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

Monday 26th June 2017

Last week we 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 – Christopher Mills, Annie Rose O’Donoghue, Maisy Crowley, Abaigeal Barrett, Freya Harrison, Lilyrae Bates
  • Year 8 Form Awards – Patrick Blackshaw, Georgia Langan, Eve McNulty, Lyndon Finnigan, Will Knox, Maisie Nicholls
  • Year 9 Form Awards – Orla Grady, Eric Szyman, Libby Morris, Lewis Thomas, Hannah Lynch, Joshua Harney


  • Year 7 Award – Freya Mercer
  • Year 8 Award – Edward Jewsbury
  • Year 9 Award – Jacob Locke


  • The Gary Cox Award – Emily Walton
  • The Martin Charnock Award – Tom Fletcher
  • The Joe Dalton Award – Eleanor Shiel
  • The Spirit of St James’ Award Thomas Coleing


I would also like to thank our three invited guests for coming along to present the awards , past-pupils of the school who have all worked hard to achieve their goals – Barry Moore, Marketing Director for Adidas UK, Jane Sharrocks, Senior Retail Manager with Selfridges, and Joseph Lynn, Videographer and Photographer. Photographs from the evening will soon be on the Headteacher’s Blog on the school website.

Unfortunately, however, we still continue to receive complaints about parking on local residential streets, despite having made arrangements with Manchester Rugby Club to use their parking facilities when the school car-park is full. We will continue to use this arrangement for other whole-school events, but if I could once again ask for your cooperation in ensuring that you park and drive your cars in a considerate and safe manner when attending school functions and when dropping off / picking up pupils.

Last Friday was the Year 11 Prom, which really was a lovely occasion. The young people looked fantastic in their suits and dresses, and it was a lovely moment for all the family and friends who were there to welcome the young people to their special evening. This Friday we welcome the students back to school for their Leavers’ Breakfast.

Last week we welcomed Year 5 children from Cheadle Catholic Juniors, Our Lady’s, St Peter’s and St Simon’s for their St James’ Taster Day. All of the children entered fully into the spirit of the days, and their behaviour and participation were excellent. We look forward to welcoming more pupils from Cheadle Catholic Juniors and St Ambrose this week. Thank you to all the staff who have organised and led these taster days, as I know the children have really enjoyed their first experience of High School.

On Wednesday morning the Year 10 Geography students will be setting off on their field-trip to Grasmere, in the Lake District. Tomorrow evening is our GCSE Art & Music exhibition, whilst Year 4 & 5 parents from our partner schools are invited to attend an information evening about St James’. On Thursday morning we will be celebrating the Feast of Saints Peter & Paul with a whole-school Mass.

Last Thursday we held interviews for our Prefect body. All the young people who applied presented very well and should be commended for their efforts. Congratulations to the successful candidates, and in particular the following two students who were have been appointed as Head Boy & Head Girl:

•           Head Boy – Ryand Yandoc

•           Head Girl – Claire Allwright