OFSTED April 2017 Key Comments: 

  • ‘Pupils shine at this school because they benefit enormously from being part of the ‘St James family’, a supportive and caring community. They are happy and safe in school.
  • ‘The conduct of pupils in this school, the way they interact with each other and adults, is impeccable – in fact, it is the best I have ever seen(Feedback from HMI to School Governors, Local Authority and Diocesan representatives)
  • Pupils readily respond to leaders’ high expectations evident in the ‘SHINE’ ethos. As a result, they ‘Speak politely, Have respect, follow Instructions, Never say never and Engage positively’ in all that they do
  • ‘Pupils work exceptionally well together’
  • ‘Pupils have excellent attitudes to learning, they are curious and want to achieve their best.’
  • ‘Pupils know what it means to be ‘ready to learn’’
  • ‘Pupils’ conduct is exemplary. They show high levels of respect for each other and for their teachers and teaching assistants.
  • ‘Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is a strength of the school’
  • ‘The school's work to promote pupils' personal development and welfare is outstanding. Leaders make sure that pupils are cared for exceptionally well’
  • ‘Staff are proud to be a member of staff at this school’
  • ‘Pupils, including the most able, are challenged by their work’
  • ‘Pupils are taught the skills needed to become thoughtful, self-confident citizens, able to express their views and opinions.’
  • ‘Progress overall is much better than that of similar-ability pupils nationally’
  • ‘Key stage 4 outcomes in GCSE examinations demonstrate consistently strong progress over each of the last three years’
  • ‘Parents have highly-positive views of the school and confirm their children are safe and happy at this school. They greatly appreciate the pastoral care and support provided.’
  • ‘Pupils say they feel safe at school, they say there are no bullies and are confident they would be listened to if they shared a concern with a teacher or pastoral leader.’
  • ‘Governors know the strengths of the school and where there are further improvements still to be made.’
  • ‘Pupils enjoy coming to school.’
  • ‘Pupils, including the most able, are challenged by their work because most teachers have high expectations of pupils and plan work which is hard enough for them.’
  • ‘Pupils learn well and make excellent progress because teaching in English, mathematics and most other subjects is consistently good.’
  • ‘Leaders have successfully introduced a more ambitious culture in the school based upon high expectations.’
  • ‘Pupils typically make good progress because teachers have strong subject knowledge, which they use well to plan interesting and challenging work for pupils.’
  • ‘Teaching assistants support pupils well in lessons, including low-ability pupils and those who have special educational needs and/or disabilities, who need extra help.’

All Saints' Day

Tuesday 31st October 2017

I hope you have all had an enjoyable half-term holiday. Tomorrow is All Saints’ Day, and as mentioned before half-term, we would usually gather together to celebrate a whole-school Mass. Unfortunately, due to recommendations made during our recent fire risk-assessment audit, we are currently unable to hold whole-school Masses in the Sports Hall. We are looking into ways of managing this in both the short and long-term, including more class and year Masses, as well as voluntary Masses, however we will not be offering Mass in school tomorrow. There will be no homework set, to allow families to attend their local parish Mass, so please check with your parish for Mass times.


On the Thursday before half-term we did gather together to welcome our new Year 7 pupils, with a Mass celebrated by Fr Chris. The theme was ‘Christ has no body now on earth but yours’, and each Form group prepared a different part of the liturgy. It was a really lovely occasion, and a fitting way to celebrate the new additions to our school family. Thank you to the RE Faculty, Mrs Doyle and the Year 7 pastoral team, as well as everyone else who helped to make the evening such a special occasion. Thank you to parents, family and friends who came along to celebrate with us. Unfortunately the PTA were unable to provide refreshments afterwards. As I have mentioned previously, the work of the PTA is highly valued by the school, but unfortunately, because of a lack of volunteers they are struggling to complete some of their traditional services, like providing tea and coffee at parents’ evenings and other school events. If you would like to volunteer to help the PTA, even if you can’t make the half-termly meetings, please do contact the school reception and your name and details will be passed on.  


The Year 9 & 10 History trip to the Western Front, studying the battlefields of the First World War, will be leaving on Sunday, returning Wednesday, and we wish them the very best for what has always proven to be a very moving and inspirational experience. It is a particularly apt time of year to be going on such a trip, with Remembrance Day less than a fortnight away. Poppies are available from school reception.


Year 11 students have their December examinations starting during the week of 27th November. They will all be provided with a personalised Revision Plan for the weeks immediately prior to the exams, and these plans have proved most useful and popular with students and parents in previous years. However, all Year 11 pupils should already be revising for these exams in order to be as fully prepared as possible. Any opportunity to revise over-time will lead to improved results in the final GCSE examinations. Students will soon receive their mock exam timetable along with the plans. Please do contact Mrs Livesey at patricia.livesey@st-jamescatholic.stockport.sch.uk  if you have any questions or concerns. I wrote to Year 11 parents at the end of last half-term to say how well the year group has started the term, and also to inform them about key events and dates coming up in their final year at St James’. I also informed them about the opportunity for silent revision, every Monday to Thursday, between 3.00 pm and 4.30 pm. Whilst this might be ideal for Year 11 students preparing for their exams, it is also open to students from all year groups.


Next week, on Thursday 9th November, we are holding our annual Presentation Evening at Stockport Town Hall, and we hope to see as many of the Class of 2017 as possible return to receive their certificates, awards and huge congratulations for their tremendous successes. Could I also please remind Year 9 parents about the Apprenticeship evening on Thursday 16th November and Year 7 parents about the Parent / Tutor Evening on Thursday 23rd November - as there will be a presentation about the new reporting system at Key Stage 3, parents of Year 8 & 9 students are also invited to this evening. Further details will be sent out later this week.


This promises to be another busy, stimulating, and engaging few weeks.