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St Bede's and St Joseph's Catholic College

Our College



St Bede's and St Joseph's is an oversubscribed, recently established co-educational school, founded in 2014 by the merger of the two single sex Catholic secondary schools in the city of Bradford; the boys school St Bede’s Catholic Grammar School in Heaton and the girls school St Joseph’s Catholic College in Manningham.


The College is now fully co-educational and has a set PAN (Published Admissions Number) of 290. Student numbers have settled to 1890 with around 400 in the 6th form.

This makes us one of, if not, the biggest Catholic schools in the country.

The College operates across the two former sites which are approximately one mile apart with the Ignis site (St Joseph’s) housing Key Stage 3 and the Key Stage 4 students at the Ardor site (St Bede’s)

The old St Joseph’s site has been renamed Ignis (Latin: spark) and the old St Bede’s site has been renamed Ardor (Latin: flame) in reference to the College motto – Christus Lumen Gentium (Christ, Light of the Nations)




The College community lives out this motto through the concepts of Ignite, Illuminate and Shine. It is around these themes that the College teaching and learning is organised.

Subjects are divided into five Divisions (Julian of Norwich, Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Avila, Therese of Lisieux and Hildegard of Bingen) each containing three colleagues (an Ignite, Illuminate and Shine leader) responsible for teaching and learning and general student outcomes. These colleagues work within each Division but also across Divisions in a whole school capacity.

Ignite leaders ensure that quality teaching, supported by excellent resources and a well-planned curriculum, meets the needs of students of all capabilities.

The College also operates a House system, designed in part to honour the first aim set out by Cardinal Arthur Hinsley the first headteacher of St Bede’s Catholic Grammar school who wished:

‘to provide for our students a thorough training in the knowledge and principles of the Catholic faith, combined with a secular education equal in every respect to the best public schools in England’.

In mirroring the academic wing of the school we also have five Houses (St Matthew, St Mark, St Luke, St John and St Paul). There are three colleagues with responsibility within each House; the Scholastica leader, the Ecclesia leader and the Olympia leader. They are charged with ensuring that relationships within the House are strong and that the formation of each child is carefully planned, managed and monitored and in doing so we are capturing the essence of public school living where the strength of relationships and the formation of each individual leads to happy, confident, spiritually awake, life-long learners.

The pastoral support for students that the House system provides is supplemented by the College Lighthouse facility, a unique provision where dedicated, specialist staff focus on attendance, welfare, behaviour and inclusion matters so that all youngsters whatever their needs are well supported.

St Benedict is the patron of our 400 strong 6th form. We offer over 40 post-16 courses and a full enrichment programme that includes expert information, advice and guidance on career pathways and University applications.

Above all we are a Catholic College and our carefully prepared programme of liturgy and worship provides our students with opportunities to reflect on their own individual faith journeys. The teachings of Christ, beautifully captured by the College prayer, are the heartbeat of the College and direct all relationships, policies and procedures.

It is our understanding that through an appreciation of the Catholic virtues that we live out daily both explicitly and implicitly that we can shape and form the characters of our young people in such a way that they are able to become;

happy, confident, spiritually awake, life- long learners.