About Trinity - Overview
Welcome to the Trinity Catholic School
As a Catholic community, we are trying to live the Faith, grow in the Faith and help our young people achieve the best they can in all aspects of their schooling. The school will try to provide lots of opportunities inside school and extracurricular, and we hope this will encourage all our children and young people to get as involved as possible. We hope that the example of our teachers and other support staff, as well as other pupils, will encourage the development of all our community, so that eventually pupils will leave here as rounded, confident, sensible, enthusiastic and committed young people.
We will need the help of parents in this call. Our high achievement and excellent standards are based upon a consistent message given by teachers and parents regarding uniform, standards of behaviour and, most importantly, commitment and effort at school. As a school, we will be relentless in our pursuit of the best for your son or daughter; we want to involve everyone in that endeavour. The solid support of parents over many years, the outstanding quality of teaching and the commitment of our pupils (yes that trinity) have helped develop this school. Whether you are parent, teacher, support staff or pupil, we look forward to a happy and productive association over your time at Trinity.
The Trinity School is a mixed 11 to 18 Voluntary Aided Catholic Comprehensive School and was, for a short time, a Grant Maintained School. We are now part of the St Barnabas Multi Academy Trust, or MAT. The trust includes three of our associated Primaries (St Mary’s in Hyson Green, St Teresa’s in Aspley and Our Lady’s in Bulwell) and a fourth (St Augustine’s in Mapperley) is also supported by our MAT. We enjoy excellent relations with our Primaries and work on many transition projects together – two of the schools are Ofsted Outstanding and two are Good. Trinity aims to provide a quality education, emphasising academic excellence, good discipline and achievement in all the broader aspects of education within a happy and distinctively Catholic atmosphere. We are aware of our mission to educate in the faith.
We have a high retention rate and most students go from our Year 11 into our Sixth Form and then off to Universities or Colleges of Higher Education. Oxford and Cambridge places have been gained by a number of pupils. However, others take successful progression pathways into apprenticeships and ultimately take their place in the world of work. We are proud of our NEET (pupils NOT in education, employment or training) figures being zero most years. Our public examination results are excellent and every year many pupils achieve 8, 9 and 10 subjects at higher grades in GCSE. More than 30% of grades achieved are in the highest category, A or A*, and the Governors' prize awarded annually for an outstanding performance is for 11 A and A* grades. The GCSE higher grades results are well above the National Average. For many years Trinity has produced some of the best results in the City of Nottingham with 90% of students achieving 5 or more higher grades in 2011. At A-level every year a majority of our suite of 24 subjects achieve 100% pass successes, and the Governors' A-level prize for outstanding performance is awarded for achieving 4 A grades. Typically, more than 85% of students gain their first choice University and course. Our results are remarkable at GCSE and A-level and place us among the top schools in the country, and we have won awards from the SSAT almost every year in recent times for GCSE attainment and progress, putting us in the top 20%, or sometimes top 10%, of schools in the Country.
A prestigious Annual Prize Giving is held when certificates are awarded as well as subject and form prizes. Merit Awards achieved for continuous good work and effort throughout the year are also presented. This is an enjoyable annual event which is held at the Albert Hall in Nottingham, with the undoubted highlight being the contribution from the Music department, showing the fruit of a school which tries to encourage every pupil to learn an instrument and take part in a band, orchestra, ensemble or choir.
At Trinity School there is a very strong academic emphasis with high expectations. Pupils will be encouraged to achieve the best they are capable of, and be taught by teachers keen for their success right from the start. The same teachers are also teaching public examination groups and those seeking University entrance. Visitors to the school comment on the wonderful atmosphere. Recently a visiting Inspector said 'the children are a delight.' We have been judged 'Outstanding' in our last full Ofsted inspection (Oct 2008) and in our Diocesan Inspection (Nov 2014). In a Music Inspection, the inspector noted 'impeccable behaviour' and 'exceptional participation'. A Safeguarding Inspection rated Trinity as 'Outstanding' in 36 out of 36 categories.
Trinity is a popular and successful school. We are regularly oversubscribed and in recent years have had over 650 applications for 165 places in each Year 7.
All pupils entering the school join a tutor group of children with a range of ability. Pupils mainly from our MAT schools but with many from a large number of other schools are able to reveal their abilities and are encouraged to mix with new friends. In most subjects, all pupils are placed in ability sets, and after our own baseline tests they are slightly adjusted by October half term of Year 7. Systems of Banding and Setting are used throughout the school to take account of individual abilities and the demands of particular subjects. The system is very flexible, allowing promotion to reward effort, and appropriate but demanding engagements for the pupils.
The Organisation of Education
All pupils throughout the first five years of school undertake courses of study in a core of subjects (English, Maths, Science ,Religious Education and PE) and further areas of Geography, History, Spanish and French ,a suite of Design areas, Music, Dance, Drama and ICT. All students are expected to begin learning a musical instrument. Our Key Stage 3 (Y7 to Y9) curriculum is broad and balanced. In Years 10 and 11 pupils study a core curriculum which includes R.E., English, Mathematics, P.E., Science, Pastoral Guidance and Careers, along with some choice within the areas of Technology, Languages and Humanities, and some pupils can study two languages. There is a pastoral support programme in all years. Post 16 there is a suite of 24 A Level subjects alongside which are three BTec courses in PE, Science and Public Service.
