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.’

Battlefields Day Three

Wednesday 4th November 2015

Today has been an extremely emotional and very moving day. We set off bright and early to visit Vimy Ridge, where we had a tour of the trenches and visited the famous Canadian memorial. From Vimy we went on to the battlefields of the Somme, where 3 of our pupils were lucky enough to visit graves of their distant relatives. From here we went on to visit the huge Lochnagar crater - pupils were astounded at the size of it and the devastation it had caused, as explained in detail by our tour guide.

Lunch was at 'le Tommy' cafe where pupils were also able to visit a museum full of first world war relics and a realistic trench reconstruction. After lunch we went on to the Thiepval Memorial, which is the largest British war memorial in the world. This was followed by a quick visit to the Ulster tower memorial, and then on to Beaumont-Hamel, a Canadian maintained site dedicated to the huge loss of Canadian lives during World War I - it was extremely poignant.

The day was completed by a visit to the Sheffield Memorial Park at Serre, where pupils learnt more details about the first bloody day of the Battle of the Somme, and hardships faced by the frontline troops.

Back at the Château pupils enjoyed a hearty meal, including trying snails - then a bit of time to relax, before visiting the site of the Christmas truce tomorrow morning.

Mrs Hitchings