Bishop Challoner Catholic Secondary School was founded in 1975, we are looking forward to celebrating our 40th Anniversary in 2015.
The school is a Voluntary Aided school in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth, we serve the Catholic community of the North West Hampshire Pastoral Area. Students from Basingstoke and the surrounding villages and towns of Hook, Tadley and Andover attend the school.
The school has expanded in recent years, the roll is currently (November 2013) 775, and is expected to eventually peak at around 800 in the next few years. The planned admission number is 160, the linked primary schools are St Anne's Catholic Primary School, St Bede's Catholic Primary School and St John The Baptist Catholic Primary School. A number of students are admitted each year from other religious traditions, they enable the school to develop a deep and rich faith culture. The commitment of parents in choosing Bishop Challoner Catholic Secondary School is greatly welcomed.
Priests and Clergy from the parishes in the pastoral area serve the school. We are privileged to have a Lay Chaplain and also welcome the Pastoral Area Coordinator for Youth Ministry to our school. Our links with the Diocese, Parish and Primary schools are extensive and underpin the school.
The school has a long established tradition of outreach and service, we have a developing relationship with the Archdiocese of Bamenda in the Cameroon.
Our reputation for outstanding pastoral care and high achievement is consistently recognised by external inspection and validation along with high student outcomes year by year. The attainment of students is praised, as is the high aspiration and commitment to continuous school improvement of the Headteacher, Staff and Governors. The 2010 Ofsted report stated “Students’ achievement and most of their other outcomes are outstanding". Inspection reports can be view on the Ofsted website or by clicking here. The 2010 Section 48 Inspection carried out by the Diocese of Portsmouth describes Bishop Challoner Catholic Secondary School as "Outstanding".
We offer a broad and balanced curriculum, with a large core of subjects followed by all students augmented by additional Pathways in Years 10 and 11. This core includes English, Science (3 separate sciences for the majority), Mathematics and a Modern Foreign Language. Critically in our school it also includes Religious Education. Our Pathways include Drama, Music, Art, an additional language, Technology and Computing Science. The Creative and Performing Arts have a high profile in the school with a large number of students studying at least one to GCSE and even larger number involved in instrumental lessons, various music groups, productions and Rock Challenge. We were awarded Arts Mark Gold in October 2013 in recognition of this.
In Year 10 and 11 some students may be advised that a Personalised Pathway of GCSE's and the Certificate Of Personal Effectiveness (COPE) is appropriate. Our strong SEN team led by our SENCO, ensures that all students have access to learning support as appropriate. We also use initiatives such as the Pupil Premium to offer additional support and mentoring. We actively support able students.
In addition PE and sports also enjoy an enviable reputation, the majority of students participate in some form of extra-curricular or team sports during their time at Bishop Challoner. We pride ourselves both in terms of the level of participation of inter-school events and the outstanding success of teams and individuals in a range of sports, including dance, rugby and football (boys and girls), netball, tennis, athletics and table tennis. Outside school we support students participating at a high level in hockey, swimming, fencing, sailing and show jumping.
Students are also encouraged to take part in a range of school visits and residential opportunities including an annual French exchange, art trips to Cornwall, Washington and New York, the Ardeche, retreats and the Duke of Edinburgh Award. Our students are also expected to serve other through fund raising, Fair Trade Campaigns, UNICEF, helping out at Saxon Wood and local primary schools, serving mass etc. We call this wide range of opportunity and achievement "The Challoner Baccalaureate" because we wish to recognise our objective of educating the whole person. We also celebrate the achievements of our young people by awarding school colours and awards evenings for all aspects of school life.
Expectations are high for all students. We expect all students to achieve their best and for staff to demand the best in behaviour, attitude to work and attainment. We call this focused approach "The Challoner Way". We believe all students have the right to a high quality experience at our school.
Our relationships with parents, carers and students are important to us. We promote parental involvement in our school and provide opportunities for student voice and leadership. We have an outstanding pastoral and support team which works closely with parents and students, we describe this holistic approach to pastoral care as "Walk With Me", recognising that our Catholic mission demands that we support, encourage and guide our young people even in the most challenging circumstances.
In summary, Bishop Challoner Catholic Secondary School is a community with a spiritual mission. Opportunities for prayer, reflection and worship are built into the patter of the school's life. The liturgical year is evident in the life of the school. Students are fully involved in a variety of ministries in liturgy and assembly. Each day starts and ends with prayer. All students are supported on their particular spiritual journey.
As an ambitious, forward looking school, we intend to build on the outstanding achievements of the past years, to ensure that current and future generations of students have the same opportunities as we attempt to put into practise the words of Bishop Richard Challoner who urged us to do "Ordinary things, extraordinarily well".