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 New Year

Monday 9th January 2017

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! 2017 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. Over recent years we have received feedback from parents about the amount of homework set during holidays, saying that they thought it was too much, particularly at Christmas time. This year, therefore, no homework was set for Key Stage 3, and teachers were careful to only set work for Key Stage 4 that they considered essential. I do hope that this approach made a difference to the quality of your family holday.

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. As communicated at the end of the last academic year and at the beginning of last term shoes ‘need to be dark brown or black, leather looking, not to look like a pump, not to have trainer laces or soles, and not to have logos across the shoe.' ‘Converse’ or ‘trainer’ style shoes, therefore, are not allowed. Our uniform policy also clearly 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.

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. There were some mornings in the weeks before the Christmas break when St James’ Way and the entrance to school became extremely congested, and the school buses found it very difficult to access the site and safely deliver the pupils to school. I would ask, therefore, that parents SHOULD NOT DROP OFF / PICK UP PUPILS ON THE SCHOOL SITE OR ST JAMES’ WAY AFTER 8.20 AM OR BEFORE 3.15 PM. Please be careful and considerate, as this could avoid any accidents, as well as showing courtesy for local residents and pedestrians’ right of way

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 Parents’ Evening on Thursday 19th January and Year 9 Parents’ Evening on Thursday 2nd February.  All parents are also invited to attend PTA meetings, the next of which is on Monday 16th January at 7.00pm in the staff room.

Finally I would like to welcome back Mrs Dingle from her maternity leave. I would also ask you to join us in prayers for our colleague and friend, Mr Dave Fryer, who sadly passed away during the Christmas holidays. Dave has been a cleaner here at school for the past nine years, and he very much considered St James’, students and staff, to be his extended family. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.