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.’

December Exam Results

Monday 23rd January 2017

Year 11 students received their December examination results and Quarter data this morning during assembly, and we were delighted to welcome Mr Danny Pearson, Principal of Aquinas College, to talk to our young people about course expectations and entry requirements for Sixth Form Colleges. I would encourage you to ask to see your child’s results - they are based on the December examinations and controlled assessment work so far, as well as teachers’ professional judgements. Over the course of the week all Year 11 students will also be seen by a member of the Senior Leadership Team, either individually or in small groups. A paper copy of the results will be posted home by the end of the week, along with the full academic report and a more detailed plan of the forthcoming term. The reports that students receive may be asked for by colleges for interviews, so please do ensure that they are close to hand. I wrote to Year 11 parents last week to assure them that we are working together in partnership to ensure the very best results for our students in the Summer GCSEs, and at times the messages we give have to be challenging but supportive, and all actions taken are in the best interests of all our students.

Thank you to those parents who attended Year 10 Parents’ Evening last week – the attendance was very high at 96% and there were some really constructive conversations about how our young people can make even better progress. The feedback from the surveys was, yet again, very positive, so thank you to all who responded. The Governors’ Curriculum & Pupils sub-committee will be looking at the surveys for the year so far at this evening’s meeting and I will publish the results of all the Parents’ Evening surveys later in the year, once completed.

Thank you to those parents who have been in touch regarding the Yr 8 & 9 study days on the Growth Mindset. I was delighted that some parents have even brought the topic up with me during meetings about their own children. I really do think that if we can establish this mindset amongst our students it will help them enormously in all that they go on to do with their lives. It is also an integral part of our school’s SHINE ethos: ‘Never Say Never’ and ‘Engage Positively’.

Another reminder that there are only three weeks remaining until the curtain goes up on the school production of ‘Dracula Spectacula’ and tickets are available from Mrs Malins.

Finally could I please ask you again to keep Mr Dave Fryer in your prayers as it is his funeral this afternoon.