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.’

Ofsted Report

Tuesday 2nd May 2017

You should by now have received a copy of our recent Ofsted report, along with a covering letter from myself. If for some reason you haven’t, you can find a link to them both here. Thank you very much to all those parents who have written to me congratulating us on the highly successful inspection. As I said in my letter, I am incredibly proud of everyone who has worked so very hard over the last five years to secure this very positive judgement. I am particularly proud of our students, who shine through the whole report. For an HMI to comment on the students’ conduct as the best she has ever seen is a huge recognition of how fantastic our young people are. The opening statement of the report is also an important acknowledgement of everything that we do to ensure our young people are looked after so well:

 

‘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.’

 

Again, if I may highlight some of the other very positive comments in the report:

 

  • ‘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.’

  • ‘Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is a strength of the school’

  • ‘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’

     

    We are clearly delighted with all of these comments, and especially with the fact that the Outcomes and Personal Development & Welfare of our pupils were judged to be outstanding by the inspection team. We welcome Mr John McCann from the Shrewsbury Diocese into school later in the week to conduct the Diocesan Inspection, and I look forward to reporting another equally positive report to you in the coming weeks.

     

    Tomorrow is the Feast of Saints Philip & James, and is therefore our school’s Feast Day. As well as our Morning Prayer, Assembly and Form Time being dedicated to the Feast of St James’, the School Council are once again running a series of activities to mark the occasion.

     

    Congratulations to our Year 9 & Year 11 football teams for their remarkable week of cup finals. Year 11 are now the Stockport Cup & League champions, beating Reddish Vale and Bramhall respectively. Year 9 are the Stockport League champions, beating Marple Hall High School 4-3, but narrowly losing the cup final against Hazel Grove, on penalties.

 

Could I please remind you again about the PTA – firstly, the raffle for Famous Henry’s ‘Shampoo, Cut & Finish’ - £1 per entry, and names will be drawn on Friday 26th May. Secondly, 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. Thirdly, 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. Finally, as I have mentioned before, 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.