Saint Benedict Catholic Voluntary Academy

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Saint Benedict Catholic Voluntary Academy
Established 1986
Type Secondary academy & Sixth Form
Religion Roman Catholic
Headteacher Mr Kevin Gritton
Location Duffield Road
DE22 1JD
52°56′36″N 1°29′09″W / 52.94328°N 1.48593°W / 52.94328; -1.48593Coordinates: 52°56′36″N 1°29′09″W / 52.94328°N 1.48593°W / 52.94328; -1.48593
DfE number 831/4607
DfE URN 138622 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Students 1350
Gender Coeducational
Ages 11–18
Houses John Paul, Bakhita, Romero, McCauley, Teresa, Kolbe
Colours Yellow, Green, Purple, Red, Light Blue, Orange

Saint Benedict Catholic Voluntary Academy is a Catholic secondary school with academy status in the Darley Abbey district of Derby. The school maintains a Catholic ethos, being the only Catholic secondary school in the City of Derby.[citation needed] It educates around 1500 students, with more than 100 teachers, as well as a non-teaching support staff such as LSAs, CPMs and House Administrators.

School history[edit]

The school was built on its current site in, after the land had been acquired by the Sisters of Mercy, and St. Philomena's High School for Senior Girls moved from Broadway, where it had been located since 1947. In 1971, St. Philomena's merged with the local St. Mary's Secondary School. The two Catholic secondary schools in Derby - Saint Thomas More and Saint Ralph Sherwin - merged in 1986, to make the current site unique as the only place of secondary Catholic education within the city of Derby. The school was named after St. Benedict, and had a logo with a Latin motto, 'Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti' ('the cross of our holy father Benedict'), until the school logo was changed in 2002, to show a more angelic looking version of St. Benedict.


The school operates a house system. The houses, which are all named after leading Catholic figures, are Kolbe (after Maximilian Kolbe), McAuley (after Catherine McAuley), Romero (after Óscar Romero), John Paul (after Pope John Paul II), Bakhita (after Josephine Bakhita) and Teresa (after Mother Teresa).


The school is split into two bases, North Block and South Block, around five minutes' walk apart. The blocks used to be separate schools. Each houses a variety of resources such as the Sports Hall and Theatre. The larger collection of buildings is at 'South Block', where a library, music suite, sports hall, languages centre and design and technology block have been added since the early 1990s.

Enhanced Resource Base (ERB)[edit]

This is a dedicated unit set up for supporting students with a wide range of difficulties such as visual impairment, physical impairment and other learning difficulties. There are adapted computer study/teaching rooms, as well as additional rooms for staff and students to use. The ERB also has input from external specialists in careers and physio advice on a regular basis. The ERB has its own on-site IT Technician to deal with ICT related problems and a Resource Technician to handle enlargements of exam papers and texts. The ERB also has a council made up of representatives from all school years, to deal with issues surrounding the ERB and the school.

North Block[edit]

North Block is home to a variety of subjects like Religious Studies, Food Technology, Science, Hair and Beauty, Sociology and Humanities. It also houses Kolbe and Teresa houses as well as North Block reception which doubles up as the box office for The Robert Ludlam Theatre. The school chapel and the chapel garden may also be found in this building.

Robert Ludlam Theatre[edit]

The Robert Ludlam Theatre is a 270-seat venue with a diverse programme of entertainment including dance, drama, art, music, theatre in the round, comedy, films, family Entertainment, rock and pop events, and workshops. It provides a home for many of Derbyshire’s amateur production groups.[1]

Lafayette Suite[edit]

This multi-functional space is for public speaking, network events and exhibition galleries. In June the range of Art and Textiles GCSE and A level examination work of the school's own pupils filled the gallery. External visitors flocked to the venue to view the presentations. All the exhibitions are open to the public during school days until 4:00 pm, although this is by prior arrangement with the box office.

South Block[edit]

The majority of lessons are taught in the earliest South Block building. It includes a floor dedicated to maths, a floor dedicated to English, and a section dedicated to Art and Design. This building also features a Gym, Dining Room, Cooking Room, Computer Room, Pottery Room and Science Rooms.

A newer building adjacent to south block proper houses the main reception, library, 2 ICT Suites, the IT Technicians' office, Staff Room, Science Room, and Vocational subject rooms used for Lesuire and Tourism studies.

Vocational Centre[edit]

The Vocational Centre is the main room used for teaching business studies. The room is a second home for Business teachers and has the business staff room and McAuley office next door.

The Music Block[edit]

The department continues to provide lessons for drum kit, brass, woodwind, cello, keyboard, violin, classical guitar, electric guitar, bass guitar and voice. Pupils have taken Associated Board Exams, Trinity Exams and Rock School Exams. Based in the Saint Cecilia Music Suite, the studio is used extensively in school and is also available for hire with technician support. The equipment is scheduled to be updated this year and will then be available again for CD recordings by bands, choirs, individuals, or ensembles.

Sports Hall[edit]

Sport is a high priority at Saint Benedict Catholic Voluntary Academy with the Physical Education Department being staffed by 6 extremely well qualified teachers. In May 2006 the Department was successful in regaining the Sportsmark Award made by Sport England. This prestigious award which runs for 3 year cycles following the original award made in 1997 and which recognises the excellence of PE and sport in the school. The facilities include a purpose built Sports Hall (with 3 badminton courts, basketball, netball and volleyball court), a multi-gym, gymnasium, hard play area for netball and extensive playing fields with football, rugby and hockey pitches. A 400-metre athletics track is marked out in the summer.

School Council[edit]

Saint Benedict has a long tradition of having a pupil voice through its School Council, the school council consists of pupils from all areas of the school and is a fair representation of school. Each house has two house captains and they usually decide that one of those will be part of the school council.

Head Boy and Head Girl[edit]

Year 13 students may apply to become part of the Student Leadership Team. They are then interviewed by senior staff. A Head Boy and Head Girl are chosen, and lead the Team in various activities, including Takeover Day.

Notable former pupils[edit]


  1. ^ Robert Ludlam Theatre, accessed September 2009
  2. ^ McFarnon, Emma (11 July 2013). "In profile: Derby's Hollywood star Jack O'Connell". Derby Telegraph. Retrieved 2 June 2015.