Newmarket’s ‘outstanding’ St Louis Academy is top class

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A Newmarket academy has been rated as one of the best Roman Catholic schools in the country by a diocesan inspector.

St Louis Catholic Academy, in Fordham Road, was rated as ‘outstanding’ and awarded a Grade One rating for every aspect of the school’s provision of religious education and values by East Anglian Diocesan inspector Marion Betts.

The school has 345 pupils aged from three to 11 years, 80 per cent of whom are Catholic. Almost 40 per cent are from minority ethnic backgrounds and over a fifth have English as their second language.

“The extremely strong Catholic identity permeates the school’s daily life and very effectively promotes pupils’ spiritual growth, positive attitudes and respect for each other,” said Mrs Betts’ report.

“The diversity of pupils’ backgrounds and first languages are fully recognised and celebrated, evidenced by the school’s recent achievement of the national Equality Award.”

In a letter addressed directly to pupils at the school, Mrs Betts said she had been very interested to hear their views of the school and had particularly enjoyed being present at a celebration assembly.

She told pupils she especially liked the strong Catholic ethos of their school which provided them with many opportunities for a wide range of prayer and worship activities.

“You are friendly and considerate to each other and are well cared for by your teachers,” she added.

Mrs Betts praised the headteacher, staff and governors for their commitment to promoting the Catholic life of the school and making it a ‘welcoming inclusive community where all members are respected and valued”.

Looking to the future, Mrs Betts said the school had not remained complacent after its last inspection outstanding grade but had continued its development and new initiatives.

“Through regular monitoring activities, the leadership has a good overall view of the school’s strengths and this provides a firm basis for areas of future development relating to RE and the school’s Catholic life,” said the report.

In order to improve further, Mrs Betts recommended that older pupils could be given the opportunity to plan and lead short acts of worship in groups within their class setting.