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.’

Mock Election

Monday 12th June 2017

Year 10 students received an assembly last Thursday about the prefect application process. During the assembly Mrs Mullen discussed with the students what they thought a good ‘role-model’ should look like, and if they thought that they fitted the criteria, then they were invited to collect an application form, with the deadline for submission being this Thursday, 15th June. Once applications have been received the process of appointing our new prefects, and selecting next year’s Head Boy & Head Girl will begin. Prefects play a vital role in the running of a school, assisting and supporting both staff and pupils, and it is a fantastic way of nurturing leadership skills and teamwork. I therefore encourage our young people to consider putting themselves forward, and I look forward to reading their applications. Good luck!

Last week Form Tutors spent some time discussing the General Election with their forms, and trying to explain some of the finer points of our democracy. The school council also organised a mock election, which took place on Thursday. Only those parties who were up for election in our local constituency of Cheadle were on the ballot paper and the results from the St James’ count is as follows:

  • Labour                         62%
  • The Green Party         13%
  • Conservatives             13%
  • Liberal Democrats      12%


Thank you to the school council for its hard work in organising and running the mock election. My assemblies this week are focused on Peace, following the horrific and senseless terrorist acts of recent weeks, but I am also emphasising the importance of Democracy and the other British Values of Law, Liberty and Respect & Tolerance – all of which make our country and society strong, safe and fair.


As mentioned in previous newsletters, the PTA is operating its second-hand uniform sale again, to take place after the New Intake Evening on Wednesday 5th July. If you do have any good quality, spare uniform could you please hand it into the school reception by Friday 30th June. This uniform sale has been a great success over the last couple of years, and it not only benefits the school in terms of funds raised, but also those families who purchase the clothes. Also, the PTA has recently purchased a popcorn machine, for use at school functions. If any parent would like to use the popcorn machine for a child’s party, or indeed their own, then please contact the school, and it can be arranged in return for a donation to the PTA. The PTA are meeting, for the last time this academic year, next Monday. The work of the PTA is highly valued by the school, but unfortunately, because of a lack of volunteers they are struggling to complete some of their traditional services, like providing tea and coffee at parents’ evenings. If you would like to volunteer to help the PTA, even if you can’t make the half-termly meetings, please do contact the school reception and your name and details will be passed on. Finally, could I once again encourage you to join the 500 club, if you haven’t already done so. As well as generating desperately needed funds for St James’ you could also win one of the three monthly cash prizes totalling £500 – check the website for details (http://www.stjamescatholichighschool.org.uk/key-information/pta/500-club/)


Another reminder that with so many trips and activities planned for the remainder of the Summer term, could I remind you that in an attempt to reduce the use of cash and cheques, trips may be paid for by using our e-payment service, ParentPay. If you require any assistance, please telephone the Finance Office on 0161 482 6903. It really is a simple and convenient way of transferring your money.


Finally, we are saying farewell to two of our Teaching Assistants at the end of this week – Miss Izzy Morton and Miss Catherine Tansey. We wish them both the very best with their future careers, and I would like to thank them both for all they have done, whilst here, for the young people of St James’.