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.’

Happy 2018!

Monday 8th January 2018

Happy New Year to everyone. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas holiday and after two weeks’ break I expect you are all pleased that school has started again! 2018 promises to be another exciting, successful year for all at St James’ and we shall continue to provide the best possible all-round education for every child.


Year 11 students will be receiving their December examination results and termly data this Friday during assembly. 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 next week 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, along with a more detailed plan of the forthcoming term. The data reports that students receive may be asked for by colleges for interviews, so please do ensure that they are close to hand.


We sent an email last week to say how proud we are of two of our Year 7 boys, Lochlan and Riley White, who have been appearing in Elf – The Musical, at the Lowry Theatre. The musical was shown on Channel 5 over the Christmas period (a live recording of the show) and you might like to watch it on catch-up. The boys were amazing in it.Here is a link to half price-tickets for the musical, which closes next Sunday:https://www.quaytickets.com/Online/default.asp?doWork::WScontent::loadArticle=Load&BOparam::WScontent::loadArticle::article_id=9652E126-9430-492E-9C8C-CF6268FE2B0F&BOparam::WScontent::loadArticle::promocode_access_code=mth&SessionSecurity::referrer=ManchesterTheatres


A few reminders at the start of the New Year. Please ensure your son/daughter leaves for school in plenty of time. School begins at 8.45am and we expect everybody to be punctual and on site by 8.40am. If they arrive after 8.45am, youngsters risk being marked as late and may be given a detention - we are aware that there is a lot of disruption in the local area due to roadworks, so if a school bus is late, pupils are not given a detention. If you want to buy the correct uniform, visit our principal supplier, FR Monkhouse, The Precinct, Cheadle Hulme, or Davensport in Davenport. If you have any queries or concerns regarding uniform, please contact Miss McCumesky at michelle.mccumesky@st-jamescatholic.stockport.sch.uk. We expect our uniform to be uniform, so please check you are buying the right shoes, trousers, skirt, jumper, tie and blazer. Our uniform policy also states that students are not allowed to wear coats inside the school building, and we do not allow hooded tops or fleeces to be worn beneath blazers indoors. We have also noticed recently that some girls have been coming to school purposely wearing fake tan as an alternative to foundation, so that they cannot remove it with make-up wipes. Please note that if your daughter attends school with excessive fake tan, which cannot be removed or toned down, they may be removed from circulation during break and lunchtime, in line with our uniform policy.


Could I also remind you once again about our need to ensure that Health and Safety procedures are in place and followed by all users of school premises. As you know, we ask that parents do NOT DROP OFF / PICK UP PUPILS ONTHE SCHOOL SITE OR ST JAMES’ WAY AFTER 8.20 AM OR BEFORE 3.15 PM, to avoid congestion, but we also ask for parents to be careful and considerate on neighbouring roads, as this could avoid any accidents, as well as showing courtesy for local residents and pedestrians’ right of way. I also received an email over the Christmas holidays about litter in the local area. The email acknowledges that whilst there are also many inconsiderate adults who drop litter, could we reiterate the message to our young people about the importance of disposing of rubbish appropriately, and not dropping it in the floor. We will be giving this message in school, through assemblies and form tutors, but could I ask that parents support us with this as well.


As well as youngsters becoming engaged in school life, parents are welcome to get involved in school life too. Could I therefore encourage you to attend Yr 10 Work Experience Information Evening on Thursday 18th January and Year 11 Parents’ Evening on Thursday 1st February.  All parents are also invited to attend PTA meetings, the next of which is on Monday 15th January at 6.30pm in the staff room.


Finally I would like to welcome Mr Francis Swarbrick into the English Faculty, to cover Mrs Moss’ English classes for the remainder of her maternity leave, and Mrs Caroline Sutton into the PE Faculty for this term.