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.’

National Careers Week

Monday 5th March 2018

It is difficult to believe now, looking outside, that we were so adversely affected by the weather last week. It is always a very difficult decision to close a school, but I am sure that we made the correct one last week, and am pleased that our procedures for communicating this information worked effectively. I would like to thank all parents and carers for their support in this matter, and we will be making a decision about the re-arranged Year 9 Parents’ Evening in the next few days, and communicating this with you.

It is business as usual this week, with Year 7 Parents’ Evening on Thursday. We asked students in assembly this morning to ensure that their appointments sheets are filled in, bearing in mind the two days they were unable to do so last week. All students are expected in full school uniform, and I look forward to seeing as many parents and carers there as possible.

This week is National Careers Week and Form Tutors are using form-time to discuss all different aspects of careers and the ‘world of work’ with their pupils. Mrs Grainger, our Careers Co-ordinator, has distributed information, presentations and website links for them to use, and the message continues to be given about the relevance and importance of different subjects, the skills that students can develop, and how these might be transferred to a career. All students are being asked to consider what dreams and aspirations they might have. There are regular career “drop in” sessions every Thursday lunchtime in room 29b, and this Thursday lunchtime there will be a talk by the Army in Room 70. If you have any questions about our careers education, or if you feel you are able to contribute to this important area of school, please contact Mrs Grainger at helen.grainger@st-jamescatholic.stockport.sch.uk. It is also National Apprenticeship Week, and there is information in this newsletter about an Information Evening at the Apprenticeships Store on Thursday, as well as a list of activities throughout the week.