The Academy specialises in Mathematics and Performing Arts and aims to develop outstanding practice in both specialisms, enabling Mathematics and Performing Arts to model and drive up standards across the Academy.

In order to deliver outstanding provision in both specialisms the Academy will:

  • Provide a rich, varied and personalised curriculum and set of pathways in the specialist areas
  • Ensure highest quality teaching and resourcing of specialist areas
  • Ensure that all curriculum areas across the Academy reflect the specialisms and support high levels of achievement in Mathematics and Performing Arts
  • Ensure that the specialisms inform and enrich the wider ethos of the Academy
  • Ensure that the Specialist areas figure prominently in the Academy’s extended provision.


 College as Strategic Partner in Maths Hub


John Henry Newman Catholic College in North Solihull is proud to announce that it is a key partner in one of the 32 new maths hubs announced by Education Minister Elizabeth Truss. John Henry Newman will be working with Bishop Challoner Catholic College and Teaching School across Birmingham and the Midlands to boost the teaching and learning of maths in England and will help to shape the future of maths education both locally and nationally. Exchanges will also be made with Shanghai to learn from their education system.

A spokesperson for the government said: ‘Education Minister Elizabeth Truss announced £11 million for the new maths hubs ‘to drive up the quality of maths teachers – as international test results showed England’s performance had stagnated.’
The money will allow the development of a national network of 32 ‘mathematical education strategic hubs’ (MESH). Each will be led by a teaching school and will provide support to all the schools in the area, across all areas of maths education, including:

  • Recruitment of maths specialists into teaching
  • Initial training of maths teachers
  • Co-ordinating and delivering a wide range of maths continuing professional development
  • Ensuring maths leadership is developed
  • Helping maths enrichment programmes to reach a large number of pupils from primary schools onwards.


Bishop Challoner Catholic College and Teaching School and John Henry Newman Catholic College will work across the Bishop Challoner Teaching School Alliance with an expectation that all phases of education from early years to post 16 will be represented.

The programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) tests this year focused on maths, with the Organisation for Economic  Co-operation and Development (OECD) comparing countries’ average performance in the subject with England’s. The results showed that England’s performance had plateaued in the last 6 years with 1 in 12 of England’s 15 year-olds failing to reach the most basic level.

Mrs Jennifer McGuirk, Principal at John Henry Newman Catholic College commented ‘ John Henry Newman has an outstanding mathematics team and to work as a Hub partner in addition to their recent award of the Prince’s Teaching Institute Mark in recognition of the work done in increasing challenge within the mathematics curriculum, further enthusing students through maths based activities beyond the curriculum, developing the department’s specialist subject knowledge and developing maths based links outside the college. I am delighted that their hard work is been recognised and they have been given this wonderful opportunity.

To be part of the development in the pursuit of excellence in the teaching and learning of mathematics is a true privilege  and we very much look forward to working with Bishop Challoner Catholic College to enhance the mathematical skills of young people in our care and those in schools across the Midlands and the Country. We plan to be part of a revolution in teaching and learning which will help to put England’s mathematical attainment at the top of the world tables.’