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.’

Mission Team from Steubenville University, Ohio

Monday 3rd July 2017

Today we welcome a Mission Team from Steubenville University, Ohio, who have been invited to the Diocese by Bishop Mark. They are working with our new team of prefects, finishing with the celebration of Mass. Tomorrow is our Sports Day, and while the weather forecast indicates rather a cloudy start to the day, there is a chance that it may be a warm afternoon. If that is indeed the case we would advise students to bring the following to school for use in the afternoon: a hat, a water bottle, filled before the sports begin, and sun-cream.

This Wednesday is our new intake evening, which will be followed by the PTA uniform sale. The sale has been a big success over the last couple of years, raising nearly £1000 for the PTA, and providing many families with 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 last week’s newsletter, we have made arrangements with Manchester Rugby Club to use their parking facilities for such events, and we have asked the Primary Schools to pass this message on to all families concerned. If you are coming yourself 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.


Thank you and well done to all Year 10 students who went on the Geography field-trip to Grasmere and / or the Duke of Edinburgh expedition at the weekend. Their behaviour and attitude were outstanding. Last Friday we also welcomed back to school our Year 11 students for their Leavers’ Breakfast and their last ever day at school. It was a lovely occasion, with more than 100 of our young people here, eating, chatting, and looking at photographs from the Prom and from their time at school over the last five years. It was also an opportunity to say thank you to those staff who have supported them so well over their time at St James’.


Last week we said farewell to Mrs Jane Corless, our Office Manager, who has left St James’ after 14 years of service. We wish her the very best for her future and her new position at the Information Commissioner’s Office. Finally, this Friday is our whole-school sponsored walk and all students have been given detailed information about it by their form tutor and Dr Guscott. All students should have also returned their permission slips by now and sponsor forms are due by Wednesday 5th July. Thank you in advance for all those parents and friends who have volunteered to help on the day.