Caldew is an average sized secondary school in the unusual setting of a modestly sized village.

It is this distinctive combination which enables it to be a particularly safe place in which to learn. Students enjoy an unusually high sense of security, which reflects not only the school’s location, but also speaks volumes about the nature of our learners themselves. They are friendly, open, generous of spirit and welcoming; almost all visitors who come to the school comment on it and invariably leave with a positive impression.

Caldew draws its students from a far flung area between the northernmost fells of the Lake District and the southern suburbs of Carlisle. It predominantly serves the rural and commuter families who live in this beautiful part of the world. We chose to make our specialism in enterprise precisely because it so closely reflects our locality in which many families, through small businesses, seem to have a natural entrepreneurial flair which translates itself into the practical ability of our students to turn learning into action.

However, Dalston is relatively close to the city and approaching half our students come from estates on its fringes, some of which suffer from urban deprivation as significant as any in the country. As a result, the student population whilst ethnically homogenous is socially diverse. Our intake is very close to the average in its ability profile, including on the one hand those who are intellectually exceptional and will grace the best universities, to those on the other who have significant additional learning and emotional needs. We place a high premium on inclusion and have an enviable record in supporting students to succeed. We host a facility for a small number of students with profound Autistic Spectrum Condition and attract a number of others on the spectrum because of this specialism. We are fortunate that the nature of student body as a whole enables us to integrate all these students into a cohesive, close and harmonious learning community.

Caldew is a family school. There are a significant number of ex-students who now work at the school in a variety of capacities, and many of our parents also attended the school in the past. It is not only satisfying to see so many of our ex-students working in and around Carlisle, but also to know that there are many others following distinguished careers around the globe.

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Our Catchment Primary Schools

Leaders have created a welcoming and supportive environment at this school. Pupils and students achieve well in their learning. They are well prepared for their next steps in education, employment and training.

Ofsted 2022

Leaders provide effective careers guidance to pupils from Year 7 through to Year 13. Clear guidance, including preparation for interviews and ‘Work Ready Days’, helps pupils and students to make considered choices for their next steps.

Ofsted 2022

Staff have high expectations for pupils’ and students’ behaviour and learning. Pupils and students behave well in lessons and around the school site. They are polite to each other and look out for others in the school.

Ofsted 2022

Leaders have made significant progress in improving the school since the previous inspection. They have focused on creating a broad and ambitious curriculum which meets the needs of pupils and students, including those with special educational needs and /or disabilities (SEND).

Ofsted 2022

Pupils including students in the sixth form, are proud to attend Caldew School. They feel well supported, happy and safe in this welcoming community. There are high level of trust and respect between pupils, students and staff.

Ofsted 2022