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 Exams

Monday 20th November 2017

This Friday Mrs Livesey and I will be joining student representatives from all the Catholic Primary and High Schools in Stockport to celebrate the Together in Faith Mass at Our Lady’s & the Apostles. The aim of the day is to promote awareness among pupils and staff of the Stockport Catholic Schools that they belong to a wider Catholic family across the borough; a family which is supported by three different dioceses – Salford, Shrewsbury and Nottingham. It aims to give pupils and staff the opportunity to work with those from other schools in a spirit of friendship and faith as they reflect on the challenge to live as people of faith in our homes, schools, parishes, neighbourhoods and the global community. Previous Masses have all proved to be lovely occasions, and I’m sure that this Friday’s Mass, celebrated by Bishop Mark, will be as equally special. As we approach Advent, our class Advent Services begin this week, and we also gave all our Year 7 pupils the opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation last week.


Year 11 students have their mock GCSE examinations starting next week. They have all be provided with a Revision Plan, and these plans have proved most useful and popular with pupils and parents in previous years. It has come to my attention, though, that some students are finding it difficult to manage their time effectively, and are going to bed far too late without getting a good night’s sleep. I spoke to the Year group at assembly just over a week ago and told them about the importance of finding the right balance, starting their revision early enough in the evening, and ensuring they get enough breaks in between revision sessions. If you are concerned about your child’s revision, please talk to them about this, and do contact Mrs Livesey, Assistant Head for Pupil Progress, at patricia.livesey@st-jamescatholic.stockport.sch.uk  if you have any questions or would like advice.


As mentioned previously, Year 7 Parent / Tutor Evening is this week, on Thursday 23rd November. As usual there will also be presentations about important information, including E-Safety, Show My Homework and the new reporting system at Key Stage 3. As this system is also new for parents of Year 8 & 9 students, they are also invited to the presentation at 6.30pm, if they wish to attend. However, a presentation about the reporting system is now on the school website, under Learning / Progress; Assessment & Reporting - http://www.stjamescatholichighschool.org.uk/learning-progress/assessing-reporting/. Year 8 Parents’ Evening is on Thursday 30th November, and I look forward to seeing as many parents there as possible. Pupils have appointments sheets, and should currently be making appointments with their teachers.


A last reminder about the PTA Christmas Shopping Event tomorrow, on Tuesday 21st November, between 7pm & 9pm. There are some excellent stalls coming to the event, including: Allure (Children’s Gifts & Prosecco-Inspired Gifts), Lisa’s Sweet Boutique, The Bubbly Wine Company, Jewlz Cheshire Hidden Gem, Catfish Kids, Daisy Imprints, Cupcake Glory, Andrea’s Bodyshop, Wendy’s Home-Made Gifts, Flamingo Cards, Knitted Baby/Toddler Stall, Blankets And Bows, Honeyz Boutique (Clothes), Bespoke Planners, Tori Star Design, Luxury Gift Hampers, Cheshire Home Fragrance, Cheshire Energy Therapies, A Benefit Make-Up Stall, A Clarins Pop-Up Stall, Forever (Aloe Vera). There will also be refreshments available, including mulled wine, mince pies, stolen, and non-alcoholic punch. There will be plenty of parking available in the school grounds.


Finally, it may come as no surprise to you that I am yet again writing about parents and carers parking on local roads. It does seem that as much as I ask parents not to block side roads or drives, my plea is falling on deaf ears. I have received yet more emails over the weekend, this time about some of our neighbours who work for the NHS, and when leaving for work, were blocked from leaving their own driveway by a parent waiting to pick up their child from school. Another email was about an elderly neighbour with a disability, who is regularly faced with cars parked directly outside her house, with their engines running. Whilst we all recognise that there is no restricted parking on adjoining roads, I would ask once again for parents to be careful and considerate, as this could avoid any accidents, as well as showing courtesy for local residents and pedestrians’ right of way.