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.’

Bad Weather Information

Thursday 29th January 2015

As you are aware, today we experienced some snowfall in the morning, but managed to keep the school open and operating as normal. The buses all turned up at the end of day as expected, and pupils left the site safely.

I know that some schools did make the difficult decision to close for all or part of the day, and there will be those rare occasions, particularly in winter, when we decide that the weather is so severe that getting to and from school is hazardous, or that the weather has deteriorated so much during the course of the day that it is necessary for students to leave the premises a little early in order to do so more safely.

Decisions about closing the school or sending students home early, however, will not be taken lightly and will be done in consultation with the Governors and the Local Authority. We will always endeavour to open the school when we are safely able to do so.

We are aware that bad weather by its nature is disruptive and can cause anxiety. Therefore any action due to poor weather will be posted immediately on our website, and announced on local radio stations. Please be aware that if many parents/carers ring the school it can be difficult to answer the calls as the lines can quickly become jammed.

Severe Weather Overnight

  • If the school has to be closed, a message will be read out on local radio stations.

  • Closure will also be communicated on our website.

  • If any students arrive at school unaware of the closure, a member of staff will be there to help. Students may phone parents/carers without charge to decide whether they should return home or wait to be collectected.

If the weather deteriorates during the day

  •  The school will be closed early only in extreme cases.

  • The decision to close the school will be made by the Headteacher and senior colleagues in consultation with Governors and the Local Authority.

  • Decisions about early closure will be communicated to staff and students as soon as this is appropriate.

  • After consulting the bus companies, students who use school buses will be told of any potential changes to normal routes so they can decide the best way home.

  • Students being collected from school or with other arrangements will be allowed to phone home for advice on what to do.

  • Students who can walk home will be sent preferably in family groups or in the company of other students who live near each other.


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