St Catherine’s College in Eastbourne has been praised by inspectors for its caring community, where students “feel supported to become the best possible version of themselves.”

In a statutory inspection carried out in November, The Church of England Education Office referred to several examples of excellent practice and praised the College for creating an atmosphere where pupils “thrive in this caring community that celebrates love at its core.”

The two-day inspection said that “excellent use” was made of rigorous external and internal review processes, creating a “rich curriculum and the flourishing of all groups of students.”

Inspectors said the College, which teaches 1,079 students, was a popular and successful Church school thanks to the high expectations set by teaching staff and the leadership team.

“Staff recognise the lifelong impact that is possible if students become ambitious, hard-working, resilient and responsible,” the report said. It praised teachers for their tireless work and added: “Students are proud of their college.”

The pastoral system was highlighted for particular praise. The report said that vulnerable students were given a “wide variety” of support and that the provision for students with special educational needs or disabilities was delivered in partnership with parents.

The “rigorous routines” across the College meant that students were ready to learn and swiftly engage in lessons. “This ensures that the atmosphere throughout the College in lessons and social time is calm, purposeful, warm and inclusive,” the report continued.

Deputy Headteacher Nigel Jewell said he was delighted with the findings of the inspection. “The leadership team, teachers and governors have worked so hard to create an environment that always seeks to get the best out of students,” he said.

“We work hard to encourage students to develop a clear sense of the balance between rights and responsibilities,” Mr Jewell added. “This includes making ethical choices and having a responsibility towards others, both at the College and in the wider world.”

The inspection also looked closely at the religious elements of College life at the Church of England academy. It said the Christian vision was understood and in evidence throughout the College.

It praised the standard of Religious Education in the curriculum as being “consistently high quality.”

“Students of all faiths and no faith feel welcomed and included. They enjoy the sense of community that collective worship provides,” the report added.

St Catherine’s College also receives Ofsted inspections. The last report in 2019 rated the College as “good