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.’

History Trip to the Western Front

Monday 6th November 2017

The Year 10 History trip to the Western Front, studying the battlefields of the First World War, is now underway, and returns on Wednesday evening. This is, of course, a particularly significant trip given that Remembrance Day is this Saturday, when we honour the fallen men and women of war. It is also important as 2017 marks the centenary anniversary of so many important battles, including Vimy Ridge and Paschendaele, both of which sites our students will be visiting  The party arrived in France yesterday, and you can follow the trip, as it happens, on Twitter, @StJames_CHS. My assemblies this week are also based upon November, the month to remember.


Our Year 11 students were given their Revision Plans for their December Exams last Friday. The plans start today, and have a personalised time-table of tasks to be completed, as a minimum. The students have also been introduced to the app which is a new development, and allows them to access the work in a much more interactive way. If you have any questions or concerns about the revision plans, please do not hesitate to contact Mrs Livesey, Assistant Headteacher for Progress. The opportunity for silent revision, every Monday to Thursday, between 3.00 pm and 4.30 pm, has been taken up by a few students, although I am sure it would benefit many more. Whilst it might be ideal for Year 11 students preparing for their exams, please don’t forget that it is also open to students from all year groups.


As mentioned in last week’s newsletter, Year 7 Parent / Tutor Evening is 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, the information about this particular initiative will also be placed on the school website. Could I again please remind Year 9 parents about the Apprenticeship evening on Thursday 16th November.


This Thursday we are holding our annual Presentation Evening at Stockport Town Hall, and we hope to see as many of the Class of 2017 as possible return to receive their certificates and awards.


Following last week’s request for support for the PTA, thank you to those parents who contacted us to offer help providing tea & coffee at Parents’ Evenings. The PTA are meeting this evening at 7pm in the staffroom. All are invited, although you don’t have to attend to help out, and any further offers of assistance would be greatly appreciated. At this evening’s meeting the PTA will be finalising details for their Christmas Shopping Event, on Tuesday 21st November, between 7pm & 9pm. The stalls booked so far are: 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.


After a further complaint from one of our neighbour’s last week, can I please ask once again, that when dropping-off / picking-up, parents are careful, considerate, safe and legal, as this could avoid any accidents, as well as showing courtesy for local residents and pedestrians’ right of way.