selective school. However this relatively new measure disguises the extent to which our school adds value. Raw Value Added Scores, which are also calculated by the Department for Children, Schools and Families place the school amongst the top 4% of schools in the country. This measures the actual progress made by each pupil at the school. This is supported by research by Schagen and Schagen for NFER in 2005 which identified that Grammar schools had 'by far the biggest impact of any school type' upon educational progress:

How well do our pupils achieve at age 14?

Achievement at age 14    

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This shows Key Stage 3 results for 2007. It shows the percentage of pupils eligible for KS3 tests (usually 14 year olds) who achieved or exceeded level 5.

The chart provided by the DCSF is out of date and does not refer to 2009 never mind 2008!

How well do our pupils achieve at age 16?

Achievement in year 11

This shows the percentage of pupils (who were at the end of Key Stage 4) who in 2008 achieved 5 or more GCSEs (and equivalent) at grades A*- C, 5 or more GCSEs (and equivalent) at grades A*-C including English and mathematics GCSE, and one or more GCSEs (and equivalent) at grades A*-G.

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2008 marked our best ever year for GCSE results. 88% of all results were at grades A* and A. This was the fourth best league table performance in terms of raw results in the country. In 2009 results were not quite as good at 83% at A* and A which placed the School in the top 20 of all schools in national performance tables using raw results.

100% of pupils passed at least 5 subjects (including Maths and English) at grades A*-C.

A record number of 60 girls obtained at least 10 A* and A grades each.

How have our results changed over time?

There has been a remarkable degree of consistent improvement in results during the 14 years that the Headmistress has been in post. Results  improved dramatically in the period 1995 to 2001 and are being maintained at a consistently high level since then.
At GCSE the percentage of entries achieving an A*/A has risen from around 45% to the  80s in the last two years. Similarly at A Level results at the higher grades of A & B have risen from around 40% to the mid 80s. At Key Stage 3 results have also improved each year. 2008 saw exceptional performance at GCSE and A Level. Our students achieved  81% of all A Level entries at grades A and B in 2008 and 82% in 2009.

How are we making sure that every child gets teaching to meet their individual needs?

All pupils sit an entrance test prior to entry in order to measure their ability to cope with the fast pace of learning.
To stimulate students a wide curriculum offer is provided.
In Maths pupils are divided after Year 7 into sets according to attainment and speed of working.
Students are allocated attainment targets using MIDYIS and ALIS in each subject based on prior performance data to allow teachers to monitor individual progress.
Support for pupils experiencing difficulties is provided in the form of 'study buddies', after school extra lessons and individual assistance from their teachers as required.
The individual spiritual needs of our pupils are met by our acts of daily reflective worship backed up by a full programme of assemblies, liturgies and RE lessons.
Varied teaching strategies are used to ensure that students' different learning styles are reflected within lessons. Staff know the preferred learning styles of each pupil.

How do we make sure all pupils attend their lessons and behave well?

Attendance and behaviour at St. Michael's are excellent. This success is a reflection of the high quality of pastoral care.
Pastoral care is provided by form teachers under the direction of an Assistant Headteacher in charge of each Key Stage. This system integrates the academic and pastoral care of each student. Therefore every aspect of a pupil's experience is monitored by a senior teacher with the ability to effect early and appropriate support.
A recent review of the School's behaviour management system resulted in the introduction of a clearer procedure for rewards and sanctions which we call Positive Discipline.

What have pupils told us about the school, and what have we done as a result?

In pupil questionnaires pupils are very positive about the quality of teaching and learning. 96% of pupils in Years 7 and 10  said they were happy at school  compared to 87% of pupils in all London schools.
'Girls enjoy coming to school; they relish the challenge in lessons and enjoy the many opportunities for curriculum enrichment. They feel they are very well prepared for future stages of education.' (OFSTED 2005)
93% of Year 7 and 10 pupils agreed that St. Michael's is a good school compared with 70% of pupils in all London schools.

Recent issues identified by pupils have included suggestions for healthier food in the canteen, requests for greater opportunities to reward good behaviour, better toilet facilities, and Year 11 privileges. These have all been been actioned. During 2009 6th Form students identified the need to upgrade computer hardware in the 6th Form resources area. To help the school they helped the School raise £6,000 to do this.

The 2008 OFSTED inspectors quoted pupils who said that they were 'very positive about the teaching......[and] the use of interactive whiteboards.' One student told them 'We are like one big family, everyone is made to feel equal'. 

How are we working with parents and the community?

Teachers provide regular information to parents through twice yearly written reports, a Parent/Teacher meeting and a Parental Information evening each year. Meetings are well supported with almost 100% attendance by parents. The Headmistress writes to parents who have not attended.
An annual parental questionnaire is used to measure parental satisfaction.
A thriving Parents Association organises several fundraising and social events each year.
The School has strong links with the wider Catholic Community, especially with our local parish, St. Alban's.
There is a long standing collaboration at 6th Form level with a local Catholic boys' comprehensive school. As part of the School's Language College status the School has developed very strong links with local primary schools. Free Adult Education classes are provided in 3 languages.

