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.

Community Links

Our Catchment Primary Schools

Students make good progress because of the typically strong standard of teaching.

Ofsted 2018

The strengthening of care and support has had a positive impact on most pupils. It was clearly visible when inspectors met pupils during the inspection. They demonstrated confidence as learners, and typically enjoyed positive interactions with one another and adults.

Ofsted 2018

Students benefit from an education which enables them to move on to further success when they leave.

Ofsted 2018

Leaders have taken positive steps to widen pupils’ participation in the range of cultural, creative and sporting activities that take place beyond lessons, including for the significant proportion of pupils who do not live locally.

Ofsted 2018

Leaders have reviewed the curriculum, so that the courses offered match pupils’ needs and interests and prepare them for their next steps in education or employment effectively.

Ofsted 2018