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.’

Careers Convention

Monday 2nd October 2017

Thank you to those parents and students who came to our Careers Convention last Thursday. Thank you also to the representatives from the different Colleges and Apprentice providers who were there to provide information and answer questions. It really was a very informative evening. Please keep reading the weekly newsletter for College and Sixth Form Open Days.


As a school we are very aware that at times our pupils can struggle with revision and organisation. As a result we held lessons last Thursday for Year 10, and all students received information as to how they could improve their own study skills. We advised pupils to REVIEW their work every day and to review the week's work every week end. It is very important that revision is over time and not crammed as an exam approaches. This means reading through the day's work and being ready to ask a teacher for support if a certain concept requires clarification. There were also some key messages around being ‘Ready to Learn’, the ‘Growth Mindset’ and the importance of resilience – never saying never! We are, however, very concerned about the amount of time that some of our students are spending on Social Media. For many this is just about habit, but it is a habit that can very easily detract from their studies. For others it is something that is having a negative impact on their lives, from anxieties about friendships and self-esteem, to lack of sleep. Please be aware of how much time your children are spending on social media, as well as what they are actually doing online, and encourage and support them in making the right decisions. Please do not hesitate to get in touch if we can assist.


With regard to social mediawe have recently dealt with a serious incident whereby a group of students had been using social media inappropriately. May I please remind all parents and carers monitor their children's camera and social media carefully, to safeguard their child. If anyone wants advice or help to support them in this, please do not hesitate to contact school.


Another reminder that it is our Open Evening this Thursday. To enable us to prepare the school for prospective parents and pupils, we shall be closing early at 1.15pm. If you know of anyone who would be interested in attending Open Evening, or would like to make an appointment at any other time to come and visit the school, then please encourage them to do so. Thank you in advance to all those pupils coming back to school in the evening to help out. All student helpers must be in full school uniform. If students are coming to Open Evening because they are accompanying their family, however, they must either be in non-school uniform or full school uniform, but not a combination of both. We have made arrangements with Manchester Rugby Club to use their facilities for additional car parking.


Finally, I would like to thank all of our prefects who did such a good job organising and running our recent Year 7 Disco. The Year 7 pupils certainly seemed to enjoy themselves, and our staff all commented on how mature, reliable and positive our prefects were.