St Paul's Catholic School, Leicester
|Type||Voluntary aided school|
|Headteacher||Mr Neil Lockyer|
|Deputy Headteacher||Mrs Marcella Gillespie|
|Chair of Governors||Mrs Laura O’Brien|
|DfE URN||120307 Tables|
|Colours||Black, white and gold|
|Former name||Evington Hall RC Girls' Grammar School|
It is one of two Catholic comprehensives in the Leicester area, the other being English Martyrs Catholic School. There are 1050 students on roll at St Paul's, 180 of whom are sixth-formers. They are organised into years, with years 7, 8 and 9 (Key Stage 3 years) constituting the "lower school"; years 10 and 11 (GCSE years) constituting the "upper school"; and years 12 and 13 (A-Level years) constituting the "sixth form". Years 7-11 are headed by a Head of Year (also called a Progress Leader), and years 12 and 13 are headed by the Head of Sixth Form (role performed by an Assistant Headteacher), assisted by an Assistant Head of Sixth Form.
It is situated off the B667 road, just west of City of Leicester College.
The school was created in 1977 from the merger of two local Catholic schools - Evington Hall, the girls' grammar school that served the city and county; and Corpus Christi, the local secondary modern school built in 1950 on Gwendolen Road which is now the site of a non-denominational Primary School since 1978. The current building includes the original Evington Hall building as well as several wings built over the years. The additions have made the school building roughly twice the size it was upon the school's foundation. The school celebrated its Silver Jubilee in 2002, with an open day for alumni, hosted by students and staff. In 2003, the school attained specialist Performing Arts College status.
From September 2011, the former site of the grammar school, at Evington Hall, will become the Leicester Krishna-Avanti Primary School, a Hindu free school. It had previously been occupied until 2008 by the Junior School of the independent Leicester Grammar School, which moved to Great Glen. The owners of the building failed to get planning permission for housing.
There have been four head teachers since 1977. Gerard O'Donnell was head from 1977 to 1990, followed by Edward Hayes until 2002. Deputy Head, Roger Galvin, acted as head for one year until Francis Doherty was appointed in 2003. He was succeeded in 2011 by Neil Lockyer, the school's youngest headteacher.
St Paul's is a voluntary aided school, and as such receives a reduced amount of government funding. However, the school is equipped with computer facilities, a library and a performing arts department which includes a recording studio, drama suites, dance suites and a Drama Hall with a high stage and curtains. It was officially opened by Labour MPs Jim Knight (then-Minister of State for Schools) and Keith Vaz, MP for Leicester East. There is a Catholic chapel on the premises, which features a plaque blessed by Pope John Paul II.
It also features two hard-court areas, one with basketball posts and sports court with two full size football goals. Most of the teaching rooms are equipped with wipeboards and computers.
The school has been criticised, amongst several other British schools, for making use of the Brain Gym 'mental exercise' programme, which claims that 'the brain is a muscle' and that a set of hand and leg movements and chest rubs can promote learning. Commonly described as pseudoscience, physician Ben Goldacre has described the programme as 'ludicrous' while Teacher of the Year award-winner Philip Beadle described it as 'moonshine...you'd probably get as much benefit from taking a Brain Gym book and booting it around the room'.
Leicester LEA has low GCSE results, but the school is one of the few to gain good GCSE results, and in 2010 was third best, behind another Catholic school, English Martyrs Catholic School (in the north-west of Leicester). St Paul's had the best A-Level results in Leicestershire in 2012.
All curriculum subjects are led by a faculty leader, assistant faculty leader and sub-subject leaders (e.g. Biology Subject Leader). The Senior Leadership Team are made up of the headteacher, deputy headteacher, assistant headteachers, a chaplain and the business manager. St. Pauls employs over one hundred staff.
Since 2008, the trip to Ghana has been organised every two years. Team Ghana 2012 have raised £40000 for schools in Obuasi and Kumasi. The trip is founded and run by Mrs Sarah Lockyer (Faculty leader for RE) and supported by staff and students. Fundraising activities such as bake-offs, walks to Ghana and non-uniform days are conducted to raise money for the trip.
Evington Hall Convent School
- Maggie Philbin, BBC science presenter
- Elspeth Parker, novelist. Noted works include: The Vixen of Blueberry Woods, Life's a B***h, The Sinner
- Frances Quinn, winner of The Great British Bake Off (series 4) 2013
- Welcome to St Paul's School Website
- "Brain Gym Starters". St. Paul's Catholic School. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
- Goldacre, Ben. "Children don't need Brain Gym to spot nonsense". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
- Beadle, Philip. "Keep your pupils stretched and watered". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 April 2015.