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.’

Lower school Presentation Evening, Sports Day, Leavers' Breakfast, Diocesan Mass, Intake Day ......

Monday 2nd July 2018

Last Thursday we said farewell to our Year 11 students at their Leavers’ Breakfast. It was a lovely  occasion and I told them all how well they have done through this very intensive and difficult exam period, and how proud we are of them. We will see them all again on exam results day, 23rd August, to see exactly how well they have done! Last week we also held our Lower School Presentation Evening to celebrate the successes and achievements of our young people, and I have received several emails from parents thanking us for such a special occasion. The young people were a credit to their families and the school, and thoroughly deserved the recognition that they were given. The names of the award winners were printed in the booklets, but to add an element of surprise, we kept some of the prize-winners a secret right up until the moment they were announced. As their names were not printed in the booklets, I would like to make a special mention of them here in the newsletter. Congratulations to the following Special Award winners

  • Year 7 Form Awards – Emma Tate, Grace Blakeley, George Nicholson, Molly Welham, Joshua Grannigan, Isabella Gibbons
  • Year 8 Form Awards – Christopher Mills, Reece Austin, Ruby Davies, Sinem Williams, Charlotte Knights, Abby Mistica
  • Year 9 Form Awards – Ruby Noone, Katie Hanna, Georgia Long, Joseph Reynolds, Ibuken Arewa, Louise Carroll


  • Year 7 Award – Clodagh McFadden
  • Year 8 Award – Fiona Benbow
  • Year 9 Award – Thomas Coeling


  • The Gary Cox Award Dylan Manuel
  • The Martin Charnock Award Olivia Milne
  • The Joe Dalton Award Isabella Vita
  • The Spirit of St James’ Award – Abby Mistica


Tomorrow is our Sports Day, and the weather forecast indicates a sunny and breezy day, with temperatures of 23°. Competitors will be kept in the shade when not taking part, and they will wear their school PE kit. We will also ensure that spectators will have shade to sit in, and school uniform will be relaxed to allow students to take off ties and untuck shirts. We strongly encourage all students to bring hats / caps, sun cream and water bottles – we will have plenty of water available for bottles to be re-filled.

Congratulations to Caitlyn Grady who had trials with Everton last week and has been offered a contract. She has trained very hard for this opportunity and we are all delighted for her.  Congratulations also to Lily Gilronon, who has been selected for the U15 Girls Regional Basketball Team to represent the North West in the Inter-regional Tournament in September at Belle Vue National Performance Centre.

Congratulations to all those young people who received the sacrament of Confirmation last Thursday evening at St Peter’s, Hazel Grove. Their names are mentioned later in this newsletter. The young people from Christchurch, St Ann’s and St Chad’s are being confirmed on Friday 13th July – please keep all of them in your prayers. As you will see later in this newsletter, last Wednesday I was accompanied by Mrs Bennett and small group of Year 9 & 10 students to the annual Diocesan Education Mass at Holy Angels, Hale. It was a lovely occasion, celebrated by Bishop Mark, and our students were a credit to their families and the school.

This Wednesday is our new intake evening, which will be followed by the PTA uniform sale. The sale was a big success last year with nearly £400 raised on behalf of the PTA and many families having the opportunity to stock up on PE kits, blazers, Year 11 jumpers etc. All items are a quarter (or less) of the price in local stockists. If you do still, therefore, have any good quality spare uniform could you please hand it into the school reception. Following the intake evening, our new Year 7 pupils will be coming to St James’ on Thursday for their intake day, and we look forward to welcoming them all. As mentioned in previous newsletters, we have made arrangements with Manchester Rugby Club to use their parking facilities for busy occasions, such as this week’s new intake day. If you are coming yourself, therefore, or if you know anyone else who is coming on Wednesday evening, could I please encourage you to use either the school car parking facilities or the rugby club, and so avoid any disruption to the local roads or streets.