Meet our Head teacher
Many thanks for selecting to find out more about me as Head teacher of St Gabriel’s. I understand as a parent, that your child’s education and their development into a young adult, with the values we all hold dear to us as Catholics, is one of the biggest decisions a parent or carer has to take and therefore, you want to know is your child is in safe hands.
I have spent over 25 years in education. I began my journey as a Science Teacher, specialising in Biology and Chemistry and taught in 3 different Catholic Schools across South Yorkshire, gaining posts as a Head of Year, Second in Science and Lead Coach teacher for the Local Authority during this time. Due to my involvement in coaching, I was successful in gaining a post as a Senior Lecturer in Science Education at Sheffield Hallam University, where I trained Science teachers, lectured in Biology and moderated many of the teacher training institutes in Yorkshire.
On returning to School, I led a Science department of 20 Science teachers in a very large comprehensive school in South Yorkshire. We achieved and sustained 94% A*-C (now 9-4) and 32% of the students achieved an A*/A (grade 9). We were the highest achieving Science Department in Yorkshire ! As a result of this achievement, I was appointed as Assistant Head Teacher and the School moved from requires improvement to outstanding over a 5 year period. I worked closely with the Head, who was a National Leader of Education, which was a fantastic learning curve.
Following my Assistant Headship, I made a conscious decision to take everything I had learned and support failing schools placed into special measures. I was Vice Principal of a school in South Yorkshire and then Vice Principal of a School in Liverpool. The latter became the most improved school in its local authority within a year and the highest achieving in its local authority the following year and moved from ‘Requires Improvement’ to ‘Good’. I worked closely with the Senior HMI (Her Majesty’s Inspector), which again, gave me a whole new raft of strategies and ideas for school improvement.
More recently, I have held posts as a Director of Academy Improvement over a hub of Schools and a Principal. I supported St Anne’s in Stockport to move out of special measures, stepping in as interim Head there for 6 months to work alongside Dame Kathy August, Chair of Governors at the time and led a school in Halifax, where results and behaviour improved considerably during my time in post. Following this time, I was Head of a school whose results had fallen as low as 6% in strong passes. Over my time in post, 9-4 GCSE grades almost doubled and maths 9-5 rose from 6% to 34%.
I joined St Gabriel’s in September 2019. Our results in summer 2020 reflected a positive Progress 8 figure of +0.23 and 84% of students achieved a 9-4 in both English and Maths.
Outside of St Gabriel’s my passions are learning British Sign Language and Liverpool FC (I come from a long line of Irish/Liverpudlians!).
I am extremely proud to be leading St Gabriel’s. We are an extremely close community with lots of family support and many generations of families have passed through our doors, reflecting their trust in us.
Miss L Corrigan - Head teacher
St Gabriel’s opened in 1954 to serve the Catholic community of Bury. The original school was designed and built for around 500 pupils – less than half of the total number of children on roll today. The school is situated in North Bury and services the parishes of Guardian Angels, St Hilda’s, St Marie’s, St Joseph’s and St Bede’s, and St Joseph’s Ramsbottom. The school's facilities include a sports hall, gymnasium, hall, dining room, dining canopy, two suites of science labs – some completely refurbished in 2020, a technology suite, a drama/performance arts complex as well as suites of classrooms which are, on the whole, grouped together by subject. Almost 90% of our students select St Gabriel’s as their first choice School.
St Gabriel’s won a conditions improvement bid in 2020 and as part of this, we will be undertaking extensive buildings improvements to the cost of 2.1 million pounds. We have also recently opened our St Teresa of Calcutta Chapel, reflecting our new future with the St Teresa of Calcutta Catholic Academy Trust.
The whole of the main building was re-decorated in 2020 and the John Banks Building was re-decorated in 2021.
This is a successful school; children are well cared for and grow in education and faith. Many students are second, even third-generation pupils. Our examination results have been strong over the years. In Summer 2020, the school celebrated being the school with the highest outcomes among Bury's twelve main non-selective secondary schools, testimony to the hard work, love and commitment given to St Gabriel’s by pupils, parents, staff and governors over the years. In summer 2020 84% of our students gained 9-4 in both English and Maths and 20% of our students gained 5 GCSEs at the top grades of 9-7. We were above both national and Bury LA average statistics on both outcomes and progress. Our Progress 8 figure was +0.23.
Ofsted visited us in March 2020 and here are some of their comments;
Of our students…….
‘They are polite and respectful to each other and adults’.
Of School’s leadership…..
‘The Headteacher, together with her newly formed senior leadership team, are taking determined action to move the school forward. The Headteacher has a clear vision and wants to raise pupils’ aspirations and provide them with more opportunities.
The Headteacher has her finger on the pulse of the school’.
Of our teaching team……
‘Their morale is high. Staff spoke highly of the training opportunities that they now receive’.
We welcome all visitors to St Gabriel’s and if your child is interested in taking up a place with us, please do not hesitate to contact our team for a visit
The Learning Family of St Gabriel’s
The school has six wonderful feeder primary schools from which much of its intake comes.
- Guardian Angels RC Primary School
- Holly Mount RC Primary School
- Our Lady Of Lourdes RC Primary School
- St Joseph's RC Primary School / Twitter
- St Joseph's & St Bede's RC Primary School
- St Marie's RC Primary School
It also sends its students to a multiple of highly successful locations post-secondary school including: