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 Trip - Day Two

Tuesday 3rd November 2015

Today started with an early visit the Yorkshire Trench where the pupils experienced what being in a trench was like for the first time. We then went to Essex Farm where the poem by John McCrae 'In Flanders Fields' was written. Pupils also got to think about why someone their age would join the British army. After Essex Farm we visited Tyne Cot cemetery (The biggest British cemetery in the world). The final visit of the morning was at Langemark where pupils looked at a German cemetery and were asked to compare and contrast Langemark and Tyne cot.

At lunchtime pupils went to Sanctuary Wood where they experienced another trench, but this time it was in its original state. This visited was followed by one to Hill 60.

This afternoon pupils went to the Passchendaele Memorial Museum where pupils experienced the different smells of gas, tried various uniforms and tried out life in a dugout.

During the late afternoon pupils visited the chocolate shop in Ypres (Wipers to the British Tommy!).

This evening pupils from St James' experienced a really special ceremony at the Menin Gate called the Last Post ceremony. Michael Mills had the privilege of being asked to read the exhortation (a very rare thing indeed) in front of a large crowd. Michael along with Harvey Conduit laid a wreath on behalf of St James.

I have to say it has been a privilege to lead this trip and I am very proud of the pupils who have behaved immaculately and engaged at every point in what has been a very long day. Tomorrow will be another long day, but this time we will be looking at the Battle of the Somme.


Mrs Birch

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