THE largest Catholic school in the country is celebrating after improving in its latest Ofsted inspection.

St Bede's and St Joseph's Catholic College, based both off Highgate and Cunliffe Road, was visited by the education watchdog on September 26 and 27.

The school, which houses a total of 1,890 pupils, received a "Good" rating in just its second inspection since becoming a co-educational college in September 2014.

In that year, the separate single-sex schools of St Bede's and St Joseph's came together as one.

Three years later, the school in its new form had its first Ofsted inspection, receiving a "Requires Improvement" rating.

But St Bede's and St Joseph's has since improved in the required categories, while maintaining its strong levels of sixth form provision and leadership and management, to secure its new grade.

Inspectors were particularly impressed with the school's sixth form and the wider opportunities available to students.

The report stated: "Pupils welcome the extensive programme of activities on offer.

"For example, pupils visit places abroad as part of an extended experience offer.

"Pupils say that: ‘the school opens a lot of doors with lots of sport, drama and music, developing our confidence and teamwork’."

The subject knowledge of teachers, assessment, and high attendance, were all positive highlights of the sixth form.

Subjects were described as being "carefully designed and sequenced".

Headteacher, Lawrence Bentley, said: "We are delighted that our recent Ofsted inspection found the College to be 'Good' in all areas.

"Since St Bede’s Grammar School and St Joseph’s Catholic College merged in 2014, everyone has worked very hard – not only to establish the identity and ethos of our new, co-educational college, but also to provide the best possible educational experience for our students"

He also described the school as more than just an exams factory.

The headteacher added: "We believe that the high expectation we place on all students to take part in all areas of our Catholic College life is the key factor in achieving our central aim of developing, 'Happy, Confident, Spiritually Awake Life-long Learners.'"

One area to improve is the curriculum. Progress is already underway, but more needs to be done to achieve top marks.

The report states: "In most subjects, subject plans are carefully designed and well sequenced.

"Leaders must ensure that an ambitious, coherent and well-sequenced curriculum, which exists in subjects such as English, history and computing, is now embedded in other subjects such as mathematics in key stage 4 and Spanish."