St. Benet Biscop Catholic High School
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2012)|
|Mottoes||Pax Christi and
Learning to value,
Learning to give,
Learning to achieve,
Growing in the Peace of Christ
|Type||Selective school Catholic School|
|Headteacher||Mr Cornelius Todd BA|
|Chair of Governors||Mrs Anne Hardy|
|Founder||The Roman Catholic Church|
|DfE URN||122367 Tables|
|Gender||Male and Female|
|Houses||Bish and Copt|
|Feast Day||12 January|
|Size of Grounds||25 acres (100,000 m2)|
|Diocese||Roman Catholic Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle of the Ecclesiastical province of Liverpool|
St. Benet Biscop High School is a renowned Roman Catholic selective high school in Bedlington, Northumberland. It is the only Catholic high school in the county. The school specialises in Enterprise, though also places a significant emphasis on the Arts and Religious Education.
In 2006, the School upgraded one of the school halls into a new conference centre including two new ICT rooms and two conference rooms which can be rented out by the public.. The School boasts state of the art facilities including recording studios, abundant IT facilities, an on-site swimming pool, a well-equipped fitness gymnasium a new, professional standard Drama Studio and extensively large grounds used for sports. Said Arts facilities of the School, known as the Admit Centre (Art, Drama, Music and Information Technology Centre) are, after school hours, available to be rented out privately to the public.
The School's former Headmaster was Mr Nick Bowen who was instrumental in maintaining the School's high reputation and public standing, and in securing donations and sponsorship of the School by The Co-operative Group.
The current Headtmaster is Mr C Todd with the Deputy Head yet to be appointed.
Reputation and public image
The county of Northumberland's only Catholic High School is St. Benet Biscop Catholic High School. It is noted for its sponsorship received from the Co-operative group, its high academic standards and its involvement in the local community in the fields of performance and the promotion of ethical business practise and Catholicism. It is highly regarded and interviews all its non-Catholic applicants before offering places.
One[who?] said, "St. Benet Biscop Catholic High School, is without a doubt an incredible establishment. Its high standards in education and behaviour have afforded it a well deserved reputation for academic excellence."
The school's Sister School is Collège Privé Sainte-Thérèse, in Frontignan, Southern France; and the school maintains strong links with El colegio ferroviario de Córdoba, in Andalusia, Southern Spain. Regular school trips include these two destinations, along with New York, Paris, Rome, the Alps, the Hexham and Newcastle Diocesan Youth Ministry Team Youth Village, Ushaw College (a seminary for the formation of Catholic priests, deacons, religious and lay ministers) and Minsteracres Catholic Retreat Centre.
St. Benet Biscop Catholic High School is the first and only school in the UK to date to have founded a fully functioning independent business, which was visited by The Princess Royal in 2008. In October 2008 the school hosted the Wansbeck Business Award Ceremony, which was presented by Jayne Middlemiss, and earlier that year Sir John Hall, a renowned international businessman and founder of the MetroCentre, was a guest orator at a similar event hosted by the school.
On 15 January 2009, the school appeared on GMTV to raise awareness for fitness and healthy eating. The show's Mr Motivator commented "this school is a real example to all schools across the UK in that they have, as part of their curriculum, Dance, Music and Theatre which are all good things to get teenagers and kids of any age into shape." Later in the show Dr Hilary Jones applauded the school's healthy diet.
The school's colours are black and red, which feature prominently in the uniform.
||This article possibly contains original research. (January 2009)|
Catholicism forms an integral part of life at St. Benet Biscop High School. A large stained glass window in the main foyer depicting St. Benedict Biscop himself, as well as other aspects of the school's ethos. The image of the window is often used throughout the school as a symbol of the school's identity. For example, it is the image on the front of the students' planners and it adorns the welcome signs at the school's gates. To mark its unveiling in the year 2000 each student was presented with a biography of the life of the school's patron saint. The Feast of Saint Benet Biscop is celebrated every year on 12 January with Mass attended by all staff and students.
Regular Liturgical services are held in St. Benet Biscop Catholic High, as well as Mass given by local Priests from the Ecclesiastical Diocese. Prayer and contemplation are regular during the school day, with most classes starting with the School Prayer or contemplation. The St. Benet Biscop Catholic High School's Motto is Pax Christi. This Motto is represented on the School's badge.
Every year, students are invited to attend the Diocesan Annual Youth Festival, organised by the Youth Ministry Team. The event seeks to strengthen the faith of the students through providing opportunities of Prayer, Contemplation and a range of activities involving Drama and Music.
In 2008 all students were taken to the City Hall in Newcastle Upon Tyne to see a talk given by Sister Helen Prejean - a Catholic Nun from the USA who has been a notable critic of the Death Penalty, and whose story is portrayed by Susan Sarandon in the film adaptation of her book entitled Dead Man Walking. The school was represented at World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney, Australia.
Mass is normally held in the school, though is occasionally held in the nearby St. Bede's Roman Catholic Church in Bedlington. Whilst Mass is given in the traditional Catholic way, Liturgies often involve performances of pupils in the form of drama, music and singing. Students are invited to take part in the Liturgies, thus promoting active worship.