In each year we have an extensive pastoral programme which is intended to cover the PSHE requirements: pupils in their forms or year groups consider a range of subjects from bullying and e-safety through to self-awareness and how to revise. On one morning a week we all read for 20 minutes, and on one morning we look at various issues from the news that week. Our children are also in one of four houses – Arrowsmith, Barlow, Campion and Dalby - and there is a huge range of inter-house competitions in sport, including our sports day and swimming gala, but also in creative areas such as a piano competition and a drama competition. The points and trophies are fought over very keenly, sometimes a bit too keenly. The tutor groups and year groups also take a huge pride in raising money for charity, and in recent years we have raised over £10,000 for local, national and global charities. Our pupils also have a school council with form reps and year reps who meet with the Headteacher and chair of governors every term.
Special Needs Provision
All pupils have access to a broad and balanced curriculum. Departments seek to cater for the range of abilities and needs where possible. We have a number of pupils (approximately 15%) with a Special Educational Need. Extension work is provided and accelerated groups are used for able pupils and the strategy for learning support includes liaison with parents and use of the support where appropriate. We seek to include all of our children and do our best to improve their life chances. Trinity now has a significant English as an Additional Language (EAL) population (Approximately 31%) and we make provision for these students via our EAL team.
To help in this area, Trinity has the "Emmaus Centre" supporting EAL and SEND pupils and the "Elim Centre” aimed at helping students back into the school community after exclusion or other difficulties. These buildings are the heart of our restorative and supportive mission, and physically sit between our two sites.
The Education of pupils goes beyond the work taking place in the classroom. Homework is compulsory and an integral part of the courses offered by the school. It is set from the start of the first year and a planned timetable is issued to all pupils, as is a homework “planner” which parents are asked to check weekly. We conducted a survey in 2016 with parents, pupils and teachers showing how broadly popular was the way we run homework and support the children. There are after school homework clubs from Monday to Thursday staffed and resourced in Lower school and an independent learning group in Upper school the same nights.
Religious Affiliation and Policy
The school is Roman Catholic and the Religious Education provided is in accordance with the Church's teaching. Each day begins and ends with prayers. All pupils attend year, class or school assemblies, and follow the Religious Education programme. Clergy are invited to visit regularly and we have a voluntary Mass every week.
In the Lower School the pupils follow a course called 'Icons', similar to other Catholic schools. This is an interesting exploration of Christian Faith involving the study of the Bible, the life of Jesus, images of God and understanding the essential elements of our belief. In the Upper School pupils follow the GCSE course involving the study of aspects of Christian Living and a study of St Mark's Gospel. In the Sixth Form the religious programme involves many visiting speakers, clergy and others. Here we follow the Philosophy and Ethics course with Edexcel.
Sex Education is incorporated in the pastoral and science courses as well as in the Religious Education programme. Instruction is in accordance with the Church's teachings.
Uniform and Discipline
The school seeks to follow a very traditional approach. School uniform is compulsory in the first five years but not in the Sixth Form. Children may not wear rings, earrings, studs or jewellery in school and hair should be neither too long nor too short, of a conventional, non-fashion style. Parents in doubt can consult the school. P.E. and Games are compulsory and towels should be brought for showers. Correct kit must be worn which together with ties and badges can be purchased at school. Every attempt is made to keep costs down and our simple uniform is available in most local stores.
High standards of behaviour are expected from pupils in school and on the way to and from school, particularly on the school buses. Rules, although few, must be adhered to. The school's code of conduct incorporates respect for self, for others and the school. Our reputation has been built up over several generations and has served the Trinity community exceedingly well; we know how important are uniform and discipline to keeping that reputation and the secret is simple rules adhered to by everyone.
Behaviour and Achievements
Sanctions include impositions, extra work, detentions, exclusion from class, and finally formal exclusions from school. We expect and receive a high level of cooperation from all our students.
Communication with parents and their involvement in the social education of their children is most important in achieving good standards of behaviour. We firmly believe our work for your children is a partnership. We make use of Home-School Agreements and negotiated contracts with some pupils.
An evening called 'School on View' is held in the Autumn term and is extremely popular. Our parents want to see their own children at work. As a result, prospective parents will be invited to the evening and others can write for an invitation. We do not normally show families around school, with 650 applicants each year and many in-year requests we could be doing so full time! Parents of the new intake are invited to visit the school in July. Their children visit during the day when they are able to meet and get to know other children who will be starting with them. A similar arrangement runs for those joining our Sixth Form with an Open Evening in November, an application system and induction days alongside a parents meeting in the summer after GCSE exams.
There are two sites about a hundred yards apart. New intake pupils start in the Lower School, which houses the first three years and specialist areas of Technology, Arts and Design, the Music Suite, a computer room, three Science Labs and a Drama Studio. The Upper School building houses Years 10 and 11 with a Library, computer room, the gymnasium, five specialist Science Labs, Music Technology facilities, the Religious Education rooms and Chapel, Sports Hall and Dance Studio. There is a Bistro and dining area in Upper School and a large dining room in Lower School. Our school food is very popular and visitors seem to know of our legendary food. The chef uses local produce and produces tasty, nutritious food for around about 750 pupils every day.
The Sixth Form Centre is a self-contained building on the Upper School site. Its facilities include laboratories, equipped ICT centres, study rooms, a common room and classrooms for almost every subject we teach post 16, except for Technology and Performance subjects. The standard of sports performance is excellent and the Sports Hall adjacent to the Gymnasium is fully utilised not just for Sport but for drama, music and dance performances too. There are spacious fields with a number of pitches, tennis courts and a floodlit brand new all-weather sports surface as of 2016 adjacent to the school. There are two bungalows equipped for the teaching of EAL and SEND pupils and whilst on the Upper School site provide the access to Lower school.
Harvey Hadden athletics stadium, and new swimming pool, Nottingham Squash Club, David Lloyd and the Tennis Centre are used regularly by the school for matches against other schools but also for Inter-House Competitions.