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.’

End of Exams

Monday 19th June 2017

Last Friday was the last GCSE exam for the vast majority of our Year 11 students, and it was therefore their very last day in school as a ‘St James’ pupil’. We will of course be seeing them again at the Prom this Friday and the Leavers’ Breakfast the following Friday, as well as Results Day in August and the Certificate Evening in November. They have worked really hard over the last few months and they fully deserve a well-earned break. I have been really proud of them all, and I’m sure you will join me in wishing them the very best in all that they do in the future. We have seen them grow into mature and caring young adults over the last five years, and I am sure that they will continue to be a credit to their families and the family of St James’.

This week we are welcoming Year 5 children from our partner Primary schools for a St James’ taster day, starting with Our Lady’s  today. We are also holding an information evening for parents of children in Years 4 & 5 next Tuesday evening, June 27th, at 7.00pm. If you do know of anyone who is thinking about St James’ for their child or children, and they would like any further information about the school, please do encourage them to attend or to contact us at michelle.mccumesky@st-jamescatholic.stockport.sch.uk


This Thursday is our Lower School Presentation Evening, one of the most important events on our school calendar – a chance to gather together to celebrate the successes and achievements of our young people. All pupils who have been invited must be in school by 6.30pm at the latest, for a 7.00pm start. It is always a very successful and joyful event, but also very busy. Seats are therefore strictly limited to two guests per family. You may also remember that this time last year we made arrangements with Manchester Rugby Club to use their parking facilities on busy events such as the Lower School Presentation Evening, rather than parking on local roads. I can confirm the Rugby Club have kindly agreed to continue with this arrangement, so once the school car park is full, PLEASE PARK AT THE RUGBY CLUB ON GROVE LANE, next to the Pointing Dog.

On a similar theme, we have received another complaint from a local resident about parking in the local area and dangerous driving: ‘the way these parents had parked was dangerous as I (& other residents) have to drive on the other side of the road ...avoiding any other parents coming along to drop off their offspring.’ Could I ask you once again, therefore, that if you are dropping off or picking your children up, could you have regard for local residents and ensure that you are acting safely and respectfully at all times.

Preparations are now well underway for the whole-school sponsored walk, and all students have been given detailed information about it by their form tutor and Dr Guscott. Please ensure that your child returns their permission slip by Friday 30th June and sponsor form by Wednesday 5th July – the four charities benefitting from this year’s walk are CAFOD, Retrak, St Ann’s Hospice and Prem Dan. Any help on the day from parents, family of friends would be greatly appreciated.

We are also fast approaching HAE week, commencing Thursday 13th July, and with these and all the other trips and activities planned for the remainder of the Summer term, could I ask you again, in an attempt to reduce the use of cash and cheques, to pay for trips by using our e-payment service, ParentPay. If you require any assistance, please telephone the Finance Office on 0161 482 6903. It really is a simple and convenient way of transferring your money.

Congratulations to all the Year 10 students who participated in the Duke of Edinburgh practice expedition over the weekend, and thank you to Mr Wheelan, Mrs Malins, Mrs Hutchings and Miss Gould for leading them safely through a very hot, yet successful, outing. Finally, could I please remind you about the PTA second-hand uniform sale, taking place after the New Intake Evening on Wednesday 5th July. If you have any good quality spare uniform could you please hand it into the school reception by Friday 30th June.