It is my privilege, as headteacher of Cardinal Wiseman Catholic Technology College, to welcome you wherever you may be reading this. We receive countless messages from far and wide complimenting us on what I trust you agree is a superb web-site befitting our Specialist School Status.
We are first and foremost a Catholic community being a founding member, in 1988, of Birmingham’s Catholic Partnership of Secondary Schools. Our distinctive Catholic ethos extends to all regardless of race, gender, background or ability building on the firm foundations that are laid by parents in the home and by the primary schools which educate our Year 7 intake. We are committed to developing the whole person, believing that each child has God-given talents which we strive to nurture and support the development of.
This is summarised in our Mission Statement, ‘Frontem in Fide – Forward in Faith’: “Cardinal Wiseman Catholic Technology College is committed to providing an education for all our young people inspired by the teachings of Christ. The Gospel message of love of God and of one another shapes our daily life.”
Our children are given daily opportunities to learn more about their Faith and to live their Faith by showing care for and good example to others. Part of this spiritual journey involves celebration of the Holy Eucharist, services of reconciliation, daily prayer and involvement in school retreats. Voluntary Mass is celebrated weekly in our Chapel. We hold the Leading Aspect Award in Faith and Values, giving national recognition to what we represent as a Catholic community.
I am particularly please to report that this month we are celebrating our best ever GCSE results. We recorded the highest GCSE pass rate for A* to C grades in our history. Over 47% of students achieved 5 or more C grades or higher with 41% gaining at least a C grade in English and Maths. In fact, close to 70% of students achieved a C grade or greater in English while 50% achieved the same in Maths. An impressive number of students have also achieved 12 or 13 GCSE passes at grade C or above. In addition, 98% of all students have left us with at least one qualification at GCSE. These results are a tribute to the hard work and dedication of both the staff and the students and their determination to achieve their best. This wonderful achievement follows on from our recent successful Ofsted inspection.
Our parents clearly believe we are heading in the right direction as we continue to be over-subscribed. In a recent consultation I was delighted to find that 100% of the parents surveyed confirmed that: “teachers in this school believe all children can learn”. We intend continuing to work with them, building further on our recent success. High standards of work, appearance and behaviour are expected from every member of our school community.
We work hard to ensure that our communication with parents is a priority and a number of systems are in place to engage parents. For the past two years the school has pioneered the use of the Internet to allow parents to log on to the school’s management system and to follow their child’s academic progress as well as monitoring their behaviour, attendance and punctuality. This has attracted the attention of both the Department for Children, Schools and Families and the Specialist Schools and Academies’ Trust who have both featured the school in published case studies. Schools Minister, Jim Knight has also mentioned the work we have done in this field in key note speeches to delegates at education conferences.
There is no room for complacency, however, as the coming academic year promises to be another eventful and exciting one. Those of us privileged to be involved in Catholic education have always believed that ‘Every Child Matters’, long before the government launched their ECM initiative We are committed to working with ‘Clockwork’, the Oscott Extended Provision Cluster, which aims to bring together the community and schools within the Oscott area to create a vibrant urban village for young people and families to live in. We are the designated lead school in the cluster and Catholic families can expect to see in the near future increased community access to schools, swift and easy referrals to specialist services, access to quality childcare, parenting support and family or adult learning within the cluster.
The government’s initiative ‘Building Schools for the Future’ (BSF) is a project to rebuild or redevelop all secondary schools throughout the country over the next 15 years or so. Birmingham Local Authority has already begun the process. We are part of phase two of the Authority’s plans with work scheduled to begin in 2010 on creating a modern and well equipped school fit for the future education of students in the north of Birmingham.
Beyond the classroom, we are in the process of evaluating sustainable energy resources. With an increased focus on global warming and environmental issues we are about to begin a project involving the installation of a wind turbine to generate its own power. This revolutionary project will allow the school to power a classroom full of computers from its own source and to evaluate the results. Currently we awaiting planning permission but, hopefully, given the go-ahead, the system will be up and running by the end of October.
Through the weekly Friday letter, published in a separate section of the web-site, we’ll be keeping you informed of these and other developments as well as celebrating our students' achievements, doing our best to keep you informed of life here at Cardinal Wiseman.
Thank you for having taken the time to visit our website. I hope you find whatever you are looking for. If not then please let us know.
On behalf of all governors, staff and students, I offer you best wishes and good health for the future.