A Crucifix or religious Icon hangs on the wall of every teaching room, most offices, the school foyer and the main hall. The words "I have come that you may have life and live it to the full" (John 10:10) are quoted throughout school, and used to adorn a large banner which hung in the "Top Hall", prior to its refurbishment.
St. Benet Biscop Catholic High School is in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle of the Ecclesiastical province of Liverpool. The current Biscop of the Diocese is Séamus Cunningham, who will receive his episcopal consecration on 20 March at St. Mary’s Cathedral. The Diocesan patrons are Our Blessed Lady Immaculate (8 December) and Saint Cuthbert, Bishop and Confessor (20 March).
|Saint Benedict Biscop
Saint Biscop Baducing
|Died||12 January 690
St Peter's, Wearmouth
|Honored in||Roman Catholic Church
and Church of England
|Major shrine||Wearmouth 690 - c.980;
translated c. 980 from there to
Thorney Abbey (Glastonbury Abbey
also claims his relics)
|Feast||12 January (C of E calendar)|
|Patronage||English Benedictines, musicians, painters, and (since 24 March 2004) the City of Sunderland St. Benet Biscop Catholic High School in Northumberland|
The following subjects are compulsory to all first year (year 9) students:
When pupils reach GCSE level, Religious Education, English Literature, English Language, Mathematics, Science and BACS remain compulsory for all. Attendance to Physical Education is obligatory, though this is a separate class to GCSE PE. Students then chose four or more of the remaining "electives" or non-compulsory lessons, and continue these to GCSE level. At GCSE, the subjects ICT, Business Studies and Drama and Theatre Studies also become optional subjects.
All students who which to remain in St. Benet Biscop Catholic High School for VIth Form must have achieved GCSE results which are above a grade boundary which is agreed annually (and is generally reasonably high). Most students at the School study five subjects in VIth form including General Studies which all students are bound to do by default. At A-Level, Religious Education becomes Religious Studies of Philosophy and Ethics, which remains one of the most popular electives in VIth Form.
"Core Studies" is one hour a week of the school timetable which is dedicated to the pastoral care of students - a priority at the School. The lesson normally comprises Roman Catholic Guidance and Philosophy, and one-on-one meetings with tutors to discuss academic progress or personal issues. In the summer months it is often dedicated to examination revision. The hour also remains the standard time in which one would hold a Mass or Liturgy.
BISH and COPPER
Students of St. Benet Biscop Catholic High School are grouped into either "BISH" or "COPT" in a system which replaced the old House System. Each year in the lower school is divided into the classes B,I,S,H,C,O,P and T. Classes B,I,S,H are referred to as "BISH" and the remaining classes form "COPT". Thus the form classes of year nine would be 9B, 91, 95, 9H, 9C, 9Ø, 9P and 9T. "O" classes are normally expressed by an "Ø" rather than "O" to distinguish it from the number zero. Setting is done according to ability and group in subjects such as Science and Maths.
The system originally included only the letters B,I,S,C,O and P (to spell "Biscop"), but classes "H" and "T" were later added to maintain low class sizes. The two groups are divided in the School - rarely will a pupil in BISH be taught with a pupil in COPT, with the exceptio
n of in the VIth form.
In assemblies BISH pupils sit on the Orator's right, and COPT on their left.
St. Benet Biscop Catholic High School has attracted a great deal of press coverage after its creation of an entirely self-sufficient Social Enterprise called Benet Enterprises Ltd. - the first of its kind in the UK. The company functions as an events management service promoting enterprise in the region, and any profits are invested back into the business. It has been hailed unanimously as a great success, with a £70,000 turnover in its first year, and a projected £200,000 by the end of year three. The School's Headmaster, Mr N. Bowen, said in an interview with the Journal, that
“Tremendous effort and money is invested in firing up youngsters to get them excited about creating their own business ideas. However, once an event or activity ends, nothing is done to capture those ideas and to see how viable they are.
“We have created a limited company that will work with pupils when they leave school for up to a year to see if they can make these fledgling ventures work. I have no doubt that this will lead to new business creation in the coming years.”
The Local Enterprise Growth Initiative (LEGI) has invested £90,000 in the project. Alcan has also donated funds to the project, and Wyn Jones, managing director of Alcan, said: "It is pleasing to know that Alcan's donation is being used to fund projects as innovative and inspiring as Benet Enterprise"
Reorganisation to 11-18
The closure of Middle Schools has already started in the county of Northumberland, with the town of Cramlington becoming the first in the region to transfer to two-tier education. This has led to the creation of the newly opened Cramlington Learning Village. Children in years 8 and 9 of St. Peter's R.C Middle School in Cramlington opted not to attend the Cramlington Learning Village due to its secular status, however, their natural High School, St. Benet Biscop Catholic High School, is situated in Bedlington, where the move toward two-tier education had not yet begun. St. Benet Biscop Catholic High School, in response to the dilemma, was forced to construct a new facility to accommodate the pupils of St. Peter's R.C Middle School on their grounds. This is seen to highlight the logistical problems with the change-over, however the merging was widely viewed as successful, merely complicated.
- St Benet Biscop High School Official Site
- Review of school on Schoolnet
- Creative students celebrate success with business initiative
- Article from the Journal newspaper on Princess Anne's visit to St. Benet Biscop High School
- Ushaw College
- Sister Helen Prejean