‘Holy Family, Stainforth leads the way in Hallam’.

By Joe O’Connor

The staff and children of Holy Family Stainforth are truly leading the way in the Diocese of Hallam. In June of this year, the school received a remarkable HMI Inspection Report which found:

‘There is enough evidence of improved performance to suggest that the school could be judged outstanding if we were to carry out a section 5 inspection now’.

If this wasn’t good enough, more recently In November of this year, Holy Family was awarded outstanding in all areas in their recent Section 48. This is of particular significance as it is one, if not the first school to be inspected under the new, more rigorous, framework for Religious Education in our Catholic Schools. The report stated:

‘Holy Family School is providing an outstanding level of Catholic education, and is truly aspirational in its vision. The provision for the Catholic life of the school is rooted in the school’s mission, and there exists a high level of consistency in how this is applied across the school. Pupils are overwhelmingly positive about the school, and live out the message of the mission statement to the full. The Catholic life and mission are outstanding’.

The remarkable achievement is down to the outstanding leadership which has been pivotal in driving the school forward in all areas of teaching and learning, as well as preparing the children of Stainforth with opportunities for when they leave school. Within Holy Family, pupils and staff live out their mission statement of ‘Learning together, playing together, praying together.’ The behaviour of all the children is nothing short of exemplary; their polite, courteous and welcoming manner provides a calm and purposeful working atmosphere throughout the school.

The Leadership of the school is steered by the Executive Head, Bernadette Nesbit and the current Head of School, Clair McFadden. Mrs Nesbit is also the Executive Head of St Francis Xavier Balby and St Mary Edlington, which itself underwent an Ofsted Inspection of Good with Outstanding Features and a further Section 48 in the summer of 2022 which was judged Outstanding in all areas. The high expectations for pupils, both academically and socially are pivotal to pupils enjoying their learning and achieving highly.

On a recent visit to the school, Bishop Ralph commented on the exceptional Section 48 Report. He was taken aback by the tangible Catholic Ethos which is lived and breathed by all the pupils. During his visit, he met with children and staff not only to congratulate them but also to see the work on show and to thank everyone for their continued hard work and commitment to the Diocese. Read the full article on the Hallam Bridge Website

Holy Family has enjoyed remarkable success over the years in an area of high deprivation.  This success is built upon a vision of high aspirations.

Mrs Nesbit is at the forefront of educational change. Under her stewardship, not only of Holy Family but also St Mary’s and St Francis Xavier, she manages to juxtapose continuous CPD for staff, ambitious expectations for children and a curriculum to rival any in the country. Holy Family is a true reflection of this ambition. In the words of Bishop Ralph; ‘as a diocese we are proud of the achievements of the school and may it continue to go from strength to strength’.