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.’

Open Evening a Great Success

Monday 9th October 2017

Our Open Evening last week was a huge success, and we have received some really positive feedback, particularly about the students who were helping out on the night. I walked around all Faculties, and it was a delight to see so many youngsters giving up their evening to help us show off our school, and clearly enjoying the opportunity.  I did say to parents on the night that if anyone would like to make an appointment to visit school on a ‘normal’ working day, then they should contact us and we will accommodate them. If you know of anyone who may be interested in such an arrangement, then please do encourage them to make contact.


Last week all of our Year 9 students went out of school for their River Bollin field-trips, and despite the muddy conditions they worked very well and were a credit to the school. On Friday we are holding our annual rewards trip to Alton Towers, recognising the excellent ‘Attitude to Learning’ and ‘Readiness to Learn’ that so many of our students demonstrated in the last academic year. Year 7 students will be engaged in their Study Day, and it is lessons as usual for those other students remaining in school. Please pray for fine weather. We also have a group of Year 10 & 11 History students attending the Great War Debate at Bramhall High School tomorrow afternoon.The event will involve a highly interactive debate hosted by historian and TV presenter David Olusoga with a panel of professionals from the army, the Science Museum and the universities of Leeds and Liverpool. There are still places available, so please if your child is studying History please encourage them to see Mrs Birch to reserve a seat. There is also a meeting, tomorrow evening at 6pm, for parents and students regarding November’s trip the Battelfields in France and Belgium.


Next Thursday evening we are gathering to welcome our new Year 7 pupils, with a Mass in the Sports Hall. Each Form group is preparing a different part of the liturgy, and I’m sure that it will be a really lovely occasion and a fitting way to celebrate the new additions to our school family. I look forward to seeing as many families there as possible