Our new sports hall is used by a number of community groups.

What activities and options are available to pupils?

There is a wide curriculum offer at all key stages. This means that pupils can sit up to 11 GCSEs.
Extra curricular activities include:
Dance, Drama, Music (Choirs, orchestra and instrumental tuition), Athletics, Football, Rugby, Tennis, Netball and Rounders.
The close proximity of the 'Arts Depot' performing arts complex provides an exciting venue for performances.
There is a very strong tradition of educational visits as part of the formal curriculum as well as annual exchanges and 6th form work experience in France, Belgium, Sweden, Spain, Italy and Germany. There is also a yearly ski trip. Currently we are trying to develop links with Chinese schools.
Raising money for charities is also undertaken by each form.
All pupils in Year 10 benefit from a two week work placement.

How do our absence rates compare with other schools?


This chart shows the percentage of half days missed through authorised and unauthorised absence by all pupils at the school. Information is given for the school, for schools within the local authority and for all schools.

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Excellent pupil attendance is a reflection of an effective pastoral system, supportive parents and pupils who are motivated to succeed. Unauthorised absence has been 0.1% or lower for every year since 1998 and is one of the lowest in Barnet.

How do we make sure our pupils are healthy, safe and well-supported?

1. There is a longstanding Personal, Social and Health Education programme which is reviewed and updated on a regular basis. It is extensive in its scope and includes:
Careers Education
Work Related Learning and Enterprise
Health and Sex Education within the context of Catholic Teaching
Spiritual, Moral and Social education issues such as Bullying and Crime Prevention.
2. There has been a review of the school canteen menu in the light of current debate about offering healthier food options. Students' views were canvassed through the School Council. All pupils study Healthy Eating in their Food Technology lessons.
3. Opportunities for pupils to raise issues of concern are offered as part of the regular School Council meetings.
4. The School Chaplain is available for advice and guidance.

What do our pupils do after year 11?

100% of Year 11 embark on A level courses.

What have we done in response to Ofsted?

'St. Michaels is an outstanding school. As it celebrates its centenary this year, it continues to grow from strength to strength. Standards are exceptionally high, amongst the highest found nationally, both at GCSE and A level, and continue to improve.' OFSTED 2008

The only action point for improvement was

  • ·      Enhance systems for self-evaluation to take greater account of students' views of the work of the School

In response the School has

  • ·      Engaged in a whole school consultation through the School Council
  • ·      Engaged the services of the LEA to provide In service Training for the Leadership Team.

 Improved systems and structures have been implemented from September 2009.

Information about our sixth form:

Our results this year

Examination results in Summer 2009 were excellent.. We had our best ever A Level performance in 2009; 83.% of all grades were A/B grades compared to 81.6% of results in 2007 and 81% in 2008. In 2009 we were placed as the best A Level performer in Barnet in DCSF performance tables in terms of A level points score per pupil.. The Sunday Times Parent Power guide places the School in the top 20 nationally for GCSE and A Level performance.

How have our results changed over time?

Over the last 14 years the improvement in A level results has been remarkable within the context of an expanding / flourishing sixth form. Steady improvement has been made possible by extending the range of subjects on offer whilst at the same time welcoming new students from a large number of other schools.

What have been the successes of the sixth form this year?

'Standards in the Sixth Form are exceptionally high and achievement is outstanding. The leadership and management of the Sixth form are highly effective and have a very succesful focus on raising achievement. Senior leaders have narrowed variation in standards between subjects.' OFSTED 2008

 A level results from 2007 - 2009 are consistently over 80% attainment with respect to grades A-B.

Boys were admitted for the first time in Septmber 2009 and we believe that this is working well.

What are we trying to improve in our sixth form?

OFSTED 2008 commented  'The outstanding care, guidance and support enjoyed by students in the main school continue in the Sixth Form.'

The School is continuing with its long term objective of optimising student attainment at A level. Teaching and learning methodologies are under constant review as are the human and capital resources that can be allocated to support student learning. Good practice is being shared across subject departments to achieve greater consistency of performance between subject areas.

The transition to a mixed sixth form will enter its second year in September 2010 and will be informed by a review of the current Year 12 pupils' views so that the School can make further adaptations in the year ahead.

What do our students do after leaving the sixth form?

100% of our Year 13 students progress into University Education.  On average 5% of students are offered places at Oxford or Cambridge. Some students take a gap year or undertake for example an Art Foundation course prior to starting their undergraduate courses.
Perhaps this success is explained by OFSTED's observation that 'the programme of advice and guidance relating to university entrance is very well planned.'

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