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 Term Arrangements & Christmas Tree Recycling

Monday 18th December 2017

As the end of another exciting and successful term draws near, I should like to take a moment to reflect on the many successes and achievements of the last few months. It has been a long, busy term with plenty of opportunities for the rest of our young people to shine.

The year began with the fantastic news about the Class of 2016 and their excellent set of examination results:

  • 76% of YEAR 11 students attained an A*-C grades in both English & Maths
  • 84% of YEAR 11 students attained 5+ A*-C grades
  • 37% of YEAR 11 students attained 3+ A*-A grades

Our new Year 7 pupils settled in well, as they enjoyed their Retreat Days at Linnet Clough, their Welcome Mass in October, and their Disco, organised by the prefect team.  Year 9 had their River Bollin Geography field-trips. Year 9 & 10 students had the opportunity to participate in the excellent History trip to the ‘Battlefields of the Western Front’, and Year 11 students have now taken their December exams.

Yet again our pupils, parents and staff have been generous with their time and money, raising much needed funds for charity, and working with our partners in the community. The warm clothing and the food boxes that we have been collected in recent weeks are going to be delivered to the Wellspring this morning. Together, with the money raised by the choir & band last Tuesday, the raffle on Thursday evening, 10A's excellent Christmas jumper day for Prem Dan and the money collected through PE for the British Heart Foundation, this has been a great half term for our charities. It was also a privilege to be able to take a group of Year 9 students to help out at the St Peter’s annual SVP Christmas dinner last Wednesday.

As well as our well-attended Year 7 Parent-Tutor /KS3 Information Evening, we also hosted a very informative Careers Convention for Year 11 and a lively and engaging Apprenticeship Evening for Year 9 students and parents.

The term has been busy for extra-curricular PE, with successes in Football, Badminton, Hockey and Netball

Our Wednesday Morning Prayer has continued to attract large numbers of pupils and staff, and has been really well led by our Spirituality Prefects. Some of our students attended the ‘Make Some Noise’ event at Thornleigh  College earlier in the term, and we were well-represented again at the Stockport ‘Together in Faith’ Mass. All forms have had their Advent Service and we will be celebrating our Christmas liturgies tomorrow.

Last Thursday’s Expressive Arts’ Christmas Celebration was FANTASTIC. There was so much talent on display, and what was particularly pleasing was the amount of younger pupils who performed. The future is indeed bright.

These are just some of the many opportunities offered to our young people this term, and today we have our Christmas activities.

Tomorrow we will be saying farewell to Mrs Sophie Bratherton, who is leaving St James’ after 14 years of service to our young people. We will certainly miss her positivity and hard-work, and wish her the very best for the future. We will be welcoming Mrs Caroline Sutton into the PE Faculty for the next term, before Mrs Bratherton’s permanent replacement, Mrs Victoria Floyd, joins us after Easter. I am also delighted to be able to inform you that we will be welcoming Mr Francis Swarbrick into the English Faculty after Christmas, to cover Mrs Moss’ English classes for the remainder of her maternity leave.

Thank you for your active support and involvement in your child’s education. If you wish to communicate with me on any issue, please do not hesitate to email me at headteacher@st-jamescatholic.stockport.sch.uk.  Alternatively, please ring and we will arrange to meet at the earliest opportunity. School closes tomorrow, on Tuesday 19th December at 12.15pm, andopens for the new term on Wednesday 3rd January 2018 at the usual time. I know it seems like a long way off, but if you are having a real Christmas Tree this year, maybe the Christmas Tree recycling advert below may be of interest to you.


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